Bhubaneswar,30/11/13- Merchant Association(BMA), Bhubaneswar has donated Rs.41,000/-(Rupees Forty one thousand) to Utkal Bipanna Sahayata Samiti (UBSS) towards cyclone & flood relief and rehabilitation work being carried out by the Samiti in different districts of Odisha. Sri Tanmay Mohapatra, Pranta Vidyalay Pramukh, RSS received the cheque from Sri Sudhakar Panda, Chief Advisor, BMA on behalf of UBSS. It is to be noted here that the association has also always come forward to help the people affected by natural calamities in the past. Sri Mansukh Lal Sethia, Secretary, UBSS gracefully acknowledged the receipt of the money and has thanked the President and the Secretary of BMA , Sri Sudhakar Panda, Chief Advisor & other members in their noble endeavor to help the distressed people of the state.
Indian Govt hasn’t learned any lesson from 9/11
Let me tell you about how easy it would have been for yet another commercial flight to be hijacked from an Indian airport that supposedly has the highest security measures in place.
Coastal security is as bad as it was in 2008.
Tavleen Singh27 Nov 2013
Two things occurred on the fifth anniversary of 26/11 that came as a frightening reminder that India remains as vulnerable to jihadi terrorism as it was in 2008. On the grim anniversary of the worst ever terrorist attack on Indian soil, I happened to finish reading The Seige: the attack on the Taj, and coincidentally that same day took a flight from Srinagar to Delhi. Before I tell you about what is unquestionably the best book written on the Mumbai attack let me tell you about how easy it would have been for yet another commercial flight to be hijacked from an Indian airport that supposedly has the highest security measures in place.
We arrived two hours early at Srinagar airport because we were told to prepare for exceptionally tight security and many baggage checks. I was travelling with a British friend of Pakistani origin, Nadira Naipaul, and so, we got there even earlier than we technically needed to. The first checkpoint was before we got to the terminal and we duly dismounted from our taxi and walked through metal detectors and manual checks while our bags were X-rayed.
When we got to the terminal there were two more checks before we got to the departure lounge. At the second of these, I was ordered to empty the contents of my two handbags and a policewoman opened and carefully examined everything in them including a compact and a box of Kashmiri saffron.
After several minutes of close inspection, she triumphantly confiscated a pair of tweezers. Meanwhile, Nadira sailed through with a matchbox, a bottle of water and a tube of toothpaste in her bag. She carried these on to the plane despite a third security check just before we boarded. My point is that nothing has been done in the past two decades to train airport security staff so all they do is go through the motions of random checks. Think of how dangerous that is.
Does this explain why so little has been done to improve national security in the past decade of UPA rule?
Now, let me tell you about the excellent book that Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark have written on the Mumbai attack. Incidentally, there have been no more than a handful of books written by Indian journalists on this attack and they have been mostly about conspiracy theories so bizarre that one of them is called ’26/11: an RSS plot’
. When this book came out, it was released by Rahul Gandhi’s political mentor, Digvijay Singh who happens to be one of the most important officials of the Congress. Does this explain why so little has been done to improve national security in the past decade of UPA rule? It partly does because Digvijay Singh is not the only Congress leader who has gone out of his way to underplay the role played by jihadists and Pakistan in terrorist attacks on Indian soil.
Rahul Gandhi has himself, according to Wikileaks, admitted to an American ambassador that Hindu terrorists were the real threat to India’s security. For this alone, may I recommend that The Seige be made compulsory reading for members of the Congress.
The book provides a detailed, vivid and terrifying account of what happened in Mumbai when it was put under siege by 10 Pakistani youths who were given orders by their handlers in Pakistan to kill whoever they saw and destroy whatever they could. The book gives details of the role of the ISI in the planning of an attack that in fact amounted to an undeclared war on India. And it gives details of David Headley’s role in providing the terrorists with video material gathered on his many trips to Mumbai. But, in my view, it is not these things that are important. We know that Pakistan is using jihadi terrorism to continue its long war against India and there have already been enough details about what Headley did.
