FC College Lecture discusses Urdu’s social, political history

LAHORE:11 April: A lecture exploring the idea of ‘From Hindi to Urdu: A Social and Political History’ was organised by the Forman Christian College (FCC) departments of history and English on Tuesday.

The lecture was delivered by Beaconhouse National University’s School of Humanities Dean Prof Tariq Rahman and was based on his most recent book. LSE Centre for Humanities Director Shahid Siddiqi, Dean of Humanities Professor Waseem Anwar, Assistant Professor of History Yaqoob Bangish and a large number of students were also present on the occasion.

The purpose of the lecture was to make the students understand the history and social and political complications in the formation of a language that was now the lingua franca of Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor Shahid Siddiqi said that language was not a benign issue and had a lot of political connotations. He pointed out that Dr Rahman’s book was remarkable in that it captured, from tenth century onwards, the linguistic, social, as well as political journey of the common language of northern India.

Meanwhile, Dr Rahman said that the book debunked a lot of myths related to the Urdu language, its origins and evolvement. He argued that Urdu was not simply a “lashkari (army) language” and as a matter of fact the word ‘Urdu’ was used for the capital of the monarch in its Indian usage, even though its Turkish meaning was “camp”.

Rahman also pointed out that Urdu was the most recent name of the common language of north India, and that its antecedents were variously called Hindi, Hindavi, Rekhta, etc. He traced the history of the separation of this common language to the de-Sanskritisation and Perso-Arabisation of the language by the Muslim elite, beginning in the 1750’s and strengthening during the British rule.Daily Times.

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