MOHAMMED OBAIDULLAH ALVI
(Journalist. Anthropologist and Historian)
The Dhundi-Karlali language is spoken throughout Abbottabad District, and the adjoining Murree Hills and Galyat areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The Dhund Abbasi and Karlal Tribe form 80% of the population that uses this language. More than 1.5 million people speak this language from the north of Islamabad to the Kaghan Valley in the south, and in the east from the right bank of the Jhelum River to the Silk Road from Hasanabdal to Abbottabad.
The earliest known roots of the language go back to 5,000 BCE when Indo-Aryan priests wrote the Vedas on the high brinks of the Mukeshpuri and Murree hills. The Dhundi language evolved from an ancient Prakrit in 3,500 BCE and by the first century emerged as the Sharda language. This language developed and changed into the Sharda language of Kashmir, the official language of the Buddhist University at Taxila's Sharda Campus sixteen centuries before the invasion of the Huns from Central Asia. Kautilya and Pāṇini were the great scholars of this language
Muslim conquestAfter the Muslim conquest of Kashmir in the twelfth century, many Muslim tribes such as Satti, Awan, Seyed, Dhund Abbasies, Kareal, and Gakhers (the main feudal lords of area), and many more came to Kashmir with Mahmud of Ghazni and his invading forces; they partially changed the social and political culture as well as the Ghindi language of Kashmir.
Effect on language
This influx resulted in new linguist influences; this dramatically altered the language, literature, poetry, philosophy and some 35% of the vocabulary. This created another version of the Sharda language. In the middle of the second millennium some social changes occurred: Gakhars displaced the Kareal tribe from Bakote to Galyat and promoted the Dhunds as their allies. Gakhars granted Abbottabad District and Murree Hills as jagirs (territorial grants) to Rattan Khan (Abd-u-Rehman), the great-grandson of Shah Wali Khan (Dhond Khan) as a reward. This jagir was geographically a hilly and mountainous area that has been developed by Katwals, Satties, Gujjars and Kareals through the centuries. Today a pure form of this language is spoken by Satties; resultantly, the language is now referred to as Sattiali in this area.
The linguist Rev. T. Grahame Bayley contributed in the 1901 census of India report on the "dialects spoken in the hills between Murree and Kashmir". Bayley was the first to study the language, which he included in his book Languages of the Northern Himalayas Studied in the Grammar of Twenty-Six Himalayan Dialects, published the by Royal Asiatic Society London in 1908. Grearson detailed the nature and translation of the Sattiali language in the linguistic survey of India (Linguistic Survey of Pakistan Vol IV) published in Lahore in 1980. Linguists consider the Dhundi-Kareali language to be the same as Pahari (Dhondi), Pothwari (Potwari), Chibhali, Punchhi (Poonchi), and Mirpuri, varying slightly in dialect. This language belongs to the Western Pahari language family, which is a branch of the Indo-Iranian language. Indo-Iranian (also known as Aryan) is a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. (For details read Mohabbat Husain Awan of Birote Kalan book ASSAN NAY NABI PAK HOR (Our Holy Prophet) first book on Dhundi-Kairali language, published in 2006 in Karachi and won Seerat Award in 2008.The book preface research article was written by Mohammed Obaidullah Alvi  and covers five millenniums history and literature of Dhundi-Kairali language. Gulfiraz Abbasi , a lecturer of Murree College is also written a research thesis about this subject  in 2010.
Dhundi-Kareali is a rural language and has never had an urban centre and as a result has never had a standardized written form, poetry and history are recorded in an oral form.
Writers, Poets and Authors
There are only three persons of modern times who wrote books in Dhundi language. One is Poet Salim Showalvi of Murree City; the second is Sardar Akash Abbasi of Kundan Murree and third is Muhabbat Hussain Awan of Birote, Circle Bakote.
Salim Showalvi is an immigrant Kashmiri poet of Dhundi language originally from Srinagar, living in Murree since 1959. He is a highly qualified journalist and an authority on culture of Murree. He has written many poems and songs. We should add two very prominent poets native of Murree Teshil late Arman Farani and Prof. Karam Hydri were founder of the literary activities in Murree and Late Latif Kashmiri was once Librarian of Murree Municipal Library and a prolific novelist. They were the first to form Murree Literary circle after partition in 1947. This circle was able to convene several national level Moshairas for poetry loving people during the peak of the summer season to add an interesting flavor to their visit.
