A language is a tool of communication but Urdu supremacists have turned it into a political and communal weapon. Bollywood, media and literature have majorly contributed to the promotion of Urdu over Hindi.
The supremacist attitude is ingrained in people associated with the Hindi film industry. Yusuf Khan, popularly known as Dilip Kumar, had rebuked Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar for her Urdu skills.
“Ein Maharashtrianon ke saath ek problem hotaa hoi — einke gaane mein daal-bhaath ki boo aatee hai!” he said. He remarked that Maharashtrians don’t have a good command of the language adding their Urdu is like Dal Chawal (a metaphor for blandness).
This shouldn’t be brushed aside as simply a comment on language skills. The deep-seated hatred for Sanskritized Hindi has been exposed by Twitter handle Gems of Bollywood. This attitude stems from the misplaced belief that Urdu is the language of high-bred refined people while those speaking Hindi are ‘classless’ and ‘uneducated’.
The promotion of Urdu is to be expected of a film industry dominated by Islamists. Even the media has played its part in replacing Hindi as revealed by an industry insider.
The language came to Bharat with the arrival of Islamist invaders. The language in use today is very different from the earlier one. It took birth as a medium of communication between the invaders and Bharatiyas. The word means the language of the camp and ideally should be considered a dialect rather than a language.
Originally, words from Braj, Avadhi and other regional languages were a part of the language. Subsequently, words from regional languages were replaced with Arabic and Farsi words by Shaikh Imam Baksh Nashiq in the name of purification. However, the aim was to establish ‘Islamic supremacy’ using refining the language as an excuse.
The book Urdu Sahitya ka Itihas confirms the Islamisation of the language and how it is being used as a tool to promote Islam. “Urdu has become a language of the Muslims and it gives predominance to Islam, such that even Hindu poets come under its influence. Their religion takes precedence over the nation and nationalism. In their religious zeal they consider nationalism a threat to Islam”, the book notes.
Dr Fayaz Ahmed Faizi, a leading voice of Pasmanda Muslims, speaking about the casteist nature of Urdu says that it is the language of Ashrafi Muslims. He further says they have been using it for their political gains. In other words, refinement was used to impose external superiority on Bharatiyas through language. The history of its literature clear indicated the influence of a particular idea on the language and its literature is dominated by Islam and Islamic concepts.
To understand the bias against Hindu writers of Urdu, one needs to read what Premchand says. He had given up writing in the language and opined that Hindus shouldn’t use the language. He had written a letter to his friend Munshi Dayanarayan Nigam. “There is no living in Urdu. Which Hindu has benefitted from writing in Urdu”, the most important part of his letter reads.
This line clearly indicates the bias harboured by Urdu writers towards Hindus. It must be reemphasized that both Hindu and Hindi have been looked down upon in the literature world. Therefore, it was believed that Urdu wasn’t a refined language till it contained Sanskrit Hindu words and the inclusion of Arabic and Farsi words refined it. The ‘refinement’ was undertaken during the time of Nashiq to establish a sense of superiority and continue the ideological affiliation with the Mughals.
“This means that by the year 1800, Muslims began disassociating with Hindi. They wanted Hindi to be the language of Hindus while adopting Persian, which is called Urdu. Till then it had no place in literature”, writes Acharya Ramchandra Shukla in his book History of Hindi literature.
Both Hindi and Urdu literature make it clear that Muslims wished to make the latter a language of Islam. Furthermore, films that have a profound impact on the masses have propagated Urdu supremacist attitudes. It is time to break the shackles and the myth that films have promoted by looking down upon those speaking Sanskrit-based Hindi.
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