Pashto Adabi Tolana: History and Contributions


This paper overviews the history and contributions of Pashto Adabi Tolana in Afghanistan. Archival sources and publications by the Tolana are studied qualitatively for tracing this history and contributions. Pashto Adabi Tolana emerged after the official merger of various informal societies that promoted Pashto language and literature. The Tolana was assigned a significant role in the reconstitution of Afghan national identity. This new identity was guided by Pashtoon nationalist sentiments in Afghanistan. The Tolana contributed to this national aspiration as it financed, supervised and published a number of research studies, manuscripts, magazines and translations from and into Pashto language. It also contributed to the development of Pashto language curricula by engaging in corpus planning, acquisition planning and standardization of Pashto language in Afghanistan. The early ambition soon waned, but the academy survived and expanded its cope to natural sciences. The article establishes that Tolana played a significant role in reshaping the identity of modern Afghanistan.

Ayaz Ahmad, Asghar Khan