In the previous century when modern education spread in this hilly region, Urdu was the medium of learning. Culture and civilization of agriculture revolutionized and new thoughts and ideas came into being. Manu Urdu newspapers and magazines as Daily Zimidar Lahore, Daily Inqilab Lahore, Wakil Amretser, Muslim Rajpoot Ludhheana, Madina Bajnore arose the poetry fantasy among hill people. As a result, many persons take pen and paper and wrote the revelations of thoughts from heaven but they have no forum for their expression. Many persons poetry is available now in unprinted form. Many of them had lost their treasures of writings but some scriptures are available. These Urdu/Persian poets of Circle Bakote are:
- MolanaYaqoob Alvi Birotvi was the first poet of Arabic, Persian and Urdu in Circle Bakote. He was a modern teacher by profession. He took part in the Kashmir jihad in 1948 along freedom fighter of Circle Bakote in Kashmir. He wrote his book Neghm-e-Jehad (Melody of Jehad) during the jihad. He is also a wrestler and broke the legs of many locals in his prime. He was paralyzed in his last days and died on 18 June 1985, unfortunately his tomb is without epitaph after 21 years. He won prestige and reputation as a poet of epitaphs, today every tomb of Birote is decorated by his verses. A stanza of his Urdu poetry is below:-
Alvi Birotvi Persian poem written in his hand writing
BAHAR-E-GULL KO HE DOR-E-KHAZAN ANE KA GHAM
GHUNCHA KO GULL BAN NE KA ORE GULL KO MURJANE KA GHAMM
PAEY UMR-E-NOH INSAN YA HO MERG-E-NOJWAN
IS DUNYA ME HE HER INSAN KO MER JANE KA GHAMM
- Gohar Moeen, real name was Seyed Muzaffer Hussain Shah was a Sufi Urdu poet with high calibre religious as well as modern education. He was Controller of Schools in Northern Areas and resided at Gilgit during his service. He was son-in-law of Molana Mohammed Saeed of Rawat (Murree) and son of first vice head teacher of Vernacular Primary School Birote, metric from Osia in 1942 ant then he came in Rawalpindi for employment and further studies. He was MA in Islamic studies and his favorite subject was Sufism. He wrote hundred of poems about nature of man, soul, life after death etc. He migrated from Birote forever and settled at Jhang Seyedan Lehtrarh road Islamabad after his retirement. He died in July 2003 and buried in Kirpa nearby village. His urs is heard on every first Friday of July every year.
- MukhlisBirotvi (Syed Iqbal Hussain Shah) is another first poet of first printing book named FIKR-E-FARDA OF Birote now settled in Mansehra. He is a teacher by profession and retired as vice principal of Government Higher Secondary School Birote in 2000. His wife Phool Bibi died on same year that he moved to Mansehra as his elder brother Mumtaz Shah teased him and his family very ruthlessly. He is the John Keats of Circle Bakote. A stenza of his poetry is as below:-
Mukhlis Birotvi poem about his birth place, UC Birote
KOH-E-MUSHPORI, AY SHAKH-E-KOH HAMALA
TO NE MERI NAZAR KO APNI AAGHOSH MAIN SAMBALKA
- Khilash Birotvi (Aasif Alvi) was the younger son of first head teacher of Vernacular Primary School Birote Molana Ismail Alvi and he had lost his eyesight in the prime of his life. He wrote poems and songs on national issues. His poems were printed in monthly Akhbar-e-Watan Karachi. He was a correspondent of weekly Tarjuman Karachi (Cilcle Bakote first newspaper in 1973 by late Ghulam Kibrea Abbasi of Kahoo Sharqi, Union Council Birote). His poetry book is under custody of his younger sister and teacher Balkees Alvi. He died in 1988 in Birote.
- Shahid Islam alvi is a very highly thought of poet of Circle Bakote. He is known as SHAH-E-GAZAL (King of Ghazal) and wrote blessings in his poetry. He is a younger son of Molana Alvi Birotvi.
- Fazal Hussain Abbasi Sahri is a poet of Urdu poetry from the adjoining Union Council Dewal of Murree. He is a social leader of his tribe as well as UC. He is an ex-service man by profession and naturally an admirer of Sufism.
- Omar Tariq Abbasi is a poet of Urdu from UC Rawat. He is a highly qualified person and belongs to a well educated family. He has just started his journey in the poetry world but has been succeeded to inspire many people by his aggressive style of poetry.
- ^ Ethnologue report for language code:phr
- ^ Location of Birot - Falling Rain Genomics
- '^ H.H. Risley and E.A. Gait, (1903), Report on the Census of India, 1901, Calcutta, p. 247
- ^ Formerly known as Qurashies, as narrated by Akram Abbasi in his book Aena-e-Qurash and Noor Alahi Abbasi in Tareekh-e-Murre
- Awan, Mohabbat Husain, Asan nay Nabi Pak hor (Our Holy Prophet), preface and language by Mohammed Obaidullah Alvi
- Colin P. Masica, 1991, The Indo-Aryan Languages
- Bailey, Rev. T. Grahame. 1904. Panjabi Grammar. Lahore: Punjab Government Press.
- Rahman, Tariq. 1997. Language and Ethnicity in Pakistan. Asian Survey, 1997 Sep., 37(9):833-839.
- Pothohari reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Javaid, Umbreen. 2004. Saraiki political movement: its impact in south Punjab. Journal of Research (Humanities), 40(2): 55–65. Lahore: Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of the Punjab. (This PDF contains multiple articles from the same issue.)
- Miki Kharo England - GeoPakistani
- Jumtree.co.uk, examples of Potwari Sher (sung poetry)