Why we must adopt Urdu as an Indian language


Urdu is considered a foreign language by many Indians when in fact it originated in India and has millions of speakers in the country.

When I say Urdu is my mother tongue, I get a “blink” in return. You may also find it hard to believe that my parents have a Pathan lineage and bear the surname Khan. While I usually get the blank stare followed by an accusation of a liar, I’ve learned to handle it with composure, perhaps years of struggling for acceptance.

So you must have understood by now what it is. The recent hate campaign against Jashn-e-Diwali and Jash-e-Riwaz got me thinking about why there is a sudden surge of hatred against a particular minority community.

The whole point of writing this is not to glorify one or denigrate the other, but to make people see the fine line that connects these languages ​​and to make them realize how much these languages ​​are the living proof of our beautiful ethnic diversity of yesteryear.

For starters, the funniest thing is when people ask me if I’m Pakistani or Afghan, which makes me laugh out loud. Just because I speak Urdu, people assume that I belong to a Muslim country.

Urdu is a language originating from Indian soil; the inventor being the great master himself — Amir Khusarou. It was originally developed as a courtesan language. Only Delhi Durbars closest aides were allowed to use it to deliver justice. Gradually, the masses were allowed to adopt and live with the same.

The highlight here is that it is an amalgamation of Persian and Hindustani culture. A gem that is living proof of a secularism that flourished even before a written constitution existed. So let us specify that it is not a Muslim language or a Hindu language. It is as much my language as that of all the other Indians.

“Jo ye hindostāñ nahīñ hotā, to ye urdu zabāñ nahīñ hoti (If India didn’t exist, Urdu wouldn’t have existed).” – Abd Salam Bengluri (dil ki haalat bayan nahin hoti)

How Urdu Influenced Other Languages

India is multilingual. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Hindi is considered the closest sister with similar vocabulary and dialect to Urdu but different script (Urdu uses nasthaliq style). Gradually, differences emerged due to changing political and social factors.

For example, when the sultans of Delhi annexed Hyderabad, a variant string of Urdu was formed with a Deccani base. Similarly, the mother tongues of the South influenced Urdu in such a way that several new words were assimilated into it. This is how civilizations and cultures thrive, evolve and adapt over time. Warning ; time plays the key role here.

Assimilation and adaptation of cultures

Coming to the recent controversy that erupted over the “abrahamization“Hindu festivals are ugly politics to score brownie points. The main objective is to create a feeling of insecurity about how the minorities will govern the majority. The greater the degree of insecurity, the more the vote counts for political hegemony.

The religious separatism sown by the British continues to be used for political purposes. With the rate of illiteracy and the malevolent cycle of poverty, people do not see clearly the antics deployed to create a crack in the fabric of secularism for political ends. Eventually, they go as far as lynching and murder in broad daylight.

People need to understand that there is no sense in the so-called “Abrahamization of religion.” No religion has remained the same in absolute terms since its origin. There are Buddhist elements in Hinduism today, just as there are Hindu elements in Islam today.

Assimilation and adaptation. Anthropologically speaking, this is how we managed to survive biologically and culturally. This is the essence of Hindustan.

Musalman aur Hindu ki jaan
Kahan hai mera Hindostan?
Hand uss ko dhundh raha huun.

(Life of Hindus and Muslims
Where is my Hindustan?
I’m looking for it). – Ajmal Sultanpuri (kahan hai mera hindostan).

So learn to find that fine line that connects us all in the midst of diversity.

Coming to how an Urdu-speaking family like mine survived in a state where people prefer to speak a native language, we applied the simple logic of learning it. The language barrier was a problem in kindergarten, but I survived. We kissed the mother tongue just as she kissed us.

Culture is an integral part of our lives, as we celebrate all holidays without restraint.

Urdu is part of India. (Representative image)

But the problem I encountered was that a small part of the population was reluctant to learn new languages. The dismissive attitude towards a Tamil or Telugu speaking native was not something I could understand. Moreover, I saw them being intimidated because they did not know the “mother” language.

Apart from a few people who were genuinely interested in adopting other mother tongues, most have the attitude “I know one language and I don’t find it necessary to learn another”. The whole idea is laughable.

All I have to say is that we live in an ethnically diverse country where hundreds of languages ​​languish. There are folk songs, dances and culture related to each language. In the process of glorifying native languages, we miss most of the learning about beautiful classical cultures, which have thrived for thousands of years in our country and cultures which are slowly fading into black.

So the next time you meet someone who is from another state or who speaks a different language, think about the dividing line I mentioned. Don’t laugh and don’t look. This person is your colleague and deserves the same respect as you.

Sabhi ke deep sundar hain; hamare kya tumhare kya
Ujala har taraf hai, iss kinare uss kinare kya.

(Everyone’s lamps are pretty; not just yours or ours
Light is everywhere, not just on this or that shore). – Hafeez Banarasi.

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