According to the Urdu scholar Habib R. Sulemani: "Roman Urdu is strongly opposed by the traditional Arabic script lovers. Despite this opposition it is still used by most on the internet and computers due to limitations of most technologies as they do not have the Urdu script. Although, this script is under development and thus the net users are using the Roman script in their own ways. Popular websites like Jang Group have devised their own schemes for Roman Urdu. This is of great advantage for those who are not able to read the Arabic script. MSN, Yahoo and some desi-chat-rooms are working as laboratories for the evolving new script and language (Roman Urdu)."
Although the idea of romanizing Urdu had been suggested several times, it was General Ayub Khan who most seriously suggested adopting the Roman script for Urdu and all Pakistani languages during his rule of the country. The suggestion was inspired to an extent by Atatürk's adoption of Roman for Turkish in Turkey.
1Khudáwand merá chaupán hai; mujhe kamí na hogí.
2Wuh mujhe harí harí charágáho? me? bithátá hai: Wuh mijhe ráhat ke chashmo? ke pás le játá hai.
3Wuh merí ján ko bahál kartá hai: Wuh mujhe apne nám kí khátir sadáqat kí ráhon par le chaltá hai.
4Balki khwáh maut ke sáye kí wádí me? se merá guzar ho, Mai? kisí balá se nahí? darú?gá; kyúnk?ki tú mere sáth hai: Tere 'asá aur terí láthí se mujhe tasallí hai.
5Tú mere dushmano? ke rúbarú mere áge dastarkhwán bichhátá hai: Tú ne mere sir par tel malá hai, merá piyála labrez hotá hai.
6Yaqínan bhalái aur rahmat 'umr bhar mere sáth sáth rahe?gí: Aur mai? hamesha Khudáwand ke ghar me? sukúnat karú?gá.
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Urdu was the dominant native language among Christians of Karachi, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan in the 20th century and is still used today by some people in these Pakistani and Indian states. Pakistani and Indian Christians often used the Roman script for writing Urdu. Thus Roman Urdu was a common way of writing among the Christians in these states up to the 1960s. The Bible Society of India publishes Roman Urdu Bibles, which enjoyed sale late into the 1960s (though they are still published today). Church songbooks are also common in Roman Urdu. However, the usage of Roman Urdu in Christian contexts is declining in India with the wider use of Hindi and English in the states.
Bollywood, India's major film industry, uses a version of Roman script as the main script for its film titles. This is because Bollywood films have an appeal for viewers across South Asia and even in the Middle East. The Devan?gar? script is used mostly by Hindi speakers while the Perso-Arabic script is used primarily by Urdu speakers. The language used in Bollywood films is often called Hindi, but most dialogues are actually written in Hindustani--they can be understood by Urdu and Hindi speakers alike. Because the film industry wants to reach the largest possible audience, just using the Devan?gar? or Perso-Arabic script would be unfavorable for the Bollywood industry as few individuals are literate in both scripts. For this reason, the neutral Roman script is used for Bollywood film titles, though some films include the Hindi and Urdu scripts as well.
The similar circumstances are also applied with Pakistan's Lollywood filming industry, where, along with the Urdu name or title of the movie, a Roman Urdu title is always provided for viewers.
Roman Urdu used on Internet is non standard and has very irregular spellings. Users who use Roman Urdu on Internet try to imitate English orthography. In most cases they are unaware of the fact that English spellings are not often phonetic.
There are two main problems with Roman Urdu schemes which exists. Either they are not reversible to Urdu script or they don't allow pronouncing the Urdu words properly. Another shortcoming is that a lot of Roman Urdu schemes confuse the Urdu letter 'Choti He' which has the sound of voiceless glottal fricative with 'Do Chasham He' which is used as a digraph for aspirated consonants in Urdu script. The digraphs "Sh" for letter Shin and "Zh" for letter Zhe also cause problems as they could be interpreted as the letter Sin and 'Choti He' or letter Ze and 'Choti He' respectively. Most Roman Urdu schemes also do not take much consideration of Urdu orthography and the spelling system.
Initiated in 2011, the Hamari Boli Initiative is a full-scale open-source Language planning initiative aimed at Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) Script, Style, Status & Lexical reform and modernization. One of primary stated objectives of Hamari Boli is to relieve Hindustani of the crippling Devanagari-Nastaliq Digraphia by way of Romanization
In Pakistan Roman Urdu is promoted by the Liberal, Secular and Westernized sections of the society as an alternate to the Perso-Arabic Script which Urdu uses. In contrast, the adoption of Roman Urdu has stiff opposition from the Conservative classes which see Perso-Arabic Script as the heritage of Indo-Islamic Civilization which Pakistan inherited from the Mughal and other past Islamic empires.
Most Afghans in Kabul understand and/or speak Hindi, thanks to the popularity of Indian cinema in the country.