For me, the most important part of this book is the details it provides about the criminal incompetence of the Mumbai police during the attack and the criminal incompetence of the Government of India in transporting black commandos from Delhi to Mumbai. The NSG commandos were ready to deploy within 20 minutes of the first shots being fired in the Leopold Café but did not get to Mumbai till 5.30 am on November 27 because the highest officials in the land were so utterly incompetent. The Cabinet Secretary took more than an hour to give orders for deployment and then could not find a transport plane to bring the commandos to Mumbai and the criminal incompetence continued after they landed in the city.
Can you believe that there was no transport at Mumbai airport except a convoy of white ambassadors to convey the Home Secretary. Meanwhile, the four terrorists in the Taj continued to hunt down and kill terrified guests and hotel staff. The same thing was happening in the Oberoi Hotel and in Chabad House so hundreds of lives were lost because the Government of India’s logistical problems.
This is why nothing changes-
You do not need me to tell you that no officials or police officers have been punished for their incompetence. You do not need me to tell you that the so-called inquiry commissions made no effort at all to analyse why it took so long for the Mumbai police to act or why it took nearly 12 hours for the commandos to get to Mumbai. You do not need me to tell you that no officials of the Maharashtra Government have been punished either. These are things that never happen in India and this is why nothing changes. As someone who lives next door to the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai I can tell you that it would be just as easy for trained terrorists to attack again.
As someone who travels frequently by boat to Alybaug, I can tell you that coastal security is as bad as it was in 2008. When you get off in Alybaug now you see metal detectors that sometimes work and sometimes a policeman orders me to open my handbag so he can inspect its contents but in much the same way as the policewoman did in Srinagar. Out of curiosity rather than a serious concern about security. If you keep in mind that jihadi terrorism could be the only war that India will need to fight in this century you see how frightening this is. The Sonia-Manmohan Government has failed in many ways but nowhere more dangerously than it has on national security and we only talk about this when this awful anniversary comes around once a year.
More Indians are feeling the gloom of a faltering economy, a global poll has suggested, with as many as one in every four rating their lives poorly enough to be classified as ‘suffering’. “Suffering” has more than doubled in recent years as Indians begin to have a grim outlook on the
future as well, according to US-based research firm Gallup’s report. The firm interviewed 5,000 adult Indians in 2012 as part of a total of 230,083 people surveyed across the world.
“Average suffering in India more than doubled between 2006 to 2008 and 2010 to 2012. In 2012, a full quarter of Indians were suffering,” Gallup’s statement said.
The research firm classified respondents to the survey as “thriving,” “struggling,” or “suffering” according to how they rated their current lives and future prospects on a scale of zero to 10.
The trend had a ripple effect across South Asia — which led the world in suffering — owing to India’s strong economic ties with its neighbours, research firm Gallup said in a statement.
“The significant deterioration in Indians’ wellbeing is likely to be rooted in the country’s disappointing economic performance,” the statement added.
Economic growth sunk from 9.4% in the first quarter of 2010 to 4.4% in the second quarter of 2013, the worst quarterly rate since 2002 and data on Friday is expected to show growth still below 5%, despite efforts by the scandal-tainted
Union government to revive the economy.
According to Gallup, suffering on average has increased worldwide in recent years. As many as 14% rated their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering in 2012, up from 11% in 2006-08.
South Asia topped the regions for suffering, with the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa tied for second-place with 21%.
“Suffering in the (South Asian) region has increased enormously since the beginning of the global financial crisis, averaging 12% between 2006 and 2008, and 22% between 2010 and 2012,” Gallup said.
Gallup said the poll’s margin of error was less than one percentage point.
Australia and New Zealand were the countries considered most thriving, with just 2% of their population seen as suffering.
The survey comes after a political row in India over how to accurately measure poverty, with the government issuing figures in August showing poverty has been slashed by a third since 2004.
The government said 138 million Indians had emerged from poverty between the fiscal years 2004/05 and 2011/12, leaving the official number of poor at 269 million.
The World Bank in a recent report said India has the greatest share of the world’s poorest — one-third living on $1.25 a day or less — or 400 million.
Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.-A court in Puducherry on Wednesday acquitted all the accused, including Kanchi seers Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi, in the sensational Sankararaman murder case.
