The Lead: The status of Urdu in today's India

DH Radio | The Lead: The status of Urdu in today's India

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

In this episode of The Lead from DH Radio, professor and head of Department of Urdu in New Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia Dr Shahzad Anjum talks about Urdu and its status in today's India.

Ahmed Shariff: Every year November 9 is celebrated as Urdu Day. But what about the language which embraces the aura of romanticism and mystic. What about it in today's India.  I had spoken about this to Dr Shahzad Anjum, who is the professor and head of Department of Urdu in New Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia. Listen in to the conversation.

Welcome to DH Radio, Professor.

Shazad Anum: Thank you.

Ahmed: Professor, my first question to you is can you chart us the history of Urdu language?

Prof. Shahzad:  Urdu is India's language. It originated in the Deccan and spread throughout the country. Earlier, Persian was prominent and the language which resulted when Persian synergized with others is Urdu. Urdu has elements of all other languages from English to french and southern Indian languages.

Ahmed:  During the partition period, there was a divide. Urdu took a more purist version with Persianate influence and Hindi tilted towards Sanskrit. How has that affected the Urdu of the 21st Century?

Prof. Shahzad: Urdu's script is Farsi and that of Hindi is Devanagari. Before partition, there were many irrespective of religion, who were literate in Urdu. I have been hearing that the language will cease to exist but the language is growing. Though there are Persian words in Urdu, it's grammar is the same as Hindi. Language is not bound to any religion; it's independent.

To know more about the conversation, listen to the podcast.