Urdu sites ko Hindi me padho

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piyush

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Jun 13, 2007, 11:23:21 AM6/13/07
to in...@bhomiyo.com
Ab aap apani urdu site ko Hindi me publish kar sakte hai - ya to fir
koi Urdu site ko Hindi me padh sakte hai...

Agar aapaki site ka address hai: bbc.co.uk/urdu
To use Hindi me padhane ke liya direct link hai:
http://bhomiyo.com/uxh.xliterate/bbc.co.uk/urdu

ye aap koi bhi site ke liye aajama sakte ho. Hindi bloggers sab apani
site isi tarah Roman Hindi me publish karate hai, jisse Urdu bolane
vale use aasani se padh sake or samaj sake.

Agar aapako koi taklif/sujhav hai to yahan pe de: http://bhomiyo.wordpress.com

Naseer

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Jun 13, 2007, 4:40:45 PM6/13/07
to

Piyush Jii, namaste,

maiN ne aap ke bataae hue link kii "sair" kii hai awr mujhe afsos se
kahnaa paRtaa hai kih jo kuchh maiN ne devanaagrii meN paRhaa, vuh
Urdu zabaan nahiiN hai balkih koii awr hii zabaan hai. jis kisii ne
(yaa jis kampiuuTar prograam ne) Urdu ko Hindi likhaaii meN tabdiil
kiyaa hai, bahut hii GHalatiyoN ke saath kiyaa hai. merii Haqiir raae
meN jin logoN ko Urdu paRhnaa nahiiN aataa awr jin kii Urdu qadre kam-
zor hai, vuh is qism kii Urdu paRh kar Urdu alfaaz ke baare meN GHalat
natiijah bhii nikaal sakte haiN.

misaal ke taur par pahlii surKHii meN lafz "eskarii" likhaa huaa hai
ba-jaae " 'askarii"...phir us ke niiche

hakaam should be Hukkaam
mataabaq " " mutaabiq


us ke niiche vaalii surKhii meN likhaa hai..

chiif jasTiis metal nahiiN ho sakte...

ya'nii

chiif jasTis mu'attal nahiiN ho sakte....

I could go on and on...


aap ne ek awr jagah likhaa hai...

"Also, Urdu does not have consistent way of using vowels in the words
so converting in Hindi is not error free. Hence, you can help by
suggesting correct Hindi words by clicking on...".

No, this is not true. Urdu *does" have a consistent way of using
vowels! It consistently does not use the short vowels "a", "i" and
"u". But we who know Urdu KNOW that the word "hkaam" is not "hakaam"
bit is "Hukkaam" meaning "authorities" or "rulers".

Best Wishes,

Naseer


piyush

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Jun 13, 2007, 11:11:25 PM6/13/07
to
Dear Naseer ji,

Ye ek urdu ko hindi me padhane ka pratham prayas hai or usame galatiya
hai use mein swikar karata hun. Isi liye maine online word list rakha
taki sab galatiya sudhar saku. Shayad tab tak logo ke pas patience Na
ho - vo me samajhata hu lekin usake siva or koi chara bhi nahi.

Baat rahi urdu ki - to - jitana maine ye transliteration karate huve
dekha - usame - vowel ka use contextual bahut hai. Vaw ke aage or
usake pichhe kya hai usake hisab se usaka pronounciation hota hai.
Same for Alif too. Also, kab Half letter use karana hai or kab nahi.
Ek hi vowel ya letter ke ek se jyada matlab hone ki vajah
transliteration me mushkil peda karata hai.

Isake saath, hum sab ko, urdu padhane ka sauk hai or aap sab ki madad
se ye program ki galatiya kam ho jaye aisi aasha rakhata hu..

Thanks,
Piyush


Naseer

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Jun 14, 2007, 5:16:47 AM6/14/07
to

Piyush jii namashkaar,

aap awr diigar afraad kaa Urdu paRhne meN shauq qaabil-i-sad daad hai
awr isii qism ke lagaao ne mujhe devanaagrii siikhne par majbuur kiyaa
thaa.

aaj kii surKhii meN likhaa hai, "adaalat fauj jiisaa rad emal za-ahar
kare" bajaae " 'adaalat fauj jaisaa radd-i-'amal zaahir kare". aap
andaazah lagaa sakeN ge ke donoN meN zamiin aasmaan kaa farq hai. agar
surKHiyoN kii aisii Haalat hai to baaqii kaa kyaa Haal ho gaa?

maiN ne dekhaa hai kih Farsi kii bhii KHuub chaTnii banaaii gaii hai!!

Best Wishes with the venture,
Naseer

Afzal A. Khan

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Jun 14, 2007, 12:31:33 PM6/14/07
to

Shri Piyush,

Please do excuse me for offering the following observations :

I think your original post would be much better suited for
some hindi (or devanagri) newsgroup. If any of those guys
frequenting such hindi newsgroups are desirous of reading and
enjoying Urdu websites too, they can try to avail of your device.
Most of the ALUPers (if not all) are quite familiar with the
Urdu script and can read Urdu websites without much difficulty.

Naseer Saheb has done a signal service by pointing out all the
inherent flaws in your scheme of things, thereby making it quite
unnecessary for us to visit your link. Urdu lovers are rather
sensitive about the "purity" of their language, script etc. That
I think is quite understandable. And I am sure you too would
appreciate it. The distortion of Urdu words, either by way of
spelling or pronunciation, is quite distasteful for them. Naseer
Saheb has used a picturesque word for such distortion : "chaTnee
banaana". However tasty "chaTnee" may be intrinsically, it is
quite unpalateable in this particular context.

To illustrate my point, I am re-transcribing your above post (in
Roman English, of course) :

------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeh ek Urdu ko hindi men paRhne ka pratham prayaas hai. Aur us men
GHalatiyaaN haiN --- use maiN sweekaar karta hooN. Isi liye maiN
ne online word list rakhee taa'ke sab GHalatiyaaN sudhaar sakooN.
Shaayad ab(hi ?) tak logoN ke paas 'patience' na ho --woh maiN
samajhta hooN lekin us ke siwa aur chaara bhi naheeN.

Baat rahee Urdu kee -- to -- jitna maiN ne yeh transliteration
karte huwe dekha -- us men vowel ka use contextual bahut hai.
"Vaaw" ke aage aur us ke peechhe kya hai us ke hisaab se us ka
pronunciation hota hai. Same for Alif too. Also, kab half letter
use karna hai aur kab naheeN. Ek hee vowel ya letter ke ek se
ziyaada(h) matlab hone kee wajah (se) transliteration men mushkil
paida karta hai (hotee hai).

Is ke saath, hum sab ko Urdu paRhne ka shauq hai aur aap sab kee
madad se yeh (is) programme kee GHalatiyaaN kam ho jaayeN, aisi
aasha rakhta hooN.

------------------------------------------------------------------

As Naseer Saheb has rightly pointed out, we use our own individual
style of Roman script to represent Urdu language.

I do believe that one should develop a genuine love for the Urdu
language, its culture, its literature and its script, before
trying to make it popular for others who may not be very familiar
with it.


Afzal

piyush

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Jun 14, 2007, 2:18:00 PM6/14/07
to
To Afzal Khan,

Lagata hai aap logo ne mujhe kathahare me khada kar diya hai, or jaise
mujhe apane bachav main bol raha hu.

Na to main Urdu ke virudhdha hu, na to use bolane valo se. Is liye jo
bhi kaam maine kiya hai vo Urdu to pradushit karane ka prayas nahi
hai. Sab log apani bhasha ko sudhdha roop main hi dekhana chahate hai
or khas karake ke kavi or gazhal-kar. Site ke transliteration ki
galatiyan usaka short-comings jaroor hai - lekin usase kisi ki bhavana
ko thes pahonchana nahi hai.

Vaise sudhdhata (purity) ki baat ki jay to - ek bhasha se dusari
bhasha me kiya huva bhashantar (translation) bhi logo ko achcha nahi
lagata to fir machine transliterated cheez ko to kya kahena?

Lekin kya is vajah ko hum apani nakamyabi samajkar use chhod de? Jo
log urdu padh sakte hai unake liye agar hindi padhana software se
possible ho sakta hai to kya hame vo nahi karana chahiye kyunki usame
thodi errors aayegi. Usi tarah agar hindi padhane vale log urdu ko
padh sake to vo bhi chhod dena chahiye kyunki vo kabhi thik nahi ho
sakta?

bhasa ki sudhdhata ka aagraha vikas ke liye, aage badhane ke liye
jaroor hona chahiye - Lekin logo ke bich antar (distance) badhane ke
liye to nahi.

aaj bhomiyo nahi to kal google jaisa koi bhi software aa jayega jo ye
kaam aasani se karega kyunki unake paas dono bhasha janane vale log
honge or use vo paisa bhi denge. vahan jaheraat bhi hogi or voh kuchh
kamai bhi karenge. Agar vo sab hoga, to aise kaam ki shuruaat kisi
urdu-or-hindi bolane vale ne ki thi - vo to khusi hame rahegi.

agar site pe urdu padhake aapako koi bhi dukh huva ho to maafi chahata
hun. usaki vajah meri urdu ya hindi achchi tarah se nahi janana hi
hai. lekin aasha rakhata hun ki sab galatiyan sudhar jaye or hindi
paathako ko urdu ki likhavat padhane ko mile.


Afzal A. Khan

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Jun 14, 2007, 9:09:53 PM6/14/07
to
piyush wrote:
> To Afzal Khan,
>
> Lagata hai aap logo ne mujhe kathahare me khada kar diya hai, or
> jaise mujhe apane bachav main bol raha hu.
>
> Na to main Urdu ke virudhdha hu, na to use bolane valo se. Is liye jo
> bhi kaam maine kiya hai vo Urdu to pradushit karane ka prayas nahi
> hai. Sab log apani bhasha ko sudhdha roop main hi dekhana chahate hai
> or khas karake ke kavi or gazhal-kar. Site ke transliteration ki
> galatiyan usaka short-comings jaroor hai - lekin usase kisi ki
> bhavana ko thes pahonchana nahi hai.
>
> Vaise sudhdhata (purity) ki baat ki jay to - ek bhasha se dusari
> bhasha me kiya huva bhashantar (translation) bhi logo ko achcha nahi
> lagata to fir machine transliterated cheez ko to kya kahena?
>
> Lekin kya is vajah ko hum apani nakamyabi samajkar use chhod de? Jo
> log urdu padh sakte hai unake liye agar hindi padhana software se
> possible ho sakta hai to kya hame vo nahi karana chahiye kyunki usame
> thodi errors aayegi. Usi tarah agar hindi padhane vale log urdu ko
> padh sake to vo bhi chhod dena chahiye kyunki vo kabhi thik nahi ho
> sakta?
>

>

Piyush Bhaiyya,


I had referred in my previous message to something we call as
"Urdu Culture". You must have noticed that ALUPers usually
do practice that culture --- calling each other by the
honorific "Saheb", irrespective of age or any other factor.
I have decided to refer to you as "Bhaiyya" which is an
affectionate variant of "Bhai", although I know that you must
be junior to me by as much as 40 years -- or more.