Besides the seers, arraigned as accused 1 and accused 2 respectively in the murder of A Sankararaman, Manager of the Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram district, 21 other accused were also acquitted by Puducherry Principal District and Sessions Judge C S Murugan.
सत्यमेव जयते नानृतं
सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः |
यत्र तत् सत्यस्य परमं निधानम् ||६||
Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.
Through truth the divine path is spread out
by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach
where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.
Sankararaman murder case: Timeline
September 3, 2004: A Sankararaman, manager of the Sri Varadharajaswamy temple in Kancheepuram is found murdered on the temple premises. An armed gang is believed to have murdered him.
November 11, 2004: Senior seer Jayendra Saraswathi is arrested from Mehboobnagar, Andhra Pradesh.
January 10, 2005: Junior seer Vijayendra Saraswathi is arrested
September 3, 2004 to January 10, 2005: Twenty-four persons, including the two seers and two other mutt officials and brother of the junior seer, are arrested
January 10, 2005: Jayendra Saraswati is granted bail
February 10, 2005: Vijayendra Saraswati gets bail
October 26, 2005: The Supreme Court transfers the case from a Chengalpet court to a Puducherry court on a special leave petition filed by the senior seer. On his plea, the apex court orders appointment of public prosecutor from Puducherry to conduct the trial
November 27, 2005: Trial begins
November 2005 to November 2013: A total of 187 witnesses are examined and re-examined by the prosecution and defence counsels. Eighty-two witnesses and a lone approver, Ravi Subramanian, turn hostile
November 2005 to November 2013: Four judges, Chinnapandi, D Krishnaraja, T Ramasamy and C S Murugan, hear the case
August, 2011: Madras HC stays trial after a petition alleges attempts to influence case
November, 2011: A district judge submits report to the registrar general (vigilance) on the allegation
February, 2012: HC replaces judge T Ramasamy with C S Murugan
August, 2012: A local court directs the authorities concerned to hand over copies of audio and video cassettes of the case proceedings to Anand Sharma following a petition
August 2012: The Madras high court stays a lower court order to provide copies to Anand Sharma following a petition by one of the accused people M Kathiravan
March, 2013: M Kathiravan murdered
November 12, 2013: Principal district and sessions court announces that the verdict will be pronounced on November 27
November 27, 2013: Principal district and sessions court acquits all accused, including Kanchi seers.
Meanwhile, studies by the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), Karnal, have established the superiority of A2 milk in Indian breeds. In a detailed study scanning 22 desi breeds recently, it found A2 allele to be 100 per cent available in the five high-yielding milk breeds – Red Sindhi, Gir, Rathi, Shahiwal and Tharparkar. In the remaining breeds, the availability of A2 allele gene was 94 per cent.
Comparatively, in the exotic breeds Jersey and Holstein Friesian, the availability of A2 allele gene was only 60 per cent.
– Devindar Sharma, 11 Nov 2013
If only these children were to be given A2 milk to drink
Sale of healthy A2 milk in Britain and Ireland has reached £ 1 million in just one year after its launch. A2 milk is now available in 1000 stores across UK and Ireland, including big retailers like Tesco, Morrison and Co-op.
In Australia and New Zealand, A2 milk is now the fastest growing with a share of 8 per cent of the milk market, the sales increasing by 57 per cent in a year.
This is not a promotion for yet another brand of milk. A2 is actually a beta-casein protein in the milk – A2 allele gene – that makes milk healthy and nutritious. What makes it more significant and relevant for us is that all domestic cow and buffalo breeds – often labeled as desi – contain A2 allele gene.
In other words, 100 per cent of milk of desi cattle breeds contains the A2 allele making it richer in nutrients and much healthier than the milk of exotic cattle breeds.
If you are not drinking A2 milk, the chances are that in the long term you are likely to suffer from allergies, diabetes, obesity and cardio-vascular diseases. While the exotic cattle breeds may be producing higher milk but because of the concentration of A1 allele gene in their bodies, the milk they produce is much inferior in quality. As per a report in The Telegraph, London, the commonly consumed milk contains A1 allele leading to allergies, causing bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and constipation.
