5 Important Terms Related To The Topic Of Animal Rights Urdu – The Origin and History of the Language

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Urdu – The Origin and History of the Language

The term ‘Urdu’ and its origin

The term Urdu is derived from a Turkish word ordu meaning camp or army. Urdu language developed among the Muslim soldiers of the Mughal armies who belonged to various ethnicities such as Turks, Arabs, Persians, Pathans, Balochs, Rajputs, Jats and Afghans. These soldiers lived in close contact with each other and communicated in different dialects, which slowly and gradually evolved into present day Urdu. It is for this reason that Urdu is also called Lashkari Zaban or the language of the army.

During its development, the Urdu language also received various names such as the term Urdu-e-Maullah which means the exalted army which was given by the emperor Shah Jahan and the term Rekhta which means scattered (in Persian words) which was created by scholars on Urdu poetry.

History and Evolution of Urdu Language

The evolution and development of any language depends on the evolution and development of a society where that language is spoken. Various invasions and conquests in a country affect the development of its language. Urdu is no exception as it also went through various stages of development.

Urdu belongs to the Indo-Aryan family of languages. Urdu is originally considered to be a descendant of Saur Senic Prakrit. The term Prakrriti means root or base. It is a later version of Sanskrit. As the Prakrit language began to develop, it was influenced by the western Indian dialects of Khari Boli, Brij Bhasa and Haryanvi.

With the advent of Insha’s Darya-e-Latafat*, the need was felt to distinguish Urdu from other languages, especially Hindi. It became a Hindi-Urdu controversy and as a result Khari Boli and Devanagari became the identity of Indians while Urdu and Persian became the identity of Muslims. In this context, Persian and Arabic words replaced by Sanskrit served the purpose of differentiating Hindi from Urdu.

Urdu emerged as a distinct language after 1193 AD – the time of the Muslim conquest. When the Muslims conquered this part of the continent, they made Persian the official and cultural language of India. As a result of the fusion of the local dialects and the language of the invaders – which was either Persian, Arabic or Turkish, a new language developed which later became Urdu. During the reign of the Mughals, Urdu was spoken in the palace and court and till the end of the Mughal rule; Urdu was the official language of most Mughal states. This was the time when Urdu was Persianized and enriched with Persian words, phrases and even Persian scripts and grammar. With the arrival of the British, new English words also became part of the Urdu language. Many English words were accepted in their real form, while others were accepted after some modifications.

Currently, Urdu vocabulary contains approximately 70% of Persian words and the rest is a mixture of Arabic and Turkish words. However, there are also traces of French, Portuguese and Dutch in Urdu. But these influences are few.

Urdu was carried to other parts of the country by soldiers, saints and Sufis and by common people. As a result of political, social and cultural contacts between people of different speech and dialects, a mixed form of language called ‘Rekhta’ (Urdu and Persian in mixed form) was formed. Soon people started using the new language in speech and literature, which resulted in the enrichment of Urdu language and literature.

Urdu Literature

The origin of Urdu literature dates back to the 13th century in India during the Mughal rule. One of the most prominent early poets who used Urdu in his poetry is Amir Khusro, who can be called the father of Urdu language. In literature, Urdu was usually used alongside Persian. The Mughal kings were great patrons of art and literature and it was under their rule that the Urdu language reached its peak. There has been a tradition of ‘Sheri Mehfils’ (poetic gatherings) in the courts of kings. Abul Fazal Faizi and Abdul Rahim Khankhana were the famous Urdu poets of the Mughal court. Likewise, Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal, Hakim Momin, Ibrahim Zauq, Mir Taqi Mir, Sauda, ​​Ibn-e-Insha and Faiz Ahmed Faiz have contributed to the evolution of Urdu language through their literary works.

It is indeed true that Hindi and Urdu are descendants of the same language ie. Prakrit, but where Hindi was influenced by Sanskrit and adopted the Devanagri script, Urdu adopted words from the Persian, Turkish and Arabic languages ​​and adopted the Perso-Arabic and Nastaliq scripts. calligraphic style of writing and emerged as a separate language. But apart from the common ancestry, the two languages ​​are as different as can be. There are marked grammatical, phonological and lexical differences in both languages.

Urdu was also used as a tool by Muslims for freedom struggle and to create awareness among Muslim communities in South Asia to unite under the banner of Independence from the British Raj. For this, the services of Maulana Hali, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Allama Iqbal, who with their poetry and prose provoked the necessary spark in the life of the Muslims, stand out. Urdu was chosen to become the national language of Pakistan at the time of Independence from the British. Urdu is now the national language of Pakistan, spoken and fully understood by the majority of the population.

Notes:

* A book by Ibn-e-Insha, dealing with the phonetic and linguistic characteristics of Urdu and a variety of work formations and rhetorical expressions.

References:

1. George Cardona & Dhanesh Jain (eds). Indo-Aryan languages. Routledge Publishers. London. 2003.

2. Ram Babu Saksena. A History of Urdu Literature. Sind Sagar Academy. Lahore. 1975.

3. Dr. Tariq Rehman. Peoples and Languages ​​in the Pre-Islamic Indus Valley. [Online] [Cited 2009 April 4]. Available from: http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/scad/archivedwebsites/archivedwebsites/LanguagesInPreIslamicPakistan.htm

4. Mirza Khalil Ahmad Beg. Urdu Grammer: History and Structure. Bahri Publications. New Delhi. 1988.

5. Zoya Zaidi. Urdu: Language and Poetry. [Online] 2006 [Cited 2009 April 4]. Available from: http://www.sikhspectrum.com/082006/urdu.htm

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