I do understand if you felt hurt by what I had to say. Do
believe me, however, when I say that I have absolutely no
animus against you or others who may think along your lines.

Frankly, I have not visited the link you provided, because
one of our dear friends (Naseer Saheb) did so and found the
device full of errors. I have no reason to doubt his con -
clusions or findings.

Actually, I questioned the very purpose of this device insofar
as this Newsgroup (ALUP) is concerned. Pray, tell me --
do you seriously believe that anyone familiar with the Urdu
language and its script would like to read Urdu websites in
the Devanagri script ? There must be hundreds (if not more)
readers who are familiar with the D. script and can read websites
in that script. And, possibly, your device can be of benefit to
those amongst them who may be desirous of reading Urdu websites
in D. script. I am sure you may get some positive responses and
reactions if you write about your device in those other groups.
Even then, the fact remains that (as Naseer Saheb has pointed
out) the said device does not present an accurate version of
Urdu words and expressions. The net result would be that even
these folks (in other Newsgroups) would get a very wrong impress-
ion of the Urdu language and its usages. And that would not be
desirable at all. Of course, nobody can prevent you from writing
about your device in these (other) Newsgroups.

It was in this particular context that I had written the last
paragrpah of my message, which I again quote below :

"I do believe that one should develop a genuine love for the Urdu
language, its culture, its literature and its script, before
trying to make it popular for others who may not be very familiar
with it."

I am by no means against the idea of some proper software being
developed for this purpose. And I am all for developing close
links between peoples. But this should be done, keeping in view
the necessity for preserving the "purity" of the language.

Some Softwares have already been developed in related fields. The
websites that are now available in the Urdu script do employ such
software. There is another Software avilable -- "InPage" -- which
enables one to use Urdu "nasta'leeq" script for e-mail purposes.
I have myself received e-mails written in this Software. But it
is a priced (and perhaps "pricey") Software. I am sure, in the
days to come, Google or others can develop some such Software that
can serve the purpose you have in view.

But I would like to reiterate my fundamental view --- that even
when such a faultless Software is developed, it would serve best
the interests of those who are NOT familiar with the Urdu language
and its script.

Lastly, the language you have employed in your above post cannot
be called Urdu by any means. I would attempt to re-write two
paras of your post in Urdu language :
------------------------------------------------------------------

Agar zabaan kee sehat ya shustagee kee baat kee jaaye to woh is
liye honee chaahiye ke (zabaan ki) taraqqee ho, use aage baRhne ka
mauqa mile, na ke logoN ke darmiyaan faasle baRhaane ke liye.

Aaj bhoomiyo naheeN to kal (ya kisee roz) Google jaisa koi aur
Software aa jaayega jo yeh kaam aasaanee se kar sake ga, kyoN'ke
un ke paas donoN zabaan jaan'ne waale hoNge aur unheN aisa
Software taiyyar karne kee qeemat ya mu'aaviza bhee milega. Aisee
Software men ishtihaaraat bhee hoNge aur (use taiyyaar karne
waale) paise bhee kamaayeNge. ChooN'ke yeh sab to hone hee waala
hai, to agar is kaam kee shuroo'aat koi Urdu ya hindi jaan'ne
waala hee kare to yeh ham sab ke liye kitnee KHushi kee baat hogi.
------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope you won't take my view amiss.

Afzal

Zoya

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Jun 14, 2007, 9:52:11 PM6/14/07
to
Piyush Sahib,

First of all, please do not feel like you are on trial here! :)

You are perhaps new to Alup, but Alupers are known for letting their
views known in no uncertain terms, but no one has malicious intent
ever. You can take my word for that! :)

I have visited your link, and I agree with Naseer Sahib that many
words from original Urdu script got mixed up in Devanagari. It is kind
of annoying.

Having said that, let me add that I really appreciate your efforts
This is the need of the present day India. Many young people in India
really want to read Urdu poetry and literature, but are unable to do
so due to lack of knowledge of Urdu script. What you are trying to do
is commendable, it will serve many readers, and can be fine tuned and
fixed in future.

Afzal Sahib,

I am sure there are many Alupers who do not read Urdu script, in fact
I personally know several people who love to visit Alup, due to the
fact that the discussions here are in Roman Urdu. Though I can read
both scripts, personally even I am much more comfortable reading
Devanagri/ Roman Urdu. I tend to avoid Urdu nasr, simply because I
read it too slowly.

I believe we have discussed this topic on Alup before, I am of the
opinion that future of Urdu in India lies in Devanagri script. That is
reality of present day India, and even hardcore Urdu lovers like us
can not deny it.

To conclude, Piyush Sahib, please continue with our efforts. Good
luck.

_________Zoya


piyush

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Jun 15, 2007, 12:36:46 AM6/15/07
to
Zoya Sahib,

Thank you for your kind words.

Afzal Sahib,

The purpose of posting to the group was to inform the reader such
efforts are being made and such things are available. Out of 100
people who are part of this group, at least one may have some friends
who reads devnaagari and even if he/she informs those friends about
such tool, it will reach to its audience. I have nodoubt posted the
message in other groups and have got responses.

Otherwise Afzal Sahib, with all due respect to your 40 years of more
experience with the language, I can discuss at length about what is
'language' and what is 'script'. Urdu as a language is different than
Urdu as a script. The script Urdu is modified or extended form of
Arabic. And it has more speakers in India than Pakistan. Someone at
some moment made a choice of using Arabic script to represent Urdu -
but it can very well be expressed in Devnagari script. So when you say


"But I would like to reiterate my fundamental view --- that
even when such a faultless Software is developed, it would
serve best the interests of those who are NOT familiar with the

Urdu language and its script. " - the script remains out of
question. Because people who know Urdu language do not have to learn
the script. And that's the gap that should be filled in by some
efforts.

By the way, have you tried reading any hindi sites in Roman script?
Now, you can do so:
http://bhomiyo.com/en.xliterate/narad.akshargram.com/
http://bhomiyo.com/en.xliterate/jagjitsingh.wordpress.com/

Thank you,
Piyush

Naseer

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Jun 15, 2007, 5:51:30 AM6/15/07
to
On Jun 15, 2:52 am, Zoya <zbi...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Piyush Sahib,

>
> Having said that, let me add that I really appreciate your efforts
> This is the need of the present day India. Many young people in India
> really want to read Urdu poetry and literature, but are unable to do
> so due to lack of knowledge of Urdu script. What you are trying to do
> is commendable, it will serve many readers, and can be fine tuned > and fixed in future.

muHtaramah Zoya Sahiba, tasliimaat,

Indeed Shrii Piyush's efforts are commendable. But are there any
comparable efforts being made in the other direction, for and by those
who are unable to read Urdu script? Surely, we are not talking about
"rocket science" here. Those people who* have* managed to learn the
script do not have any extra-ordinary IQs, do they?:)

If the "need of present day India" is for people to be able to read
Urdu literature, then why not fulfill that need by facilitating
learning in *the script* for the language?


> Afzal Sahib,
>
> I am sure there are many Alupers who do not read Urdu script, in fact
> I personally know several people who love to visit Alup, due to the
> fact that the discussions here are in Roman Urdu. Though I can read
> both scripts, personally even I am much more comfortable reading
> Devanagri/ Roman Urdu. I tend to avoid Urdu nasr, simply because I
> read it too slowly.
>
> I believe we have discussed this topic on Alup before, I am of the
> opinion that future of Urdu in India lies in Devanagri script. That is
> reality of present day India, and even hardcore Urdu lovers like us
> can not deny it.
>
> To conclude, Piyush Sahib, please continue with our efforts. Good
> luck.
>
> _________Zoya

The future of Urdu in India lying in the Devanagri script may be your
opinion, and indeed the opinion of many others but, there are many
many Urdu speakers in whose view the script is the body and soul of
the language! Please refer to a recent post by UVR Sahib in which
Ralph Russell, a well known Urdu-daan, originally from the School of
Oriental and African Studies, airs his views on this very question.
Even if Davanagri script was more suited for Urdu (which it is not, as
we can not distinguish, for example, ba'd from baad), Urdu script has
religious and sentimental value for many of its speakers.

For the purposes of making Urdu literature available to a wider
audience, then of course there is no problem in having this available
in Devanagri script.

Khair-andesh,
Naseer

Naseer

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Jun 15, 2007, 6:35:56 AM6/15/07
to
Shrii Piyush Jii, namaste,

In your last post you wrote...

"Otherwise Afzal Sahib, with all due respect to your 40 years of more
experience with the language, I can discuss at length about what is
'language' and what is 'script'. Urdu as a language is different than
Urdu as a script. The script Urdu is modified or extended form of
Arabic. And it has more speakers in India than Pakistan. Someone at
some moment made a choice of using Arabic script to represent Urdu -
but it can very well be expressed in Devnagari script".

I along with other ALUPers would like to welcome you to ALUP and would
wish that you honour us with your presence on a regular basis. Often
there are discussions and debated on "language" and "script" and I am
sure we will learn a great deal from your treasure of knowledge.

As for someone at some point making a choice, I would say that the
"choice" was that those people already used that script in Arabic and
Farsi. Whether one language can be expressed "very well" in another
language's script is a debateble point and I do not believe it would
serve any positive purpose to argue for or against this statement.

Urdu has some consonants which are pronounced identically even though
they are written differently. In their original Arabic form, they have
seperate values and these are preserved in Qur'aan recitations.
However, keeping these consonants gives valuable insight into the
origin of words. For example there are two hs. In ALUP some of us use
a capital H for Hal (as Hal karnaa, to solve) and a small h for
"hal" (plough). Any word in Urdu which is written with "H" is Arabic.
This is one feature which Devanagri could not provide.

Best Regards,

Naseer


Afzal A. Khan

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Jun 15, 2007, 11:27:42 AM6/15/07
to

Piyush-ji,

Ms. Zoya is a lady.

You had not told us previously that you had posted your message
to other Newsgroups, hence my suggestion in my earlier post.

I did not mention my seniority in age for the purpose of
parading any vast experience or knowledge. It was just to
highlight the fact that Urdu is not merely a language; it is
a Culture in itself. The point seems to have missed you.

We are all humans and we are all students. I believe the process
of learning never stops. And that we all commit mistakes.

I believe you are in error when you say that "Urdu as a language
is different than Urdu as a script". Urdu script is part and
parcel of the Urdu language. It is impossible to think of the
this language without its script. For a long time, it used to
be mentioned that Urdu's script is Faarsi. But the latest trend
is to distinguish it even from the Faarsi script. The Urdu
script employs certain letters and sounds that do not exist in
either the Arabic or the Faarsi script.

