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Friday, November 05, 2010

Urdu language, Roman script in South India

In mosques and Islamic shrines in Southern India, I have often noticed Roman Urdu, that is the language [Urdu] written in Roman script.

On the left is a photograph which I clicked in a mosque. It is about a 'Zaroori Elaan' [Important Announcement] that the particular mosque is now 'Khud-kafeel' [self-sustaining, self-supporting] and donation must not be paid to any person who demands money either for renovation or for other needs of the mosque.

The language is quite standard and it can even be termed chaste Urdu. Roman Urdu was used extensively before independence also, particularly, in Indian Army where it was the standard language used for communication.

Urdu script is no longer commonly seen in public places in most parts of the country, except a few Cities. Even in Muslim ghettos in  most towns, Urdu signboards are now becoming a rarity.

As far as decline in Urdu signboards is concerned, one of the reasons is  that painters proficient in Urdu aren't easy to find at all times. Lack of Urdu medium schools and fewer private schools teaching Urdu as third language compound the problem.

Of course, other reasons are well-known and oft-repeated. Situation in UP, Bihar and other parts of North India are not favourable for the language. In Southern India, Urdu continues to flourish in pockets in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and even Tamil Nadu where the region around Vellore has Urdu-speaking populace.


suds said...

Infact,most Indian languages seem to be on the decline as far as literary works are concerned.Urdu medium achools are not the answer for containing Urdu's declne. Just like the hindi prachar sabha, we need a urdu prachar sabha. Students should be educated about the beauty of the language and its rich heritage. But as far as medium of instruction is concerned, economics should override other considerations.

As an aside would you want to somebody in your family to study in uru medium or english medium.

P.S. Am not proficient in hindi forget urdu. Am a great fan of urdu lyrics in bollywood and find the language surreal even with my very limited knowledge. Ajab prem ki gasab kahani for instance.

indscribe said...

Suds: Not just Urdu medium schools, in fact, Urdu could have been taught as third language in schools but unfortunately three language formula was never properly implemented.

It was termed Muslim language and it was said that only in classes where 20 out of 50 kids are Urdu-speaking, the teacher would be appointed.

Why would schools bother to appoint an extra-teacher. Private schools have their own reasons and considerations.


Paryash said...

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indscribe said...

Hemu Ji, You can surely use it on your site but kindly give the credit, ie the URL [link] of this blog.