Thursday 29 September 2016

Murdering a great language
Madhu Trehan, the well known Delhi based journalist, who runs her website, is like a sister to me. She is a week younger to me, so she calls me Mantu Bhai.
Last night she sent me an email that she wants to interview me for her website. I replied that she is welcome ( how can one refuse a younger sister ? ).
She telephoned me this morning, and I asked her to read my fb post containing the English translation of my interview to Nadeem, the political editor of Navbharat Times, which contains my views on many subjects in concise form. She said she has done so. She is coming with her team at 2 p.m. today for the interview
She then mentioned the great Urdu poet Ghalib ( ग़ालिब ), but pronounced his name as ' गालिब ' ( ' Galib ' ). I told her that she has no right to murder the Urdu language by such mispronunciation. I made her speak the Urdu letter ' ग़ ' ( ' gha ' ( the Urdu letter ' Ghain ' ),and with great difficulty she managed it.
Then she quoted the line of Ghalib ;
" ग़ालिब ब-ख़स्ता के बग़ैर कौन सा काम बंद है ? "
( Ghalib ba-khasta ke baghair kaun sa kaam band hai ? _
But she had great difficulty in pronouncing ' ख़ ' and would pronounce it ' ख '. She would pronounce ' बग़ैर ' as ' बगैर ', and I made her pronounce the words correctly, which she did with great difficulty.
Madhu is a Punjabi, and I told her that upto the previous generation Punjabis were very proficient in Urdu, and had done great sewa of Urdu. But unfortunately the present generation seems to be totally ignorant of this great language, so much so that they cannot even pronounce Urdu words correctly. Their forefathers would be clutching the hairs on their head on knowing of the ignorance of their descendants.
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