It is not a question of "someone at some moment making a choice
of using Arabic script to represent Urdu". It is not something
like the Big Bang --- some single person deciding at a moment's
notice that Urdu should be written in the Arabic script. It was
a conscious decision of a vast majority of people. And it should
be noted that both Arabic and Faarsi scripts have existed for
a great many centuries before anyone thought of Urdu as a
language. People in India were familiar with both scripts much
before the evolution of the Urdu language. It was the introduc-
tion of some new letters/sounds that led to necessary modifica-
tions. For well nigh three centuries, people/writers/poets have
been using the Urdu language in this script. Also, the fact
remains that the D. script cannot adequately represent the Urdu
language. You can see some of the messages exchanged between
Zoya Saheba and Naseer Saheb in the preceding thread "Sochta hooN
use waaqif-e-ulfat na karooN" and this point will be obvious to
you. Even Roman English cannot do so adequately. And I empha-
sise the word "adequately". It is only the Urdu script that can
do full justice to the Urdu language and its usages.

As I have repeatedly said, I am not against any efforts to evolve
some sort of scheme/device/software that would make it possible
for non-Urdu-knowing persons to try to read Urdu websites. But
I would much rather prefer if this was done by someonw who knew
the Urdu language himself. It is a bit like someone trying to
explain the intricacies of Cricket to a baseball-loving American.
He can do so, provided he himself is familiar with all the com-
plexities of the game of Cricket.

I would give a further (and quite specific) example of this
analogy. Around 1918, P.G. Wodehouse wrote a novel "Piccadilly
Jim" where an American character comes to live in England.
One day, he sees an English paper where a report on a recent
cricket match is published and a scorecard is also given. He
asks the butler what it all means. And the butler patiently
explains that Hobbs (the famous England cricketer) had scored
an unbeaten century. And the American guy is thunder-struck.
How an earth can someone make THAT MANY runs ? I hope you get
the point.

If a non-Urdu-knowing person is desirous of reading Urdu web-
sites, it is open to him to acquire a working knowledge of its
script. It may be worth the effort. But it would not do, if
he uses a device which gives a misleading or distorted version
of the Urdu language and its usages.

You have prepared a scheme and the effort is commendable. But
is it not possible for you to acquire a working knowledge of the
language AND its script, so that you yourself can bring about
an improvement and set right the flaws ? After all, there should
be some sort of "identical-ness" in a website that, say, Naseer
Saheb and Yours Truly may be reading and what a non-Urdu-wallah
may get to read.


Afzal

Afzal A. Khan

unread,
Jun 15, 2007, 11:40:08 AM6/15/07
to
Zoya wrote:

> Afzal Sahib,

> I believe we have discussed this topic on Alup before, I am of the
> opinion that future of Urdu in India lies in Devanagri script. That is
> reality of present day India, and even hardcore Urdu lovers like us
> can not deny it.

> _________Zoya


Zoya Saheba,

Let me say, with all due respect, that I do not agree with
that view or sentiment. The Urdu script is vital for the
conservation of Urdu language. In fact, it is its lifeline.
Its abandonment would sound the death-knell of Urdu as a
separate and distinct language.

Over the last many years, many opponents of Urdu have been
advocating the abandonment of the Urdu script, with this
ulterior motive. {Present company excluded}. Urdu-lovers,
OTOH, have been fighting a courageous battle to preserve its
script, and that against tremendous odds.

For three centuries and more, people have used this script.
And there is no logical reason that should necessitate its
abandonment.

Afzal

Message has been deleted

Zoya

unread,
Jun 16, 2007, 12:00:04 AM6/16/07
to
Afzal Sahib and Naseer Sahib,

aadaab!

I am in fundamental agreement with your sentiments. But the reality is
that while growing up in post partition Indian Punjab, I did not know
even a single person of my generation, or younger than me, who could
read/ write Urdu script. As I have previously mentioned on Alup, I
lerant to read the script from my dad, it was (is) not taught in any
schools in Indian Punjab.

The reasons for rapid decline of Urdu script in post partition India
are diverse. This is a subject very close to my own heart and I often
discuss it with others. Except for pockets in Uttar Pardesh, and
perhaps parts of Hyderabad Deccan, it is a fact that very few young
Indians, muslims as well as non muslims, can actually read Urdu
script.

I am reproducing an article that you and other Alupers might find
interesting. My thanks to Shoaib Sahib for bringing this to my
attention a few weeks ago.

Zoya
___________________________________________________________________________________________
uthor-speak: In love with Urdu

Garima Dutt

ibnlive.com

New Delhi: Urdu lovers despair for the language's future but Khushwant
Singh and Kamna Prasad believe all is not lost.

Their book, Celebrating the Best of Urdu Poetry, was released this
week. Their collaboration was this way: they selected the poets and
the poems; Khushwant did the translations and Prasad helped him.

How is this book different from other English translations? "The fact
that Khushwant Singh has done these translations makes the book
different because he knows both languages equally well. He thinks in
English but he was born into Urdu," says Prasad.

For Khushwant, this book is his way to "share my love for this
language with others."

Prasad considers Urdu poetry her "bible"-she recites a couplet a
minute and has a verse for every question you put to her. She is the
organiser of the annual Jashn-e-Bahaar Mushaira of leading Indian and
Pakistani poets in Delhi and has made a two-hour documentary film for
the Ministry of External Affairs on Urdu's evolution.

Prasad says choosing poets for the book was not easy. "It was not just
a question of them being popular poets; it was also about what is
easy. This is a collection for people who want to learn and enjoy Urdu
poetry but are not familiar with the script. This book would go down
well with them. It's a nice book to begin with, for there is a whole
range of accomplished poets and you get to read their most well-known
poems."

"It's not a free translation. The poems rhyme in English as well, it's
a proper translation where we have consciously tried to retain the
music of Urdu verse, to give readers the feel of the original poem."

Prasad and Khushwant admit that the poets they selected are their
'personal favourites'. The book offers range and variety: Sauda of the
18th century rubs shoulders with Zafar, Ghalib, Meer, Daag, Momin and
with more recent poems like Iqbal and Faiz.

Prasad believes interest in Urdu poetry hasn't diminished and in the
future people will be read in a different script like English.

Khushwant, however feels that Urdu as a language is in decay but
"would re-emerge now in Devnagri script or in Gurmukhi script and it
is doing so."

What about the culture-specific sensibilities and emotions that a
language embodies? Kamna says it is our 'responsibility' to
familiarise our children with this language. "Urdu is not just a
language, it's an entire tradition and if we won't teach our future
generation then this heritage of love and poetry would be lost on them
forever."
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Naseer

unread,
Jun 16, 2007, 4:56:39 AM6/16/07
to
On Jun 16, 5:00 am, Zoya <zbi...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Afzal Sahib and Naseer Sahib,
>
> aadaab!
>
> I am in fundamental agreement with your sentiments. But the reality is
> that while growing up in post partition Indian Punjab, I did not know
> even a single person of my generation, or younger than me, who could
> read/ write Urdu script. As I have previously mentioned on Alup, I
> lerant to read the script from my dad, it was (is) not taught in any
> schools in Indian Punjab.
>
> The reasons for rapid decline of Urdu script in post partition India
> are diverse. This is a subject very close to my own heart and I often
> discuss it with others. Except for pockets in Uttar Pardesh, and
> perhaps parts of Hyderabad Deccan, it is a fact that very few young
> Indians, muslims as well as non muslims, can actually read Urdu
> script.
>
> I am reproducing an article that you and other Alupers might find
> interesting. My thanks to Shoaib Sahib for bringing this to my
> attention a few weeks ago.
>
> Zoya
> ___________________________________________________________________________­________________
> ___________________________________________________________________________­__________________

muHtarama Zoya Sahiba, aadaab 'arz hai,

I think the gist of the piece you have provided is contained in the
paragraph...

{Khushwant, however feels that Urdu as a language is in decay but


"would re-emerge now in Devnagri script or in Gurmukhi script and it
is doing so."}

Without wishing to start a controvercial debate, knowing both
Devanagri and Gurmukhi and coming from a scientific academic
background, I personally do not see anything in these scripts which
would be deemed by me to take Urdu language, from a linguistic
perspective, to an improved position. However, I can see why people
would wish to have it written in Devanagri and Gurmukhi. Excepting
those sincere souls, for the remainder it will just be lost without
any trace in an ocean of Devanagari/Gurmukhi. You will not be able to
see the "wood for the trees". It will be an extremely joyous occasion
for those people who ascertain that Urdu and Hindi are ONE language
and proof the pudding will be that they are written in one!!

If there is no assistance or sufficient help at state and national
level, as long as there are Urdu speakers present and they pass on
their knowledge of the script at home and Madrasa level, neither the
language nor the script will die. I learnt to read the Qur'aan before
I learnt to read "Urdu kaa qaa'idah". If there is a similar situation
in Indian households for a section of the Urdu speaking population,
then again, the future may not be bright, but it is still not
hopeless.

If you were to ask a speaker from Urdu background as to the language
of "Hindi" cinema (dialogue and songs) the answer you will get is
Urdu. The answer will be Hindi from a person of Hindi background. If
Urdu were to be written in Devanagri script, even this "reality"for
the Urdu speaker will fade into oblivion.

KHair-Khvaah,
Naseer


Afzal A. Khan

unread,
Jun 16, 2007, 2:43:37 PM6/16/07
to
Zoya wrote:

> On Jun 15, 10:40 am, "Afzal A. Khan" <me_af...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>
>> Zoya Saheba,
>>
>> Let me say, with all due respect, that I do not agree with
>> that view or sentiment. The Urdu script is vital for the
>> conservation of Urdu language. In fact, it is its lifeline.
>> Its abandonment would sound the death-knell of Urdu as a
>> separate and distinct language.
>>
>> Over the last many years, many opponents of Urdu have been
>> advocating the abandonment of the Urdu script, with this
>> ulterior motive. {Present company excluded}. Urdu-lovers,
>> OTOH, have been fighting a courageous battle to preserve its
>> script, and that against tremendous odds.
>>
>> For three centuries and more, people have used this script.
>> And there is no logical reason that should necessitate its
>> abandonment.
>>
>> Afzal
>
>
> Afzal Sahib,

>
> aadaab!
>
> I am in fundamental agreement with your sentiments. But the reality is
> that while growing up in post partition Indian Punjab, I did not know
> even a single person of my generation, or younger than me, who could
> read/ write Urdu script. As I have previously mentioned on Alup, I
> lerant to read the script from my dad, it was (is) not taught in any
> schools in Indian Punjab.
>
> The reasons for rapid decline of Urdu script in post partition India
> are diverse. This is a subject very close to my own heart and I often
> discuss it with others. Except for pockets in Uttar Pardesh, and
> perhaps parts of Hyderabad Deccan, it is a fact that very few young
> Indians, muslims as well as non muslims, can actually read Urdu
> script.
>
> I am reproducing an article that you and other Alupers might find
> interesting. My thanks to Shoaib Sahib for bringing this to my
> attention a few weeks ago.
>
> Zoya
> _________________________________________________________________________________________________
> ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
>

Zoya Saheba,

Last things first : Most of Garima Dutt's article has little
or no relevance to our discussion here. It merely deals with
the publicaton of a book of Urdu poetry with English transla-
tion. The only relevant portions are (1) Khushwant Singh's
opinion that "Urdu as a language is in decay but would re-emerge
now in Devnagri script or in Gurmukhi script and it is doing so,
and (2) the last paragraph.