Accordingly, a study published last month in the scientific journal Infant has linked A1 milk with increased risk of type 1 diabetes in some infants, adverse immune responses, digestive disorders and respiratory dysfunction. It is primarily for the health advantages that A2 milk offers that singer Dannii Minogue, who was faced with digestive disorders, has now become a brand ambassador for the A2 milk.
In Australia and New Zealand, the sale of A2 milk has zipped beyond expectations, raising the share market for Freedom Foods, one of the best performing dairy companies. Pepsi Foods too has been on the forefront, and now plans to take A2 milk to the European market outside Britain. Meanwhile, China too has emerged as a strong market for A2 milk after the scandal surrounding the sale of spurious baby milk powder some years back. It is expected, China’s intake of A2 milk in the rapidly growing infant food market will double by 2020.
Meanwhile, studies by the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), Karnal, have established the superiority of A2 milk in Indian breeds. In a detailed study scanning 22 desi breeds recently, it found A2 allele to be 100 per cent available in the five high-yielding milk breeds – Red Sindhi, Gir, Rathi, Shahiwal and Tharparkar. In the remaining breeds, the availability of A2 allele gene was 94 per cent. Comparatively, in the exotic breeds Jersey and Holstein Friesian, the availability of A2 allele gene was only 60 per cent.
Although a lot of excitement was expressed some months back, when Pakistan gifted a high-yielding Nili-Ravi buffalo to the visiting deputy chief minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal, it is high time Punjab takes a lead in promoting and making available A2 milk. With an average consumption of about 944 grams per day, Punjab does top the chart as far as milk intake in concerned. But it is the quality of the milk that should now be the hallmark of every dairy development expansion plan.
The economic cost of promoting desi breeds, even if the Indian domestic breeds are relatively low producing compared to some of the exotic breeds, is relatively much higher given the health advantages, especially in a population where diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, allergies, digestive disorders are on an upswing. Since A2 milk builds up immunity, it certainly offers a big advantage over the commonly sold milk. Punjabis would be willing to pay a premium if the Milkfed begins to sell A2 milk in pouches. At the same time, promotion for A2 milk will help farmers shift to traditional breeds which very well integrate with natural farming systems. Promotion of A2 milk will also make hundreds of gaushalas spread across the State turn
The shape of things to come. Food riot in Bengal.
Veggies on fire, villagers loot 3 bazaars in Malda
Subhro Maitra, TNN | Nov 13, 2013, 06.15 AM IST
MALDA: Like the ration riots that singed Bengal in 2007, anger over price rise seems to be spreading like wildfire. People looted three more weekly haats in Malda on Tuesday, triggering panic among vegetable traders who have threatened to call a strike unless they get police protection.
Those who looted Dharampur , Achintola and Balupur bazaars on Tuesday are ordinary people driven to desperation by the unbridled rise in vegetable prices. It’s also an indication that the government has failed to restore confidence among buyers.
On Monday, villagers had looted the Sovanagar haat in Malda after a quarrel with potato sellers who refused to sell at the government rate of Rs 13 a kg. The fire spread to Dharampur with people ransacking stalls and running off with all the vegetables they could lay their hands on. The administration, which had brushed off the Sovanagar looting, tried to play down the Dharampur incident as well, calling it a mere scuffle between a seller and some customers . “Some potatoes and spinach were snatched, which was blown out of proportion ,” said an official.
Traders reacted angrily, accusing the administration of being ignorant or deliberately suppressing the looting. While the blame-game was on, two more haats – Achintola and Balupur in Ratua – were looted. A worried administration has called a meeting on Wednesday.
Vegetables worth 4 lakh looted in Malda
The trigger in Dharampur was the same as Sovanagar – potato being sold at Rs 20. Newly harvested potato was selling for a whopping Rs 60 a kilo and onion at Rs 80. Even the humble kochu (yam) was priced at Rs 45 per kg and raw banana at Rs 5 a piece. To top it all, there was little of everything. People flew into a rage and started looting the market. Some sellers began to hide their goods but the frenzied mob snatched everything. Even bundles of spinach were torn from hand to hand. It was a free for all.
