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Neither does he elaborate on who might have felt the need for this change. Indeed the colonialist view was prevalent among them that they had brought "civilisation" into the hitherto "uncivilised" land of South Asia. Taking such an aggressive, snobbish position was perhaps considered necessary to maintain a privileged cultural status, not to mention the occupation of agricultural land and other resources.

These people obviously constituting a vast majority were supposedly born to serve those who occupied land and its resources. The need to detach the Urdu language from its real geographical and social context, however, seems to be the reason why a supra-local origin was concocted for it. This produces such absurd genealogies that imagine a link between Dakani and Urdu to be more plausible than that between Urdu and the language employed by Kabir, Mirabai and Malik Mohammad Jaisi, for instance.

However, it has had some discernible consequences. Unmindful of the same process going on in every language in a natural way in the course of historical and political developments, it is claimed that Urdu contains words imported or derived from diverse sources such as Persian, Arabic, Portuguese, and even Hindi. This point is worth pondering. One is amused to see that these entries have been specified by the good Maulvi Sahib as Hindi-ul Asl "of Hindi origin".

No one seems to have ever raised the question: if such an overwhelmingly large part of the Urdu vocabulary has come from Hindi without any change, should these be treated as two separate languages or one and the same? This is apart from the more obvious and undeniable fact that the grammar as it appears in the construction of sentences and phrases is identical in Hindi and Urdu.

Also, the way we count is the same. And so forth. This important, decisive trend will be discussed later in this space. This article was originally published on Dawn.


Are Urdu and Hindi really two different languages?



Ilmi Urdu Lughat



Ilmi Urdu Lughat - Waris Sarhindi


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