No explanation is offered in the article for KS's view that Urdu
as a language is in decay. If it is in decay, why take the
trouble of publishing another book of its poetry with trans-
lation ? Unless, of course, there are people who are expected to
buy the book and read it. And, I daresay, they would do so only
because they are (deeply) interested in the language and its
poetry. Again, no clarification is available as to how the Urdu
language would re-emerge in Devanagri or in Gurmukhi script.

Please excuse me for saying that Khushwant Singh may know Urdu,
but his is NOT a known name as a connosieur of the language or
as a critic. And if he happens to know Urdu, it is something he
cannot help --- during his childhood, Urdu was taught, learnt,
spoken and used in practically every household in the Punjab.
Everybody in that region knew the language, be he a Muslim or a
Sikh or a Punjabi hindu. KS's views are not worth the paper they
are printed on.

OTOH, Kamna Prasad's views as quoted in the last paragraph are
much more to the point. It is no doubt Urdu lovers' duty to
pass on their knowledge of the language to their progeny.

Now, I shall deal with your own post. If Urdu language is not
taught any more in the (Indian) Punjab, the loss is much more for
the Punjabi people than for the language. And the cessation of
its teaching is nothing but a conscious politico-cultural attempt
to kill off Urdu as a language. There have been well-known Urdu
poets from the Punjab whose names are still discussed today with
considerable reverence. And I am not talking about poets like
Iqbal, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Hafeez Jaalandhari and Faiz etc.
I am talking about people like Pandit Mela Ram Wafa, Munshi Tilok
Chand Mehroom and Pandit Labhu Ram Josh Malsiani. Also Jagannath
Aazaad (son of Tilok Chand Mehroom) is one of the best-known and
most respected authority on Iqbal.

Your belief that "except for some pockets in Uttar Pradesh, and
perhaps parts of Hyderabad Deccan, very few young Indians (muslim
or non-muslim) can actually read Urdu script" is not borne out by
facts. Urdu is still thriving --- despite relentless efforts by
its opponents to stifle and kill it off. I am reminded of a sher
by Faani Badaayuni :


Mar mar ke jee raha hai Faani
Allah re us ki saKHt~jaani

The same is true of the Urdu language.

There are any number of Urdu newspapers and magazines that are
being brought out "on both sides of the border". The 'expat'
population in other countries is doing its best to keep the
Urdu language and its traditions alive. About ten years back,
there were no Urdu Websites. There must be hundreds of them
now. This proliferation is considered sufficiently disturbing
for people to think about preparing special devices so that
readers can be persuaded to read them in Devanagri, rather than
in Urdu. Urdu fonts are available for most Computers/Browsers.
Urdu is truly saKHt~jaan.

I will talk about just one more instance of its saKHt~jaani here.
Recently, in March this year, Madras University held a special
seminar at Chennai on the topic of "The Secular Character of the
Urdu Language". Everyone knows that the deep south is a "rocky
terrain" for Urdu. But Madras University has a full-fledged Urdu
Department. The seminar was inaugurated by the Madras Governor,
Shri Surjit singh Barnala. His inaugural address was delivered
in chaste Urdu and he fondly recalled his association with the
language in the thirties and forties. In his address, he told
the audience that Faarsi was the court language of Maharaja
Ranjit Singh which was subesequently replaced by Urdu. The Court
records were kept only in the Urdu language. Urdu Acameies are
established in Tamil Nadu and also in Karnataka and have brought
out various publications. The Tamil Nadu Government has recently
made a special grant of Rs. 21 lakhs for its Urdu Academy.

In Orissa, Dr. Karaamat Ali Karaamat has recently retired as the
Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics. He is a noted Urdu poet.
I propose to post some of his kalaam on ALUP.

In short, any elegies on the impending demise of this beautiful
language are, to put it mildly, a bit premature.


Afzal

Kali Hawa

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 4:16:32 AM6/17/07
to

A few things I would like to add:

Beauty, aesthetics etc are subjective perceptions. In Africa there are
some tribes where women pull their lower lip make hole in it and then
insert a ring the size of a chuuRii to make them look beautiful while
most of us will find it grotesque. Therefore when we say essence of
Urdu language will die without the Arabic script it is a purely
subjective assertion. Language will undergo changes with or without
the Arabic script to accommodate rapid metamorphosis of society else
it will die anyway.

It is true that Urdu draws its charm from subtle phonetic variations
which a more organized but less flexible script like Devnagari cannot
express. Yet some innovations like putting a dot under 'ka', 'kha',
'ga' etc to obtain sounds of qaaf, gain, khe etc are very common.
When Khuswant Singh says, and I concur with him, Urdu in Arabic format
is getting lesser and lesser attention because the script is taught in
Madarsaa and may be some niche(religious) Universities only. The clear
indication that language is associated with Muslims puts off many non-
Muslims. Besides Madarsa is fast becoming a dirty word
internationally.

Third point is that most of us misunderstand that the script lends
phonetic variations to the language. Like Roman, Arabic script too is
not exact but sounds of same (some of them) alphabet varies from word
to word and that variation is learnt by us through experience. True,
by having group of letters for instance j through z sounds expressed
by jeem, dzaal, zwaad, ze etc forces the reader to utter specific
sounds creating spiritual aura around some words, is a serious issue
that has to be tackled by other scripts before they are accorded
acceptability by hard core Urdu aficionados.


But much of opposition seems a reflex reactions, our reluctance to let
go something traditional, something learnt from childhood etc ( an act
of left brain)

Finally, most of us will immediately know 'talaas' is mis-spelt
'talaash' yet it will leave bad taste because the spirituality of the
word is lost.

Confused, I am too!

Naseer

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 5:37:25 AM6/17/07
to
janaab-i-Kala Sahib, aadaab 'arz hai,

The following reply was written in a hurry as I am about to leave
home...So, please forgive me for any blatant errors.

"Beauty, aesthetics etc are subjective perceptions. In Africa there
are
some tribes where women pull their lower lip make hole in it and then
insert a ring the size of a chuuRii to make them look beautiful while
most of us will find it grotesque."

Kala Sahib, let's not go round in circles once again. Whether it is
nostalgia or beauty, most of us, know
what is meant when one says about Urdu as a beautiful language. No one
is saying about any other language
being not beautiful. No doubt speakers of most if not all languages
would consider their language beautiful.


"Therefore when we say essence of
Urdu language will die without the Arabic script it is a purely
subjective assertion. Language will undergo changes with or without
the Arabic script to accommodate rapid metamorphosis of society else
it will die anyway."

Let's turn the tables Kala Sahib.If it were proposed by Urdu lovers
that all Hindi should henceforth be written
in the Urdu script, would that "metamorphosis" be acceptable to Hindi
supporters?

"It is true that Urdu draws its charm from subtle phonetic variations
which a more organized but less flexible script like Devnagari cannot
express. Yet some innovations like putting a dot under 'ka', 'kha',
'ga' etc to obtain sounds of qaaf, gain, khe etc are very common.
When Khuswant Singh says, and I concur with him, Urdu in Arabic
format
is getting lesser and lesser attention because the script is taught
in
Madarsaa and may be some niche(religious) Universities only. The
clear
indication that language is associated with Muslims puts off many
non-
Muslims. Besides Madarsa is fast becoming a dirty word
internationally."

Would there be any need for the children to be taught in a Madrasa if
this need was met
else where, say their school, for example? Similarly, if Urdu is
available only in a "niche (religious) university",
is that the students' fault? As for Madrasa, does the link of
devdaasiis with some temples make all temples unholy?
The Madrasa we are talking about is for little children, not grown up
men!

"Third point is that most of us misunderstand that the script lends
phonetic variations to the language. Like Roman, Arabic script too is
not exact but sounds of same (some of them) alphabet varies from word
to word and that variation is learnt by us through experience. True,
by having group of letters for instance j through z sounds expressed
by jeem, dzaal, zwaad, ze etc forces the reader to utter specific
sounds creating spiritual aura around some words, is a serious issue
that has to be tackled by other scripts before they are accorded
acceptability by hard core Urdu aficionados. "

I am not sure what you are talking about here. However, to the best of
my knowledge, no natural script is exact.

"But much of opposition seems a reflex reactions, our reluctance to
let
go something traditional, something learnt from childhood etc ( an
act

of left brain)."

Again please apply the test in a reverse direction. Ask all Hindi
followers to switch over to the Urdu script.

KHair-andesh,
Naseer


Shyam

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 6:36:57 AM6/17/07
to

Hello Naseer Saheb, ALUPers,

What an interesting discussion! As I eagerly await Kala Saheb's reply,
cant stop myself asking a few questions. Would be great to know if you
think in these lines too.
__
Again, why is the number important?
How/Why does more people learning and appreciating 'my' language makes
me more happy? What exactly will I be happy about?
The pleasure I get of/from something(language, script, here) is
entirely mine, personal, and its over as soon as I receive it. It is
not dependent on what somebody else thinks of the same subject, and if
he gets the same pleasure too, and why should it be?

Thanks and regards,
Shyam

Kali Hawa

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 8:52:27 AM6/17/07
to

Sorry Naseer Sahib, you have misunderstood me.

All the contexts of my posts are off on a tangent. In addition, anger
in your post suggests that I have some hidden agenda promoting Hindi
or Devnagari script. Not true. My post was entirely related to Urdu
and Urdu alone.

When I said beauty is about perception of an individual it was about
Urdu being beautiful in Arabic script alone and not in any other
script. The simple fact is that if I grew up reading Urdu in roman
script I would hate to read it in Arabic or any other script. Mind
hates re-inventing the wheel. Further, mostly (not always) in Roman
and Arabic words rather than letters have the key to enunciation,
therefore lack of variations in sounds can always be learned through
experience in both Arabic and Roman.

All languages evolve with society as a matter of fact character of
English today is substantially different from what it was hardly
thirty - forty years. And as to your question (even though completely
irrelevant to this issue) whether I would like reading Hindi in Arabic
script, my answer would be "I would be uncomfortable but whether I
would be "justified" protesting the changeover is the moot point."


One point you probably missed about Madarsaa teaching Urdu, I would re-
emphasize is that it links language to a religion. That's bad news for
gaining universal popularity. It is also a fact that Hindi is
associated with Hindus, if given a free choice no Muslim child will
opt for Hindi. The truth is that there is no free choice for him.

