Few days back, I was having a discussion with a guy, who I know well, at least I guessed so. The discussion was about languages and how they have helped the societies interact and have proved to be a wonderful tool in growth. This guy I was talking to was quite happy about almost all the languages, but except one, which was Urdu. He stated that he likes all the languages except Urdu. I would wish to make a brief introduction of Urdu language to the masses who know less or nothing near it. The word Urdu is derived from the Turkish word Ordu meaning army. From the very beginning of the Sultanate of Delhi and Mughal Empire till the very end of the British raj, Hindustani, which was written in Urdu script, was the language of both Hindus and Muslims at that time. The popular name of the language was Hindi, Hindavi and Dehlavi. The language was happily cherished till 1837 when it was replaced with Persian as the official language, in fact Co official with English. After this time, the language started to decay as the flavors of communalism can be seen to emerge from the very thought of Urdu or Persian. Around the world, there are approximately 60 to70 million native speakers of Urdu, with around 52 million alone in India as per the 2001 census and 13 million in Pakistan in 2008, and several hundred thousand in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States, and Bangladesh.
Getting back to the discussion, now this guy hated Urdu like anything. He alleged that he relates Urdu with the downfall of Muslims in India and about the globe. According to him Urdu language is meant solely for the wandering poets who write about stuff which doesn’t matter to anyone and therefore is a waste of time. I attempted to explain that how can Urdu, a language, be a reason for downfall of whatever community or religious order. I also presented examples of other non Urdu speaking countries which bear a majority Muslim population and are not managing well. How can we justify this Urdu = downfall argument for such countries who don’t still speak Urdu.
To be very true I was not shocked to get this reaction and in fact, it was not the first time. Nowadays I see a lack of importance given to Urdu language by most of the parents and who send their children to elite private schools. It is a common misconception that there is nothing to gain from a dying language like Urdu. The English language has more or less becomes a symbol of intellectualism among elite class, of course with no justification. I tried my best to give all sorts of justification from normal logic to statistics but all in vain. The guy had a deep hatred for the language and hence I was unable to convince him till the very end.
The thing which I didn’t like was that he disliked something without any reason. It’s not that we should love each and everything in this world, but at least we should have enough reasons when we are going to use strong words like “HATE”. Hatred is just a reaction of the conscious or subconscious mind or body language towards things or actions or ideologies which are against our desires/beliefs/ideologies/faith. The same is true for love in an opposite manner. The same hatred makes our lives chaotic. We should not hate things because we simply don’t like the feel of them. If we claim ourselves to be educated, we should reason like educated people.