Friday 6 June 2014

Great injustice to Urdu

I once went to an Urdu function in Lucknow. There a young Muslim lady said that she will teach her children Urdu so that they can read the Quran. I told her that the language of the Quran is Arabic, not Urdu.

Urdu is a totally secular language, and there are about 33 Ramayanas in Urdu (the best being of the Urdu poet Chakbast). Great Urdu poets like Mir, Ghalib, Faiz, Firaq, etc were thoroughly secular. There are Urdu poets like Nazir who have written beautiful poems about Hindu festivals like Holi, Diwali, etc. In Wali Dakkhani's Urdu poems the words Ram, Krishna, Sita, Ganga, Saraswati, etc occur frequently. 

Then I told her that upto 1947 Urdu was the common language of all educated people,Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, etc in large parts of India. It was only thereafter that a false propaganda was made that Urdu is a foreign language, and the language of Muslims alone. The result was that Urdu was sought to be suppressed, and in this way great injustice was done not only to Muslims but also to Hindus, Sikhs, etc, because they too were cut off from Urdu, which has an outstanding place in Indian culture. 

I have read the poetry of several countries ( England, America, France, Germany, Russia, etc), and also much of Indian poetry in Hindi ( Sur, Tulsi, Kabir, Raskhan, Rahim, Keshav, etc) Bengali ( Tagore, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, etc) Tamil( Tirukkural, Tiruppavai, etc),etc, but in my opinion there is no poetry in the world which expresses the voice of the human heart, and in such a powerful manner, as Urdu. What a tragedy that this great language was sought to be suppressed and is neglected in the land of its own birth !

Great injustice was done to Urdu in India after 1947. Certain vested interests tried to brand it as a communal and foreign language, which was totally baseless. However, the language which speaks the voice of the heart can never be stamped out as long as people have hearts. The huge crowds which mushairas attract in India even today show the popularity of Urdu. It has been my humble effort to help in restoring this great language to its original glory in various ways.

For more, read my article: "What is Urdu?"

1 comment:

  1. I second you, Justice Katju. My grandparents have had me read poems of Nazir, and as you mentioned above, he is a poet who steals heart.
    The importance of Urdu language can be restored if it starts to be taught in schools. That way, the innumerable children, who have no idea about what Urdu is, can atleast get a jest of it. Also, if the language starts to be passed on to the coming generations, we wouldn't lose it essence. Otherwise the language is soon to become extinct in India.
    We must save it, and I appreciate your efforts in doing the same.