Hope you will not be upset with the reply.

aadaab arz hai

Kali Hawa

Kali Hawa

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 9:02:57 AM6/17/07
to

> Hello Naseer Saheb, ALUPers,
>
> What an interesting discussion! As I eagerly await Kala Saheb's reply,
> cant stop myself asking a few questions. Would be great to know if you
> think in these lines too.
> __
> Again, why is the number important?
> How/Why does more people learning and appreciating 'my' language makes
> me more happy? What exactly will I be happy about?
> The pleasure I get of/from something(language, script, here) is
> entirely mine, personal, and its over as soon as I receive it. It is
> not dependent on what somebody else thinks of the same subject, and if
> he gets the same pleasure too, and why should it be?
>
> Thanks and regards,
> Shyam- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

This has to do with our survival instinct.

Number is important because there is safety in numbers. Our mind
failed to make correction some where along the evolutionary sequence.

Again, a sense of superiority. The best guy gets to keep all the
females in animal kingdom, probably extension of the same.

Your last point is tough to explain. When a seer says, "Ye duniya Maya
hai" how many believe/understand him? After all happiness and sorrow
is only a state of Mind, something like a Boolean state in software.
Mind as you know, itself is abstract.

Vijay

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 11:57:04 AM6/17/07
to

There is much to agree with your assertions Naseer Sahib, but I am
having difficulty with the zeal and almost religious fervour with
which you have purported to make your case. Let me offer a few points
of my own:

1. Your point about how Hindi speakers will react if they were asked
to switch over to Urdu script is not quite analogous. Here is the
correct analogy. If in an Urdu speaking country, say Pakistan, someone
were to make available Hindi poetry or literature in Urdu script, most
Hindi speakers will rejoice. No one will say that Pakistanis should
learn nagri script. Language of Punjabi offers a better example. All
of Shiv Batalvi has been transcribed in Urdu script (Shahmukhi) to the
joy of Panjabi speakers the world over. No one has objected to this
venture or insisted that Pakistanis should learn Gurmukhi. While on
the subject, I don't think learning of Gurmukhi in Pakistan will in
anyway enhance the plight of the language of Punjabi or get it out of
the doledrums it is in.

2. Let us not confuse the word 'language' with 'script'. Here at ALUP,
we have successfully interacted and benefited over the years by using
Roman script. It would have been to the deteriment of quite a few if
the script of interaction was Urdu/ arabic. One can't hold hostage the
enjoyment of a language to its script (desireable as it is). I enjoyed
the Urdu poetry in nagri script (thanks to one Parkash Pandit, who
painstakingly and accurately transcribed almost all Urdu poets of note
into nagri script) during my younger years when I didn't know how to
read Urdu script. In no way I felt it dimnished my pleasure or
enjoyment simply because I was reading it in Nagri.

3. Turkish language has produced prize winning literature but the
language itself uses roman script. I don't think it dimnishes a/the
language just because it deosn't have its own script.

4. I didn't quite understand your point about reading Quraan before
you learnt the Urdu qaida. If you read the book (I presume in Arabic)
by rote, not understanding the content, how did you benefit by it? And
how is it relevent to the discussion at hand? I am sure there is an
explanation for this assertion but I dare say it escapes me.

5. I don't agree with your implied assertion that 'we shall throw the
baby out with the bath water', i.e. Urdu in Urdu script or no Urdu. In
fact I find in many ways roman/nagri/gurmukhi to be more intuitive
when it comes to, say, diacritical marks, which as you know, is one of
my pet peeves:-)


With best regards,


Vijay Kumar

Regards,

Vijay

Afzal A. Khan

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 6:57:23 PM6/17/07
to

> Vijay Kumar

Vijay Saheb,

I must thank you for your polite input in a discussion which
somehow is becoming a little acerbic.

I think Shri Kala has (deliberately or otherwise) taken the
discussion in an irrelevant direction. For one thing, he keeps
on calling it the "Arabic" script, despite my clarifications to
the contrary. And there was no justification for bringing in
the "dirty" connotation of Madrasas etc.

So, let me try to bring it back to its original core. A gentle-
man presented a device which purported to enable an Urdu website
to be read in the D. script. It has been amplly demonstrated
that the device is very faulty and that it represents the Urdu
language (if indeed it can be called a "representation") in a
a most distorted way. Also, it is questionable whether there is
a real need for such a device or software. Urdu-knowing people
are quite comfortable with reading these websites in their ori-
ginal script. Others can access sites in various other languages
(English, hindi, Tamil, Telugu etc.) for the purpose of informa-
tion, knowledge or entertainment. Nothing prevents a person from
the latter category from acquiring a working knowledge of Urdu
language and script. I have also iterated that such a software,
if at all it is needed, should preferably be prepared by someone
who belongs to the first category. I have already referred to
the Software "InPage" which (as per my information) has been
prepared in India itself by an Indian.

To elaborate further, if you read RMIM, you may perhaps be aware
that at various times, I myself have tried to provide English
renditions of original Urdu writings. At other times, I have
tried to explain the meanings/interpretations of Urdu
poetry in ALUP itself. I am not a scholar of Urdu, by any means,
but I do know some basics of the language; I am also familiar
with its script. I can read Urdu in Urdu script fairly fluently.
I know a little bit of English too --- and that is how I have
been able to do this.

You have referred to Praksh Pandit's books. I believe I was the
first to refer to him and his book(let)s on Newsgroups in the
long drawn out debate on iTrans on RMIM. His was no doubt a very
honest attempt to present Urdu in the D. script in an acceptable
form. I presume he knew Urdu fairly well, and I have no problem
if somebody else follows his methods in creating new Websites
that seek to present Urdu writings (both prose and poetry) in the
form he did. And, for that, one does not really need to develop
any software.. One simply has to follow some basic rules of the
Urdu script. I have used the word "honest" advisedly and I would
welcome it wholeheartedly if someone (including Shri Piyush
himself) created some such Websites dedicated to present Urdu
writings in an acceptable form. And I am sure there are many
Urdu-knowing people who would be willing to offer suggestions for
improving the site/s and to offer corrections/amendments. That
would be a truly honest attempt to bring different peoples
together.


Afzal

Vijay

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 7:33:36 PM6/17/07
to

Afzal Sahib,

I am in total agreement with all that you have stated above; in your
usual erudite style I may add!


Vijay

Naseer

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 8:25:22 PM6/17/07
to
Dear All, aadaab 'ar hai.

The catalyst to this "debate" was Zoya Sahiba's comment....

"I am of the opinion that future of Urdu in India lies in Devanagri
script. That is
reality of present day India, and even hardcore Urdu lovers like us
can not deny it."

Before I attempt to look at this comment once again, let me make it
clear to everybody that Urdu script is not identical to the Arabic or
Farsi scripts. Urdu script incorporates consonants typical of Indian
language (T, Th, D, Dh, Rh, bh, ph, th, jh, chh, dh, kh, gh, lh, mh),
Arabic and Persian as well as consonants common to the three sources.
No Arab or Farsi reader will be able to read this script without
knowing the script.

Urdu language and its script should not to be understood as separate
entities but it is the script which gives it its very identity. This
script which is held very dear to an Urdu speaker's heart stores
centuries of human endeavour, both secular and non-secular. Baba
Ghulam Farid (1173-1265) was writing his Punjabi poetry in this script
long before the invention of Gurmukhi.

Now coming back to the initial quotation, the following question comes
to mind.

Q. Are there any deficiencies inherent in the Urdu script which, in
the eyes of the writer, are hindering the survival of Urdu language?

If the answer is yes:-

1) What are they and how will the change to Devanagri script remove
these short comings.

2) Once Urdu is written in the Devanagri script, how will it be
differentiated from Hindi written in Devanagri script?


If no:-

1) Why do we need to write Urdu in any other script?

2) Should we not be looking at other reasons for its decline, e.g. it
not being offered in schools and colleges as a distinct subject at par
with any other language being taught?

3) Those people who are desirous of reading Urdu, what is preventing
them from learning the Urdu script? Why do they need to take the route
through Devanagri to read their beloved author/s?


Vijay Sahib, there is no religious "fervor" in my posts. I was merely
replying to janaab-i-Kala Sahib's comments on "niches (religious)
universities" and "Madrasa.. becoming a dirty word internationally".
He then went onto say "The clear indication that language is
associated with Muslims puts off many non-Muslims." to which I chose
not to react. Simply because we all know of numerous non-Muslim
writers in Urdu, some of whom were mentioned only recently in Afzal
Sahib's reply to Zoya Sahiba.

My hypothetical assertion, "If it were proposed by Urdu lovers


that all Hindi should henceforth be written in the Urdu script, would

that "metamorphosis" be acceptable to Hindi supporters?" was in
response to the following two comments by Kala Sahib.

"Language will undergo changes with or without the Arabic script to
accommodate rapid metamorphosis of society else it will die anyway."

"But much of opposition seems a reflex reactions, our reluctance to


let go something traditional, something learnt from childhood etc ( an
act of left brain)."

Coming to the bit about my learning to read the Quran, I am sure you
will understand my logic if you read the comment in context.

"If there is no assistance or sufficient help at state and national
level, as long as there are Urdu speakers present and they pass on
their knowledge of the script at home and Madrasa level, neither the
language nor the script will die. I learnt to read the Qur'aan before
I learnt to read "Urdu kaa qaa'idah". If there is a similar situation
in Indian households for a section of the Urdu speaking population,
then again, the future may not be bright, but it is still not
hopeless."

KHair_KHvaah,

Naseer

Message has been deleted

Zoya

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 10:19:30 PM6/17/07
to
Friends,

I am going to post another reply in this thread soon.

Right now, I am copying and pasting a response from one of my young
Indian friends, Tausif, originally from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, and
currently residing in New Delhi. Tausif and I had a detailed
discussion on this very topic a few months ago. I was curious about
the factual situation regarding Urdu script in Hindi belt states other
than Uttar Pradesh. Tausif had written this message after discussing
the issue in detail with his father, uncle and several other concerned
people.

I realize that Alupers may not agree with his views, and he
is not an active participant in the current thread, but I believe his
message
is relevant here.

I'll be back.

Zoya
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Urdu is quiescent in India. I did talk to various people, I am sorry,
I have a very bad news for Urdu lovers in India. Urdu does not have
bright future in India, infect according to me, Urdu does not have
future at all. :( Sad

Urdu is not job oriented; Government of India is not promoting Urdu at
all. Urdu is second language in Delhi state and UP state but none of
us willing to learn Urdu because it does not provide any job. Madarsas
are keeping Urdu teacher to teach Urdu but if teacher is teaching only
Urdu, then no salary for him/her. If he/she teaches other advance
subjects along with Urdu then only teacher will be entitled to salary.

