An Alien Language

3 mins read

After Article 370 and 35 A, removal by Union government, Kashmir is dripped in multiple apprehensions of losing jobs, land to outsiders. Given to such apprehensions, the normalcy in the valley since last three months is yet to return and seems elusive in near future. Alongside these apprehensions which centre government is yet to clear, the debate is ongoing about the future of Urdu language in state. With the constitution of India entering state into its entirety after August 5 decision, majority of the laws have been changed or removed following the nullifying of state’s separate constitution. The state’s constitution had adopted the Urdu as an official language followed by English.

What has more been disturbing the communalisation of the Urdu language with the government connecting it to the islamization-the religion that according to RSS is foreign and was adopted in the land of shivas forcibly? This “rightist” thinking of the RSS wants Urdu to be eliminated from the country and revive the old scriptures of Devnagri and Saharda predominantly spoken in north India prior to the arrival of Hindi, Urdu, English and other languages. Most of these spoken languages have either lost the valour or failed to sustain with the changing times and have been replaced with new languages.

Today, the widely spoken languages like Urdu, Hindi and other local in South Asia faces same aggression of English and initiatives have been launched for the preservation and promotion of same languages. Ironically, the Panjab University even shifted the department of Urdu to foreign languages recently. It is true that any nation that losses its language losses the identity.

But in Kashmir, neither the Hindi nor Urdu was its own language though both are spoken today. It was Sharda spoken initially that was replaced by Kashmiri that gradually adopted the confluence of Sanskrit and Persian. While Hindi is the language that is undisputed in India, Urdu is being attributed to the Muslims and is at the centre of controversy.

But historically there are no traces that this language has any connection with the Islam or Muslims. The official language of Islam is Arabic and Islam is over 1400 year old religion.

About Urdu there are two theories of its origin and both traces its birth in India only. Some historians believe that Urdu was first spoken in Delhi army camps with borrowing words from other languages to connect with each other and later become a full-fledged language.

Shamsur Rehman Faruqi, however, negates it and dates its origin to Mughal era in India. Faruqi claims this language was spoken by inhabitants in Mohallas called Urdu-e-mohalla Shahjahanabad because of its elevated position.  In both the cases the language has its roots in India and there is no other concrete historical account suggesting the language was foreign, apparently.

Ironically, the language is communalized not only in India, in Pakistan also. In India the efforts are afoot to scribble the script with Sharda and Devnagri while In Pakistan the script is being Islamized with Arabic words. The step motherly treatment, however to the language doesn’t began after BJP secured the power in Delhi, the language was removed completely from the schools and higher educational institutes in 1960’s when Congress was in power.

The historical traces; prove that language belongs to India and shall be of country’s pride as it has in its socio-cultural diversity. Gifting this beautiful language to Pakistan and attributing it to Muslims and Islam simply shows India’s irritation in its own diversity of languages, culture and history.

Pakistan was born seventy years ago and the language is many centuries old. Allama Iqbal, Ghalib and many Muslim poets who made their names across the world with poetry in same language was not their communal mindset, rather it was the richness and flavour of language that transgressed the religious borders and gave country Tilak Chand, Pandit Hari Chand, Ram Lal Bhatia, Chakbast, Brij Narayan and many more. It is true Iqbal and Ghalib is world fame unlike Chakbast, Brij Narayan and others.

This all happens due to our ill-treatment to the language that failed us to highlight their work and contribution to the poetry of country. If today the language is communalized, there are chances that the most sought food-Biryani may face the same fate.

When a Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to build the physical strengthen of his troops, he sought the suggestions from his chefs. His chef suggested a food rich in nutrition and proteins that was named later Biryani. Presently, the Biryani is almost prepared in all parts of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with unique tastes and cultural richness. If Urdu goes to Pakistan and Muslims, Biryani may have to follow the trend and find its space into the Muslim kitchens only.


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