Contents: Urdu in contemporary India: Predicaments and Promises (Issue 33)
Posts tagged ‘Urdu’
By Fahad Hashmi
The fact that the first great novel in Urdu was penned by Pandit Ratan Nath Sarshar, and Pandit Nawal Kishore’s publishing house produced the largest archive of Urdu books is enough to prove that Urdu didn’t ever exclusively belong to Muslims.
By Tabish Khair
To transcribe Urdu into Devnagari will give a new lease of life to its literature. The major Urdu writer, Abdus Samad, once told me, when asked about the readership of contemporary Urdu fiction in India, that perhaps the only serious readers left are those who write fiction in Urdu themselves. I am sure this sad situation would change if Urdu literature was made available in Devnagari.
By Rakhshanda Jalil
Looking back, it seems as though I had tasted blood after translating that one Premchand short story. Within a year, in October 1992 to be precise, I had published a collection of 10 short stories by Premchand with Harper Collins. Called The Temple and the Mosque, it was a slim book with a short, a very short introductory note, called rather self-effacingly, ‘Translator’s Note’.
By Soheb Niazi
These literary traditions that are informed by a broader Urdu cultural ethos can prove immensely vital in (re)imagining new visions that are democratic, universal, and transformative. The role of takhayyul (imagination) is central to many works which emphasize the creative and transformatory potential of the Urdu literary tradition.
By Ikramul Haque
The last three decades of the nineteenth century were crucial as far as the development of Urdu historiography is concerned. This period was marked by the emergence of a number of socio-religious reform movements as well as the nationalist struggle to free India from the colonial power. The predominant concern of Muslims during this period was to establish Islam as a scientific religion compatible with progress, western notions of liberty and modernity as well as to uplift socio-economic conditions of Muslims. Besides, the assault of Orientalist scholarship on Islam and its intellectual and cultural heritage had increased tremendously during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. These anxieties shaped the nature of Muslim Urdu writers’ engagement with the historical past.
By Arif Hayat Nairang
Urdu finds a peculiar location in the socio-political life-world of Kashmiris. It is not the language of mourning but that of engagement with power in its different forms. Thus, we can say that Kashmir has engaged with power on its own terms, on its own ‘surface’ and in its own language. It can’t be localized or restricted to an experimental zone of power. It escapes the condition imposed upon it. It opens the floodgates to excess and a possibility through a haunted mode of subjectivity that finds one more expression as women march out in Delhi to take back the night.
By Afaque Haider
I also came across the practice of lifafa journalism. This particular term is used for bribing news reporters for getting the coverage of one’s choice. Azizul Hind could not pay enough to its reporters and stringers for their hard work. The paper could not stop this practice given its financial constraints. Though it is a wrong practice in journalism, it cannot be curbed for sure.
By Sadia Hashmi
During leisure, we used to play baitbazi in school. Whenever we were asked, “Kitne roze rakhe?” (How many days did you fast?) during the month of Ramazan, we would respond in Ghalib’s words: “Ek na rakha” (which carried the dual meaning that either we did not keep one or we kept all but one). We used to watch a serial on Doordarshan about Ghalib’s life.
By Irfanullah Farooqi
There is a full-fledged tradition within Islam called the Akhlaq tradition wherein the focus is on attainment of a virtuous soul that is at complete rest. Tehzeebul Akhlaq, therefore, is an extraordinary construct that can be best translated as The Correction of Dispositions. While one could use refinement instead of correction, the way in which stages of development/progress are understood in refinement does not convey the essence. When we use correction, it implies a very clear assertion on the sheer need of perpetual movement.