Most of the Muslim students in India study in Aligarh Muslim
University (AMU). The good news is, AMU keeps one compulsory subject
URDU to study. But the bad news is, the students only learn Urdu to
get through. they do not really learn it properly. I know many
students like this.

further to this, in other states of India, no one is really learning
Urdu. in states like MP (Madhya Pradesh) none of schools or colleges
teach Urdu. I and my brother had to learn urdu at home because of my
father in summer vacations. None of my cousins learnt, except 2-3.

In UP and Kerala states, recruitments of Urdu teacher were first made
in 1996/97. But these recruitments were on primary level and Urdu is
taught as optional level.

That's all from my side.

wassalam
tausif
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

piyush

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 11:58:09 PM6/17/07
to
Dear all those who have posted here,

I really did not think that the discussion would go this far. As Afzal
sahib has mentioned in previous post the original issue was some of
the software (bhomiyo.com) defects while transliterating Urdu content
into Hindi. Urdu lovers like Afzal Sahib and Naseer Sahib previously
felt that such an effort
1) either should not be made
2) or, its not needed by people who visit this group as everyone here
knows urdu script
3) and if made, should be made only by those who are very much
familiar with both scripts

While the 3rd point is valid technically, I would revise it to say
that one who makes such software can honestly try to learn the script
s/he is unfamiliar with and use the knowledge to improve the output of
such software.

Well, I really did not want to say any of the following but the way
discussion has turned towards the use of Devnagari script for Urdu
language, I had to mention this.
--------------------------------
For the first two points, one of the argument is Urdu should be
represented in Urdu script only to maintain its "purity". Its quite
interesting to use the word "purity" in the context of Urdu. Because
the word Urdu probably means "Mixture" - where nothing is in its pure
form. The grammer is not pure Urdu its Hindi, words are not pure Urdu
its Hindi as well as Farasi and Arabic, the script is not pure Urdu as
its modified version of Arabic, the people themselves are not pure
Urdu as its original Indian race mixed with the migrant Arabic,
Iranian, Turk etc people, the culture and the tradition is not pure
Urdu as it has mixture of cultures and traditions of all these mixed
people -- what is Urdu? What has evolved out of all these mixtures
over the last 6-8 centuries is what is Urdu?

Considering the use of modified Arabic (arabic with few more
consonants) for Urdu as original script - the question of purity was
not raised when it was being romanized. Out of necessity, roman script
is being used to represent Urdu (even for this ALUP group) like many
other languages of the subcontinent - and no question of purity
arises. But as soon as the Devnagari is mentioned, we are asking why
can't the people learn the Urdu script if they want to read it.This
does not sound fair or logical.

Naseer sahib invited me in previous mail to discuss the very topic of
difference between script and language in context of Urdu. And someone
even mentioned in one of the message that no script can fully
represent a particular language. In the same line, think about
English. The word 'schedule' is pronounced as 'skejyul' in south asia
and Enlgand while 'shedyual' in US. So, the written 'schedule' does
not carry the linguistic pronounciation of the word. And hence, any
person who is taught how to pronounce that word will be able to say it
rightly. this also means that the same language and same script may be
used differently in different regions and people do modify the words
according to their own toungue. Are all Urdu words pronounced the same
way as they are pronounced in Mecca or Egypt? An egyptian can't even
pronounce 'p' - he always says 'b' (there could be exceptions). So,
what is the standard of purity for Urdu words if they don't match the
Arabic pronounciation for the same word. And if they can be different
there is no better reason why Arabic script only can represent Urdu if
the same Arabic letters are not pronounced in their pure form.

If the language pronounciation is anyway going to change regionally
then the script and letters of that region can very well represent the
language being spoken. And Devnaagari is would be a much qualified
candidate than Roman script. If people do not have objection modifying
the Roman script for their own use (putting different symbols around
the alphabets), why should they have objection putting few matra
around Devnagari letters.

For all Arabic Script lovers, try this out, get one person who can
read Devnagari (or any script derived from Devnagari like Gujarati,
Bengali etc) but does not know Urdu and another person who can read
English and does not know Urdu (any western white/black guy). Give
them a Urdu paragraph transliterated in their script and ask them to
read. And check it out, whose pronounciation makes sense to understand
that paragraph spoken by each. I can bet you that person reading
Devnagari derived script will be able to read the Urdu paragraph
without a question.

The reason is in Devnagari one does not have to learn how a written
word has to be pronounced. The script is rich enough to carry the
phonetical component of the language that many of the Western or
Arabic script does not carry.
----------------------------

But none of above observations have to do anything with why the
website was made to transliterate Urdu to Hindi. It was just out of
interest of few individuals to read Urdu blogs and News sites. For any
one who is interested in Translating Urdu content into Hindi, this
tool may help out to reduce their typing effort. Translator can proof-
read the output, correct few things and then publish the final content
in Devnagari.

Asking people to learn Urdu script is nothing but equal to binding the
Urdu language within limits.

I wouldn't have written all these if Afzal Sahib would have stopped
after saying that "such effort be rather made by someone who knows
Urdu". But I had to write because I see there is group of people who
seem to be against the "very idea of representing Urdu content in
Devnagari script for the reason of purity." If people would have
confined themselves within such false boundaries, Gita, Quran or Bible
would not have been translated in so many other languages.

If by this I offended anyone, I ask your forgiveness.
-Piyush

Kali Hawa

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 12:52:21 AM6/18/07
to
> Afzal- Hide quoted text -

>
> - Show quoted text -

Since I have been named and blamed therefore it is important for me to
either apologize or contest. I will do both.

Much before I entered this discussion the original post had become
irrelevant, the discussion was already into Urdu's acceptability in
devnagri script or otherwise in reference to Khuswant Singh's
observations, therefore I did not change the subject. When I used
'Arabic' for Urdu script the inference was quite obvious still I will
apologize for that if it was not palatable to some.
Madarsa becoming dirty word was stated as a matter of fact on the
assumption that we are all rational people not prone to impulsive
judgment. I realize that it was in bad taste, unfortunately the damage
is done no apology will undo that. Sorry.

However the point remains that language's (any language's) association
with a religious group hinders its wider acceptability.

I stick to my view that much of the opposition to a change is normally
a reflex response. We tend to freeze a point of view first and then
support that resolve with invented arguments.

Please understand that I am a completely a-religious person and I have
absolutely nothing against Muslims or any other religious group though
same cannot be said about religions.

Kind regards

Anil Kala

Afzal A. Khan

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 2:42:20 AM6/18/07
to
Kali Hawa wrote:

> Since I have been named and blamed therefore it is important for me to
> either apologize or contest. I will do both.
>
> Much before I entered this discussion the original post had become
> irrelevant, the discussion was already into Urdu's acceptability in
> devnagri script or otherwise in reference to Khuswant Singh's
> observations, therefore I did not change the subject.

I do believe that you turned the discussion into another
(tangential) direction. But there is no need to belabour
the point.

> When I used
> 'Arabic' for Urdu script the inference was quite obvious still I will
> apologize for that if it was not palatable to some.

There is no question of something being "unpalatable". It is
simply incorrect. Please refer to Naseer Saheb's later posts
in this thread that should make the point clearer. If somebody
incorrectly and needlessly harps on the script being "Arabic",
he brings a totally irrelevant religious angle into the
discussion.

> Madarsa becoming dirty word was stated as a matter of fact on the
> assumption that we are all rational people not prone to impulsive
> judgment. I realize that it was in bad taste, unfortunately the damage
> is done no apology will undo that. Sorry.


"Madrasa" has been given a different and undesirable connotation
only in very recent times. Otherwise, the word and its variants
have been in use for centuries in an absolutely innocent sense.
It simply means a place of learning --- it can be a primary
school, a middle school or even an academy. "Mudarris" means
a teacher. "Dars" means a(n academic) lesson. In Urdu school
text books of the twenties and thirties, it was common to find
sentences like "BachchoN ko bila~naaGHa madrasa jaana chaahiye".
The word had no specific religious associations. In mohallas,
where parents could not find the time to teach their children
religious scriptures, it was customary to send them to some
learned Maulvi who would teach them the basics for a small fee.
At places where schools were far off, children would also learn
basics of Urdu language from such persons. The well-known
Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar is on record that she learnt Urdu
from such a Maulvi Saheb and she has always expressed gratitude
for him. So if Naseer Saheb says that he learnt the religious
text before he learnt Urdu, there is no need to read anything
sinister in this assertion.


>
> However the point remains that language's (any language's) association
> with a religious group hinders its wider acceptability.

There is a saying in English which, in effect, says :
Give the dog a bad name and then hang him.

Urdu-knowing people have always asserted that it is
NOT, repeat NOT, the exclusive language of any one
particular community. It is a language that belongs to
the whole country --- in fact, to the whole world.
There have been eminent writers and poets in Urdu who
did NOT belong to the minority community. And this
has gone on for centuries. Pandit Daya Shankar Naseem,
Pandit Brij Narain Chakbast, Pandit Anand Narain Mulla,
Munshi Premchand, Kunwar Mohinder Singh Bedi Sahar,
Krishn Chander, Jagannath Aazaad, Pandit Mela Ram Wafa,
Munshi Tilok Chand Mehroom, Pandit Labhuram Josh Malsiani,
Rajendra Singh Bedi ---- one can go on and on. You may
perhaps have heard of a very popular Urdu magazine
"BeesweeN Sadi". Its Editor was KHushtar Girami, a hindu
gentleman who continued to publish the magazine for
several decades. So, if some people try to associate the
Urdu language with a particular religious linkage, it
is only from a misguided, ulterior motive. Even in our
Newsgroup, there are any number of people who do not belong
to the minority community but who are as much respected here
as anybody else. Offhand, I can cite the names of Zoya
Saheba, Vijay Saheb, UVR Saheb, Yogesh Sethi Saheb, Sushil
Sharma Saheb etc. etc. Some former participants include
Shri Yashwanto Ghosh and Shri Padmanabh Shrinagesh. The
active participation of these people has only enriched our
Newsgroup. So your assertion is patently incorrect.

Urdu knowing people number in the crores and not just in one
or two countries. There has never been any question of
the Urdu language not being widely accepted. Of course,
it is possible for some people and sections to adopt
means and measures that would retard the normal growth
and acceptability of any language. If people in the deep
south prefer their own language/s to, say, hindi, they can
and do resort to agitations etc. which restricts the
growth of hindi in that region. If edicts are issued that
funds or grants should not be made available to schools that
have taught Urdu for decades, on par with other non-Urdu
schools which continue to receive such financial assistance,
one should not be surprised that such Urdu schools are bound
to face closure. On the eve of the last Parliamentary
Elections, why was it necessary for the former Prime Minis-
ter to announce that his Government, if returned to power,
would appoint 2 lakh Urdu teachers ? In fact, he was so
carried away that he first used the words "two crores" !
If the shortage of Urdu teachers was so huge, what was his
Government doing in the preceding 5 years ? This is not
meant to be a political discussion. But the ultimate fate
of Urdu is inextricably linked to whether the Government of
the day is sincere towards its sustenance and growth or just
wants to kill it off. You must have read the letter of
Zoya Saheba's friend from Gwalior. That tells the true
state of affairs quite succintly.