Police from Manikchak reached around 9.30am but there wasn’t anything left. Traders alleged that vegetables worth Rs 2-3 lakh were looted. In Balupur and Achintola , the loss was Rs 1 lakh each. Worryingly, clashes broke out at Achintola, and police had to lathicharge the looters.
SP Kalyan Mukherjee said police are trying to hold negotiations to clear the “misunderstanding between sellers and buyers” . District magistrate G Kiran Kumar was not willing to acknowledge the lootings as “big incidents” . “They were blown out of proportion . We have already taken measures to keep prices in check and have opened two stalls in each block for selling vegetables. We have decided to convene a meeting between the administration, Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce and police on the present unrest. Ministers will also be present in the meeting,” Kumar said. Additional DM Nilkamal Biswas said BDOs have been asked to monitor the village haats personally.
Jayanta Kundu, secretary of Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce, said, “The administration is sitting idle on the crisis of traders. Retailers and wholesalers are scared after a series of hooliganism. If this goes on we’ll have to stop business in the district.”
The murder of linguistic history — III
By Dr Tariq Rahman
Published: August 6, 2011
The writer is Distinguished National Professor Emeritus of Linguistic History firstname.lastname@example.org
School textbooks in both India and Pakistan call Urdu a mixed language (khichri boli) which began during Akbar’s time (1556-1605). Some even fix Shahjahan’s rule (1628-1658) as the time of its emergence. This is surprising since a number of scholars in both countries — Hafiz Sheerani, Masood Hasan Khan, Abdul Haq, Jamil Jalibi, Gian Chand Jain, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi and Gopi Chand Narang to name only a few — have quoted and even edited works of the ancestor of the language going back to the 15th century. However, the writers of children’s textbooks never seem to correct themselves. This article is meant to correct this misperception so that it becomes clear that Urdu is an ancient language and not an upstart pidgin as some people would have us believe.
This fiction probably comes from Meer Amman Dehlavi who, in the preface of Bagh-o-Bahar (1801), asserts that it was in Akbar’s reign that people speaking different languages came together and Urdu was created. This proposition is wrong on both counts. First, Urdu is not a pidgin language which came together simply because people came together to conduct business and, secondly, it is about a thousand years old, not only four hundred years old which would be the case counting from around the time when Akbar ruled.
A pidgin is a ‘reduced language’ which comes into being when people speaking two (or more) languages interact with each other. It is nobody’s mother tongue but is simply an expedient and immediate medium of communication. The ancestor of Urdu was a fully formed language in the 12th century and it picked up words of Persian, Arabic and Turkish. This is not the process of pidginisation, it is the process of lexical borrowing. And all the world’s great languages borrow words in exactly the same manner. This is a normal process and the Indic ancestor — call it Prakrit or Apabhramsa or whatever —went through the same process.
But was this ancestor Sanskrit. The evidence is that it was not. The classical theory is that it was one of the many daughters of Sanskrit. The dissident view is that it was a local language which existed before Sanskrit entered South Asia. It could be a Dravidian or Munda or some other language. However, words of Sanskrit and other languages must have been found in this parent of modern Urdu-Hindi. Unfortunately, samples of this putative parent are no longer available.
In 1942, Pitambar Datta Barthwal compiled the Gorakh Bani which, he said, contains verses from the 11th century in the Devanagari script. In a sample I have used in my book From Hindi to Urdu (2011), 23 words out of 67 are intelligible to speakers of modern Urdu. Modern Hindi speakers will understand more words because they know more words of Sanskrit. But, since this is a religious text, it has more words from Sanskrit. However, the major problem is that these verses were collected together in the 16th century so we cannot be sure exactly which words crept into this oral literature in the four hundred years that followed. Yet another text, again in the Devanagari script, comes from the royal courts of Rajasthan (1172). It goes something like this: “O janana me thari….. (and in the harem you and your …..)” Later there are words like javega (will go); devega (will give); pardhan (chief) etc. Now we come to words of the ancestor of Urdu-Hindi in the Perso-Arabic script. These occur in Persian books and are called ‘ba zuban-e-Hindi’. Amir Khusrau (1253-1324) says that he gave some verses in ‘Hindi’ to his friends (juzve chand nazm-e-hindvi nez nazre dostan karda shuda ast) but the specimens now available — despite the assertions of so great an authority as Gopi Chand Narang — date from the 18th century. However, from the 14th century we do have actual words. For instance, in Hamid Qalandar’s Khairul Majalis we find ‘tu kartar nahi’ (you are not omnipotent) and ‘jo mundasa bandhe so pae pasre (he who wears the turban falls at the feet) and other words.
