Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Proverbial Tower Of Babel (Bruegel)

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 14 March 2023 It's a Matter of Pity That Both the Structurally Identical Languages Have Been Pitted Against Each Other Just Because Of Their Different Scripts; While Hindi Follows Devnagari Script, Urdu Follows Nastaliq ------ Mr Prakhar's article, ' The Philosophy Of Hindi-Urdu Debate, ' hits the nail on the head. All those who're genuinely interested in languages and are concerned about the decline in this sphere, must read this article and also mull over it. Overwhelmed by the marauding march of English in all sections and sectors of life, Hindi, Urdu and regional languages have suffered a serious setback. American linguist Noam Chomsky observed in his essay ' Politics of language,' that ' a language may thrive in a healthy competitive linguistic milieu but when languages are pitted against each other and discriminated against, a socially powerful language swallows relatively less powerful tongues however structurally strong they may be.' This has happened in the case of Hindi and Urdu. English has engulfed both. But if you closely study the predicament of these two languages (Hindi and Urdu), there're other politico-ethnic factors as well that have nothing to do with the linguistic nuances and intricacies. Hindu India dovetailed Urdu with the Muslims. Just because of Urdu's Rasmul-Khat (script), which is Nastaliq and based on Arabo-Persian script, Urdu became a language of the Muslims. This is an extremely flawed notion. It's a matter of pity that both the structurally identical languages have been pitted against each other just because of their different scripts. While Hindi follows Devnagari script, Urdu follows Nastaliq. It doesn't mean that Urdu should be written in Devnagari to bridge this gap. That will be tantamount to blasphemy. Both the tongues must follow their respective scripts but as Mr Prakhar pointed out, how many people are acquainted with the Urdu script? I'm afraid, even many Muslims don't know how to read and write Urdu. Almost the same dismal fate has befallen Hindi. People cannot write Hindi either. The country has become the proverbial Biblical Tower of Babel (Bruegel). A plethora of languages, but none spoken clearly and correctly. Mistakes are galore in all tongues. Urdu's ' Paivast' has become ' Paibast', 'Jahannam ' is written and enunciated as 'Jahannum', 'Alfaaz' has become 'alfaazon' ('Alfaaz' is the plural of 'Lafz'). We say 'Jazbaaton' instead of just 'Jazbaat.' Even Urdu teachers write 'Pashopesh' (dilemma) in lieu of 'Pasopesh' or 'Peshopas.' It came from Persian in which 'Pas' (‘back’, e.g, Pasmanzar/background) and 'Pesh' (ahead/forth: Peshgi Raqam; Peshqadmi) are combined together to make: 'Pas-o-Pesh' or 'Peshopas' (rare but correct just like Raat-Din/Din-Raat). So, 'Pashopesh' is completely incorrect. But who cares? In northern India, the Hindi word 'Kripaya' becomes 'Kripya' ! Command OF English/language becomes Command OVER...., People are 'expired' here instead of passing away/on! An object or thing is expired, not humans! Unless we care for our languages and take pains and efforts to write and speak them correctly, all languages will lose their significance erelong. ------ A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: https://newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/tower-babel-bruegel-urdu-hindi/d/129316 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

No comments:

Post a Comment