>
> I stick to my view that much of the opposition to a change is normally
> a reflex response. We tend to freeze a point of view first and then
> support that resolve with invented arguments.

If this is just a general statement, there is no point in
discussing it. If it is meant for the Urdu-knowing people,
then it is quite incorrect and inapplicable. It is not
out of stubborn obtuseness that Urdu folks stick to this
"fixed" view. It is a most reasonable and logical stand
that they take for the preservation of their language.

>
> Please understand that I am a completely a-religious person and I have
> absolutely nothing against Muslims or any other religious group though
> same cannot be said about religions.

This is neither here nor there. None of the proponents of the
Urdu language and script have flaunted their own religious
association in this thread.

> Anil Kala


Afzal

Naseer

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 7:38:30 AM6/18/07
to
On Jun 17, 4:57 pm, Vijay <guz...@hotmail.com> wrote:

muHtaram Vijay Sahib, aadaab 'arz hai,

I have only partially replied to your post. Unfortunately, the problem
is finding sufficient time and doing justice to fellow ALUPers. Let me
make an attempt once again.


> 1. Your point about how Hindi speakers will react if they were asked
> to switch over to Urdu script is not quite analogous. Here is the
> correct analogy. If in an Urdu speaking country, say Pakistan, someone
> were to make available Hindi poetry or literature in Urdu script, most
> Hindi speakers will rejoice. No one will say that Pakistanis should
> learn nagri script. Language of Punjabi offers a better example. All
> of Shiv Batalvi has been transcribed in Urdu script (Shahmukhi) to the
> joy of Panjabi speakers the world over. No one has objected to this
> venture or insisted that Pakistanis should learn Gurmukhi.

I have no problem with what you have written in the above lines. What
you appear to have missed, and this is central to the manner of my
reaction, is that Urdu speakers are being asked/told to scrap Urdu
alphabet and switch over to Devanagri where their language's future
lies. Do you understand now why I said what I said?

> While on the subject, I don't think learning of Gurmukhi in Pakistan will in
> anyway enhance the plight of the language of Punjabi or get it out of
> the doledrums it is in.

I don't think anyone has suggested that Pakistani Punjabis should
adopt the Gurmukhi script and even if this was suggested, their
reaction would be identical to the Urdu speakers who are being pushed
into writing their language in Devanagri. As for the language being in
the doledrums, I could offer you some insight into this but it is
irrelevant to the present discussion.

> 2. Let us not confuse the word 'language' with 'script'. Here at ALUP,
> we have successfully interacted and benefited over the years by using
> Roman script. It would have been to the deteriment of quite a few if
> the script of interaction was Urdu/ arabic. One can't hold hostage the
> enjoyment of a language to its script (desireable as it is). I enjoyed
> the Urdu poetry in nagri script (thanks to one Parkash Pandit, who
> painstakingly and accurately transcribed almost all Urdu poets of note
> into nagri script) during my younger years when I didn't know how to
> read Urdu script. In no way I felt it dimnished my pleasure or
> enjoyment simply because I was reading it in Nagri.

Enough has already been said about Urdu language and Urdu script and
one can say that they are linked together as "cholii" and "daaman"
are! IMHO, it is irrelevant whether you enjoyed Urdu poetry in
Devanagri. The reality is that Urdu has one and only one script and
that is the Urdu script. If for convenience we use Roman Urdu on ALUP,
this does not eliminate that reality.

> 3. Turkish language has produced prize winning literature but the
> language itself uses roman script. I don't think it dimnishes a/the
> language just because it deosn't have its own script.

If Ataturk and his supporters decided to scrap the Ottomon Turkish
script, it was their (the Turkish speaking people's) decision. The
Greeks or Italians across the sea did not coerce them to do this. As
for producing prize winning literature, so have the Arabs and
Persians. Faiz has won some awards from the soviets too. Iqbal was
knighted for his services.

> 4. I didn't quite understand your point about reading Quraan before
> you learnt the Urdu qaida. If you read the book (I presume in Arabic)
> by rote, not understanding the content, how did you benefit by it? And
> how is it relevent to the discussion at hand? I am sure there is an
> explanation for this assertion but I dare say it escapes me.

If the parents of a child from an Urdu speaking Muslim background are
unable to find a state school where their child might get formal Urdu
teaching, they have no alternative but to send him/her to a local
learned man/lady to "fill" this gap.This education may begin with the
reading of the Quran and then go onto rudimentary Urdu. On the other
hand this may be simultaneous, the reading of Quran and Urdu being
taught in the same "sitting". In my own case, I was taught to read the
Qur'an first and this aided my Urdu learning later.

> 5. I don't agree with your implied assertion that 'we shall throw the
> baby out with the bath water', i.e. Urdu in Urdu script or no Urdu. In
> fact I find in many ways roman/nagri/gurmukhi to be more intuitive
> when it comes to, say, diacritical marks, which as you know, is one of
> my pet peeves:-)
>

With due respect to you, Vijay Sahib, I disagree. Urdu is Urdu only
with Urdu script. Whether this logic holds true or not for other
languages is neither here nor there. Again, if you find Roman/Nagri/
Gurmukhi more intuitive, you are using a metre to measure but giving
the answer in yards, i.e. you are using the wrong yardstick!
Essentially, Urdu script is a consonantal script and Urdu readers KNOW
it. It has served its purpose wonderfully for centuries, even before
Urdu came to be written in it and it will continue to do so as long as
there are Urdu speakers living and breathing.

aaj kii taazah KHabareN ...

aphghaanistaan meN saat bache halaak

edaalatiiN GHalatiyaaN kii talaafii kareN!!

KHair-andesh,
Naseer

Naseer

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 11:42:24 AM6/18/07
to
On Jun 18, 4:58 am, piyush <piyushbh...@hotmail.com> wrote:

Shrii Piyush Jii, namaste,

I posted a reply to your message but, unfortunately, it does not seem
to have surfaced. I shall have another go.

This may be my last post in this series as I wish to wrap up my views
in a way which is amicable and the last words might be " we will agree
to disagree" and move on.

> I really did not think that the discussion would go this far. As Afzal
> sahib has mentioned in previous post the original issue was some of
> the software (bhomiyo.com) defects while transliterating Urdu content
> into Hindi. Urdu lovers like Afzal Sahib and Naseer Sahib previously
> felt that such an effort
> 1) either should not be made
> 2) or, its not needed by people who visit this group as everyone here
> knows urdu script
> 3) and if made, should be made only by those who are very much
> familiar with both scripts

You have posted your original post in a number of groups, namely:-
Hindi Bhasha
Hindi
Chithakar
alt.fan.jai.maharaj
soc.culture.India
soc.culture.Pakistan
Ghazal lovers club
sci.lang.translation
sci.language.

There may be more which I have missed. However, apart from the
discussion generated in ALUP I have noticed that there has been only
one response from "chithkar". In a nutshell, my view is that your
website is beneficial for those people who can not read Urdu in Urdu
script. Even these people are at a great loss since the work produced
so far gives totally inaccurate view of what is written in the actual
Urdu website.


> For the first two points, one of the argument is Urdu should be
> represented in Urdu script only to maintain its "purity". Its quite
> interesting to use the word "purity" in the context of Urdu. Because
> the word Urdu probably means "Mixture" - where nothing is in its pure
> form. The grammer is not pure Urdu its Hindi, words are not pure Urdu
> its Hindi as well as Farasi and Arabic, the script is not pure Urdu as
> its modified version of Arabic, the people themselves are not pure
> Urdu as its original Indian race mixed with the migrant Arabic,
> Iranian, Turk etc people, the culture and the tradition is not pure
> Urdu as it has mixture of cultures and traditions of all these mixed
> people -- what is Urdu? What has evolved out of all these mixtures
> over the last 6-8 centuries is what is Urdu?

Piyush Bhaaii, you seem to have totally mis-represented what Afzal
Sahib said in one of his earlier posts. This is the paragraph in
question.

"Urdu lovers are rathe sensitive about the "purity" of their
language, script etc.That I think is quite understandable. And I am
sure you too would
appreciate it. The distortion of Urdu words, either by way of
spelling or pronunciation, is quite distasteful for them. Naseer
Saheb has used a picturesque word for such distortion : "chaTnee
banaana". However tasty "chaTnee" may be intrinsically, it is
quite unpalateable in this particular context."

He then goes onto say...

"To illustrate my point, I am re-transcribing your above post (in
Roman English, of course.."

Taking the names Urdu and Hind-ii, I respectfully ask you to look up
in a reputable reference what the origin of these words is. Hind-ii
itself is not an original "Indian" word.

> the people themselves are not pure
> Urdu as its original Indian race mixed with the migrant Arabic,
> Iranian, Turk etc people

Piyush Jii, I take a great exception to your utterance here. Are you
suggesting that you are a direct descendent of the Indus Valley
Civilisation from MohenjodaaRo and HaRappa? Those people of the sub-
continent who speak a Sanskrit-derived language (you and me) belong to
a people who originally were living in the western coast of Turkey.
These people were called Hittites and their language is the oldest
Indo-European language known. A group of these people went west,
another east to the area of Iran and yet another went further east to
India where, the Dravidian peoples were already in residence. So, an
Urdu speaker, is just as much "Indian" as you, a speaker of a north
Indian language are.

Piyush Bhaaii, people have moved around on this planet through
millenia. The latest people to come to our shores were the British. I
don't think we should have a fixation about race and ancestory. We are
all human beings with the same DNA structure. In the words of Allama
Iqbal, we should not be worried about where we have come from, but be
more concerned as to where we are going!

KHirad-mandoN se kyaa puuchchuuN kih merii ibtidaa kyaa hai
kih maiN is fikr meN rahtaa huuN merii intihaa kyaa hai!

> Considering the use of modified Arabic (arabic with few more
> consonants) for Urdu as original script - the question of purity was
> not raised when it was being romanized. Out of necessity, roman script
> is being used to represent Urdu (even for this ALUP group) like many
> other languages of the subcontinent - and no question of purity
> arises. But as soon as the Devnagari is mentioned, we are asking why
> can't the people learn the Urdu script if they want to read it.This
> does not sound fair or logical.

I have already covered your comments regarding "purity".Yes this is
fair and logical. We are using Roman, because it is the most wide-
spread of alphabets. It is a matter of convenience. If those people
who sem to have Urdu speakers' interest close to their hearts and are
loosing their sleep over the salvation of their language, then what is
wrong in asking these kind folk to write their language Hindi in the
Urdu alphabet?


>
> Naseer sahib invited me in previous mail to discuss the very topic of
> difference between script and language in context of Urdu.

I did not mention anything "in context of Urdu". But no matter.