A complete poem called Masnavi Kadam Rao Padam Rao was written by Fakhar Din Nizami between 1430-1435. However, this has words of South Indian languages and obsolete words too, so it is difficult to understand. Let us remember that Chaucer lived between 1340-1400 and his Canterbury Tales is not fully intelligible to the modern reader of English. Yet, it is called a Middle English text. So there is no reason not to call Kadam Rao anything but an Urdu-Hindi text.
But if you want an even more intelligible text — not only a few lines — there is Bayazid Ansari’s (1526-1574) Khairul Bayan. Probably written in 1560, the text, though only three pages of it survive in the Perso-Arabic script — is perfectly comprehensible to us in India and Pakistan. But by the 16th century there were works in Gujrat, Deccan and elsewhere which would require volumes to be dealt with. Let me refer, however, to two major writers in the Devanagari script because so few Pakistanis know them. These are the poems of Kabir Das (1440-1518) and Sur Das (1478-1581). Kabir wrote in old Avadhi but both his and Sur Das’s lines are intelligible. The other texts normally quoted by scholars are in old forms of Khari Boli. But the works of Kabir etc are included in the canon of Urdu-Hindi on the assumption that all the varieties of a great, unstandardised language from the Khyber to the Bengal are forms of our great languages Urdu and modern Hindi.
But all these varieties did not get equally Persianised. The Khari Boli variety got more Persianised — and Sanskritised too as we shall see — till it came to be called Urdu. So both Urdu and Hindi are ancient languages and, despite borrowings from many languages including English, Urdu remains a South Asian language. It is at least a thousand years old; not merely a few hundred years old. [For those who want details, references and samples see my book From Hindi to Urdu: A Social and Political History (Karachi Oxford University Press and Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2011)].
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011
(A TRUE STORY ON PAKISTHAN)
Read any textbook for children and you will be told that the word ‘Urdu’ means ‘military camp’ or ‘cantonment’ in Turkish.
While the word Ordo — from which comes the English word ‘horde’ — does, indeed, mean ‘military camp’ in Turkish, this is not the only name for the ancestor of the language we now call Urdu. Indeed, the oldest name for this common ancestor of both present-day Urdu and Hindi was Hindi, Hindvi and sometimes Hindui.
…. The term ‘Hindi’ was not used only for the ancestor of modern Hindi and Urdu. It was used vaguely by Persian writers for all languages of India (Hind).
By Dr Tariq Rahman
Published: July 23, 2011
The writer is Distinguished National Professor Emeritus of Linguistic History email@example.com
Read any textbook for children and you will be told that the word ‘Urdu’ means ‘military camp’ or ‘cantonment’ in Turkish. The inference will be that Urdu is a military language (lashkari zuban). This is explained further in some books by the supposition that Urdu was born in the Mughal military camps, where soldiers speaking different languages came together for martial purposes.
While the word Ordo — from which comes the English word ‘horde’ — does, indeed, mean ‘military camp’ in Turkish, this is not the only name for the ancestor of the language we now call Urdu. Indeed, the oldest name for this common ancestor of both present-day Urdu and Hindi was Hindi, Hindvi and sometimes Hindui. For those who want to know the details of this should read chapter two of my book From Hindi to Urdu: A social and Political History (OUP, 2011). For others, let me give an outline of what schoolchildren are never told.
The term ‘Hindi’ was not used only for the ancestor of modern Hindi and Urdu. It was used vaguely by Persian writers for all languages of India (Hind). Even today, the census of India uses it in two ways: First, for Sanskritised Hindi, which is the modern, Sanskritised form of Khari Boli, patronised officially in India. And, secondly, for all the area-bound varieties (dialects) of the Hindi belt such as Awadhi, Braj, Bhasha, Bhojpuri etc.
