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Thursday, August 31, 2006

No dearth of Hindu, Sikh poets of Urdu in India: Sahitya Akademi function shows non-Muslim litterateurs abound in language

Sheen Kaaf Nizam
One is fed up of hearing that Urdu has become a language of Muslims in India and that the language has lost favour even amongst the Sikhs and sections of Punjabis who had kept the language close to their heart for decades after partition.

That may be true to a large extent but at the recent Sahitya Akademi Bhasha Awards function, it was clear that at least Urdu literature and poetry has no dearth of non-Muslim writers in India even today.

Quite a heartening sight indeed. In Urdu poetry rendition most of the poets were non-Muslim like Gulzar, Pritpal Singh Betab [from Jammu], Jayant Parmar [from Gujarat], Sheen Kaf Nizam ie Shiv Kumar Nizam [from Rajasthan], Chandrabhan Khayal etc. 

Jayant Parmar
The Sahitya Akademi president Gopi Chand Narang, whose mother tongue is Saraiki [spoken in Pakistan] is considered an authority in Urdu criticism. He was also present there.

A lady journalist who had gone to interview the litterateurs was astonished as she thought they were all poets of Hindi. However, they turned out to be that of Urdu.

The poets were visibly sad at the plight of Urdu in the country. Khayal, who has composed the life of Prophet Muhammad in poetic form recently, echoed similar sentiments. 

Pritpal Singh 'Betab'
"No language is identified with religion except Urdu, he said. "Unfortunately Hindu writers are given so much respect amongst Urdu-speakers."

"But most Hindus believe that Urdu is a Muslim language, kuchh halaat hi is mulk ke aise ban gaye hain, kya kiya jaye", he said in an almost resigned tone.

"Mai.n daae'N pahluu baith jaataa huuN to Hindi likhta huuN aur baa'eN pahluu baith jaataa huuN to Urdu jo jaati hai", said Sampooran Singh Kalra more popularly known as Gulzar. 


Rohit said...

Someone once said that no language is worth learning unless it helps you to think in a different way. From this point of view, it is important to ensure the survival of Urdu, as it brings a fresh perspective to the table, when compared to the other Sanskrit-based or Tamil-based languages of India.

I am glad to see that Urdu is admired by non-Muslims too. My late grandfather was fond of it, and sometimes used to subscribe to Urdu newspapers. My history teacher in school (another Hindu) also used to praise Urdu for its politeness and sweetness.

I hope Urdu loses the tag of "Muslims' language," and prospers as much as the other Indian languages.

indscribe said...

Nice to see u back, Rohit bhai. :)

Anonymous said...

urdu is pure indian language. intially it was known hindawi deccani, rikhta etc. later it became victim of politics. now its islamic language some ilitrate cleric describe. even madarsa dont have compulsory language of urdu. its sad urdu became vote cow for political parties

Anwar Tabish said...

Urdu can not be dubbed as the language of Muslims alone as long as people like Dr.Naresh are alive and striving for Urdu's rightful place in India.Dr.Naresh's singular contribution to Urdu literature is enough to take pride of.