Urdu

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The phrase Zuban-i Urdū-yi Muʿallá ("The language of the exalted camp") written in Nastaʿlīq script. - Urdu religious prose goes back several centuries, while secular writing flourished from the 19th century onward. Modern Urdu is the national language of Pakistan and is also spoken by many millions of people in India.

Urdu Language or more precisely Modern Standard Urdu, is a standardized register of the Hindustani language. Urdu is historically associated with the Muslims of the region of Hindustan. It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, and an official language of six Indian states and one of the 22 scheduled languages in the Constitution of India. Apart from specialized vocabulary, Urdu is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi, which is associated with the Hindu community. The Urdu language received recognition and patronage under the British Raj when the British replaced the Persian and local official languages of North Indian states with the urdu and English language in 1837.

Quotes[edit]

  • “The poets of Delhi, proud of the ‘pure’ Urdu of the imperial camp… rejected the Dakani principle and practice of borrowing extensively from the Indian languages, especially if these borrowings were related to Hindu religion, culture and world-view… In this process imagery was drawn exclusively from Persian precedents, i.e., from the unseen and unexperienced sights, sounds and smells of Persia and Central Asia, rejecting totally the Indian sights, sounds and sensuous experience as materials regarded not sublime enough for poetic expression… It was a desperate unconscious clinging to the origins of the symbols of Muslim India’s cultural experience which had begun abroad, and an instinctive fear of being submerged into the Hindu cultural milieu. These modes of aesthetic appreciation, rooted so deeply in the essence of universal Islamic culture, remained more or less incomprehensible to the Hindu mind.
    • Aziz Ahmad, Studies In Islamic Culture in the Indian Environment, Oxford. 1964, pp. 252-55. [1]
  • “Throughout the whole range of Urdu literature in its first phase… the atmosphere of this literature is provokingly un-Indian - it is that of Persia. Early Urdu poets never so much as mention the great physical features of India - its Himalayas, its rivers like the Ganges, the Jamuna, the Sindhu, the Godavari, etc; but of course mountains and streams of Persia, and rivers of Central Asia are always there. Indian flowers, Indian plants are unknown; only Persian flowers and plants which the poet could see only in a garden. There was a deliberate shutting of the eye to everything Indian, to everything not mentioned or treated in Persian poetry… A language and literature which came to base itself upon an ideology which denied on the Indian soil the very existence of India and Indian culture, could not but be met with a challenge from some of the Indian adherents of their national culture; and that challenge was in the form of highly Sanskritized Hindi’.”
    • S.K. Chatterjee quoted in Aziz Ahmad, Studies In Islamic Culture in the Indian Environment, Oxford. 1964, pp. 252-55. [2]
  • Islamism immediately revived the lost cause of Urdu behind the smoke-screen of this Communist campaign against Hindi. It lauded loudly when progressive Urdu poets like Firaq Gorakhpuri lampooned Hindi in a language which was largely unprintable. Simultaneously, Islamism started parading Urdu as the great language of culture and refinement which will be lost to India for good if Urdu was allowed to go under. No Communist came forward to examine this “culture and refinement as a legacy of decadent Muslim courts and a frivolous Muslim aristocracy. No Communist questioned the heavy Persianisation and Arabicisation of Urdu which made it incomprehensible even to educated people, leave alone the man in Chandni Chowk. The recognition of Urdu as a second language has today become a sine qua non of Secularism.
    • Sita Ram Goel, Hindu Society under Siege (1992)

External links[edit]

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