So, after reading many sources, it emerges that the ancestor of Urdu and Hindi was called by the following names: Hindi, Hindvi (13th-19th century); Dehlavi (13th-14th c.); Gujri (15th c.); Dakhani (15th-18th c.); Indostan (17th c.); Moors (18th c.); Rekhta (18th-19th c.); Hindustani (18th-20th c.).
The term Urdu to refer to this language was first used, at least in existing written records, in 1780 by poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi (1750-1824). Before Mushafi, the term Zuban-e-Urdu-e-Mualla (the language of the Exalted City) was used for the Persianised language of the Mughal capitals Agra and Delhi.
Later the term was shortened to only ‘Urdu’. Let us also remember that the word ‘Urdu’ in the Persian sources of India did not mean ‘military camp’ but only ‘city,’ and generally the capital city of the empire. Its origin is not military but urban; not soldiering but urbanisation and sophistication; not the battlefield but the hustle and bustle of life, especially life in the courts of kings.
All living languages pick up new words just as we have witnessed with English words — brake, accelerator, clutch, thermometer etc — becoming a part of all our languages. In the same way, all the varieties of a large language stretching all the way from Peshawar to Behar picked up Persian, Arabic and some Turkish words when the Turkish, Pathans and Iranian soldiers, merchants, holy men, scholars, poets, adventurers and bureaucrats came to India. It is my guess that some variety around Delhi (Khari Boli) picked up more such words than others and was taken by the functionaries of the state to Gujrat, Deccan, the urban centres of Awadh and other areas. It is this language which was called by the different names given above. We know about these names because scholars used them. Amir Khusrau (1253-1325) did not call all languages ‘Hindi’. He mentions Sindhi, Lahori (Punjabi), Kashmiri and nine other languages but mentions Hindi as the language around Delhi since ancient times. Abul Fazal, writing in 1590, mentions many languages, including one of Delhi.
The terms ‘Indostan’ and ‘Moors’ were used by Englishmen in India. English traveller Edward Terry, who came to India in 1615, called it the popular language of the Mughal Empire. And popular it must have been because in Kuniguram, Waziristan, Bayazid Ansari (1526-1574) wrote a religious book called Khairul Bayan around 1560 in four languages: Arabic, Persian, Afghan (Pashto) and Hindi. This ‘Hindi’ is written in the Perso-Arabic script and can be understood by anyone who can understand Urdu and Hindi.
The term ‘Moors’ was used by Englishman and one called George Hadley wrote a grammar of it in 1772. But both these terms went out of fashion and the British commonly used the term ‘Hindustani’ for the language which they wrote in the Devanagari, Perso-Arabic and the Roman (English) scripts. Indeed, the army even had a newspaper for soldiers and also orders were given to soldiers in the Roman script.
Similarly the terms ‘Gujri’, ‘Dakhini’ and ‘Rekhta’ went out of fashion by the late 18th century. Hindustani was recorded in British census reports and used by Englishmen in India but disappeared after 1947 as Urdu and Hindi took its place.
Nowadays we use the term ‘Urdu’ for Persianised Khari Boli written in the Perso-Arabic script and Hindi for Sanskritised Khari Boli written in the Devanagari script.
But when we give the false history of the name of ‘Urdu’ from Turkish and call it a military language, we are not only just plain wrong, but also divisive and anti-peace. Instead, let us teach our children that, despite this name, Urdu does not have a military origin.
In India, as Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, one of the greatest scholars of Urdu literature, points out, this myth creates a feeling of guilt in the Urdu-speaking community. That is why Syed Sulaiman Nadvi wanted the name Urdu, which is the latest name for this language, to be abandoned even in 1939 when he wanted the Muslims and Hindus to unite to obtain freedom.
But the name cannot be abandoned now. It is invested with the emotion and love of about two centuries. What is possible is that people should be told that the ancestor of present-day Urdu and Hindi was one and it had many names. That, for at least five hundred years, this ancestor was mostly called ‘Hindi’— even when it was also called Dehlavi, Gujri, Dakhini, Rekhta etc — and that the Persianisation and Sanskritisation of it occurred during the 18th and the 19th centuries respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2011.