Friday, August 7, 2009

Urdu/Hindi: an artificial divide...

"Let me come down to your level and your idioms. Arey (O!) Hinduo (Hindus) learn Urdu. Pakistan is your enemy. If you don't learn your enemy's language, how will you fight them? Let me explain it to you differently. India has several million Muslims, and you say Urdu is their language. Let me explain this for a minute. Even then brothers, if you will not understand the language of such a big minority, how will you know what they are doing and what they are thinking?"

I have taken this from the book Urdu/Hindi: an artificial divide : African heritage, Mesopotamian roots, Indian culture & British colonialism by Abdul Jamil Khan. The book is a compulsory read for those interested in Hindi/Urdu.

According to the book, the above comments were made by Firaq Gorakhpuri in an interview that apparently did not come out in public domain. Firaq uttered those words referring to all those who worked towards the disappearance of Urdu from schools after the Partition.

The sad aspect in those days, and even now was/is the compartmentalisation of Urdu/Hindi with religion. For several decades Urdu was spoken and learned by the people of India, but took a backseat in later years.

One could see Urdu posters/banners in the background in many of the early Hindi black and white movies. In later years, I believe Bollywood has played a role in its own way in getting the common masses acquainted with Urdu words. The posters though are nowhere to be seen, neither in the films, nor on the streets.


  1. DEAR MR Danish;
    Thanks for the post re Firaq whom ihave known as a poet and my father's friend; The two of them
    had started "Bazm riaz-e-adab" to revive urdu
    mushairas all over again after Urdu'political demise;My book tackles urdu/hindi politics from all aspect; A chapter on its foundational role of Indian stage/cinema is rather unique;One critical position of my book is the shared origin
    of Arabic,Sanskrit.dravidian,Latin from Mesopotamia; this discards Aryan/semitic race theory based on Biblical creationism of just 6000
    years;No more believed bu western linguists.
    Dr Abdul jamil khan MD ( author)
    New york

  2. Thanks for keeping the interest of Urdu readers alive by sharing your thoughts and views. Congratulations to both of you and I am still struggling to finish reading your book Dr. Khan and hope comments such as these would prompt me to read faster.
    Syed Asad, MD
    Hyderabadi Banda

  3. Thanks Dear Danish andDr Asad sahab;
    It is clear that " aryan/semitsm" and the linguistic races of Bible was the greatest western myth/fraud that this book has exposed;Am delighted that some hearts r changing; What Mr
    Jaswant singh has said re Jinnah in his recent book is well discussed in my chapter 11 "partition of hearts,";Educated
    /enlightend must focus on evolution as the drive
    behind culture/language.