> And someone
> even mentioned in one of the message that no script can fully
> represent a particular language. In the same line, think about
> English. The word 'schedule' is pronounced as 'skejyul' in south asia
> and Enlgand while 'shedyual' in US. So, the written 'schedule' does
> not carry the linguistic pronounciation of the word. And hence, any
> person who is taught how to pronounce that word will be able to say it
> rightly. this also means that the same language and same script may be
> used differently in different regions and people do modify the words
> according to their own toungue. Are all Urdu words pronounced the same
> way as they are pronounced in Mecca or Egypt?

I am sorry but I was not aware that people in Mecca and Egypt spoke
Urdu!

>An egyptian can't even
> pronounce 'p' - he always says 'b' (there could be exceptions). So,
> what is the standard of purity for Urdu words if they don't match the
> Arabic pronounciation for the same word. And if they can be different
> there is no better reason why Arabic script only can represent Urdu if
> the same Arabic letters are not pronounced in their pure form.
>

Piyush Bhaaii, the reason why an Egyptian can not pronounce a "p" is
because there *is* no "p" in Arabic, just the same way there is no
"z", "f" etc in Sanskrit. I noticed that you wrote "jyaada". I suspect
the language you speak does not have a "z".

> If the language pronounciation is anyway going to change regionally
> then the script and letters of that region can very well represent the
> language being spoken. And Devnaagari is would be a much qualified
> candidate than Roman script. If people do not have objection modifying
> the Roman script for their own use (putting different symbols around
> the alphabets), why should they have objection putting few matra
> around Devnagari letters.

Urdu speakers already have a number of dots and "matras" in the Urdu
script. So, what would be the logic to abandon this script and go onto
something else.R.S.McGregor, in the preface of his "The Oxford Hindi-
English Dictionary" says..

"Urdu, an earlier specialisation than Hindi of a mixed speech of the
Delhi area which had gained currency as a lingua franca....". So, Urdu
is an earlier form than your Modern Hindi, as we know it.

> For all Arabic Script lovers, try this out, get one person who can
> read Devnagari (or any script derived from Devnagari like Gujarati,
> Bengali etc) but does not know Urdu and another person who can read
> English and does not know Urdu (any western white/black guy). Give
> them a Urdu paragraph transliterated in their script and ask them to
> read. And check it out, whose pronounciation makes sense to understand
> that paragraph spoken by each. I can bet you that person reading
> Devnagari derived script will be able to read the Urdu paragraph
> without a question.

Why is it necessary to specify the colour of the person? Is there
going to be a difference in the pronunciation because of this? I don't
think we need to carry out any practical tests. We have seen ample
evidence in the way you have been transcribing "Urdu".

> The reason is in Devnagari one does not have to learn how a written
> word has to be pronounced. The script is rich enough to carry the
> phonetical component of the language that many of the Western or
> Arabic script does not carry.

Perhaps you ought to start a new thread and let people know of the
virtues of Devanagri. Interested parties will no doubt take an
interest.

> Asking people to learn Urdu script is nothing but equal to binding the
> Urdu language within limits.

Bhaaii Sahib, is meN kyaa burii baat hai? agar mujh jaise log
Devanagri siikh sakte haiN to aap ko Urdu script siikhne meN kyaa harj
hai?

>
> I wouldn't have written all these if Afzal Sahib would have stopped
> after saying that "such effort be rather made by someone who knows
> Urdu". But I had to write because I see there is group of people who
> seem to be against the "very idea of representing Urdu content in
> Devnagari script for the reason of purity." If people would have
> confined themselves within such false boundaries, Gita, Quran or Bible
> would not have been translated in so many other languages.

Those people who are advocating the usage of Devanagri, IMHO, are
proposing that Hindi and Urdu are one and the same and therefore these
languages should be amalgamated; and a sure way is to write them in
the same (Devanagri) script. If I agree with this, then why can not
they be brought together in the Urdu script? The reality is that Faiz
and Bachchan were not writing in the same language. If anyone needs a
reminder, the Indian constitution recognises Urdu as a seperate
language.


>
> If by this I offended anyone, I ask your forgiveness.

Yes you have and I have already said so above. If I have have said
anything to you or if any ALUPer has taken offence to anything I have
written here, then please accept my humble aplollogies. It was not
intentional.

Finally, Piyush Jii, you have said earlier...

"Na to main Urdu ke virudhdha hu, na to use bolane valo se." (Piyush
June 14 7:18pm)

mere bhaaii, agar aap Urdu ke Khilaaf nahiiN haiN to phir mujhe is ke
Haamii bhii nahiiN lagte. shaayad mere samajhne meN koii kotaahii ho
gaii ho. jab tak Urdu bolne vaale zindah haiN, un kii zabaan bhii
zindaa rahe gii, har mushkil ke baa-vujuud!

KHair-andesh

Naseer


Zoya

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 1:20:42 PM6/18/07
to
Gentlemen,

I am all confused now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Who is saying what?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I am being told that one comment posted by me started all
this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)

Piyush Sahib, you did not know what you were getting into when you
started this thread, did you?! :)

Anyways, I want to add a few remarks, in no particular order:

1. I agree that it is a totally different experience when I read a
ghazal/nazm in Urdu, as compared to when I read it in Devanagri. But
if the choice is between reading Urdu poetry in Devanagri vs not being
able to read it at all, then............. ,I am sure you get my
point. :)

2. A direct quote from Naseer Sahib "Those people who are advocating


the usage of Devanagri, IMHO, are
proposing that Hindi and Urdu are one and the same and therefore these
languages should be amalgamated; and a sure way is to write them in
the same (Devanagri) script."

I disagree. I personally know a lot of people who are Urdu speakers,
Urdu lovers, and recognize Urdu and Hindi as two distinct languages,
but they still realize that writing Urdu in Devanagri is a need of
present day India. Notice, I said "need", of course it is no longer a
matter of choice if majority of the readers are unable to read the
original script.

One eminent writer who told me personally that if Urdu is to reach the
masses in India, it will have to be written in Devanagri script
eventually, was Ms Bapsi Sidhwa ( of 'Ice candy man' fame that got
made into Amir Khan starrer '1947- Earth' by Deepa Mehta). She was
born and brought up in Lahore. Of course, we can say that it is just
one person's opinion and does not carry much weight, but we need to
pause and take notice if writers of her and Khushwant Singh's stature
are making these statements.

3. As Afzal Sahib said, the word 'madrasa' was commonly used for any
'school' until a generation or two ago. I remember my nanaji using it
all the time, without any religious connotations.

4. Yes, there are many Urdu websites on the net, but the reality is
that ones that mainly use Urdu script get most of their membership
from Pakistani community. I truly believe the primary reason for this
is that very few young Indians can actually read Urdu script.

If you look at the websites in Roman Urdu, the membership is more
diverse.

5. Afzal Sahib, while listing the prominent non muslim Urdu writers/
poets, you forgot Firaaq GoraKhpuri ( Raghupat Sahai), one of the best
Urdu poets ever! :)

6. I grew up listening to All India Radio's Urdu service, and as a
child used to feel that those fascinating broadcasters lived in an
India so different from mine! No one around me talked like that! :)

7. Of course Urdu scrip will survive, it is not in danger! We have
'Urdu Times' and other such newspapers even in North America. But
again the reality is that almost 95% of their readership is made up of
people with Pakistani origin.

We are not talking about survival of Urdu script, but survival of Urdu
script in India, more so among non muslims.

The debate can go on and on!

Friends, guess where I'm going this weekend! :)

I'll be attending the International Urdu Conference and among other
things, expect to discuss this very issue with many eminent Urdu
poets/ writers/scholars from the Indian subcontinent and all over the
world! :) :)

I am so looking forward to my upcoming trip. :)

Bye for now,

________Zoya

piyush

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 2:15:51 PM6/18/07
to
Somehow the tone of Naseer Sahib and Afzal Sahib is so similar as if
they were just one person - seems like you are close buddies.

By the way, Naseer Sahib, finally you did get personal in your
response. You can read that none of what I said had anything directed
towards you as individual. "Your language", "Your Hindi", "Your race"
etc are irrelevant for the topic we were discussing.

I have no objection in your protest for the site and its
transliteration - any individual should make comments for incorrect
output. But my only protest was your denying the fact that Urdu can
"also" be written in "Devnagari" to get wider audience for the Urdu
content.

Nobody wants any script or language to die down. So the reason for
one's protest is one's fear that the Urdu script will get extinct if
its written in Devnagari. One doesn't have to have any such fear as
people will keep using Urdu script.

In the Internet era, there is advantage of reaching out to wider
audience and any effort made for Urdu to reach out to Hindi (please
note, not **Hindu** only) community should be appreciate so that more
such efforts are made.

There were names mentioned here of Hindu poets who have contributed
for Urdu language - that shows that there are people who look towards
Urdu as a language - ignoring any religious sentiments behind it.
Similarly some Muslim poet names should be mentioned who may have
contributed to Hindi/Sanskrit language.

Naseer Sahib, you started off with nicer tone when this thread
started, but unfortunately you have put some of us in the opposite
camp. I will ignore this and let you know that - I am not against
one's learning Urdu and I myself is ready to learn the script. If I
knew the script I could have done the transliteration job much better
- but again the truth is - no matter how well I know the Urdu script -
the machine transliteration would not be perfect. The same Urdu
spelling would have different Hindi spelling and that only Human mind
can understand while reading it - a machine cannot do that. And I see
that you mentioned you have some scientific background, so if you
delve into how the programming can be done for this transliteration,
you will easily understand that.

Zoya madam, you seem to have nuetral point of view till now and I
congratulate any effort made by you in the direction of making Urdu
available to Hindi readers.

Thank you all,
Piyush

Afzal A. Khan

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 3:23:42 PM6/18/07
to


Naseer Saheb,

After what you have written in the above post (and earlier posts
too), there is little need for me to add anything further.

Except to point out that now, "the cat is out of the bag". You
too must have realized that the real object of the whole exercise
was --- "shuddhikaran" or 'purification'. Urdu is a(n unholy ?)
mix. Urdu-knowing people are also a mixed (and not pure) breed.
And, therefore, the need of the moment is to thrust on them a
device that would "refine" that impure language. What you and
others use is certainly not a dignified language. The result
you saw after visiting that link is the real, unadulterated,
pure Urdu ! And that surely is the best way to bring people
together, to reduce and even eliminate the "distance" between
them !!

Piyush had earlier claimed (on 14th June) that he had posted the
same message on other Newsgroups and had also received responses.
Now, your reasearch reveals that there was just one response,
even though the message (and link) had been posted on nine other
Newsgroups. That statistic should reveal the actual "benefit" of
the original post.

Piyush has also opined as under :

"The word "schedule" is pronounced as "skejyul" in South Asia
and England while "shedyual" in US. So the written "schedule"
does not carry the linguistic pronunciation of the word."

I am sure the first sentence above represents some latest
research done by him.

And why does he have to go so far as to cite this example ?
Even within the same language, one does not follow the same
pronunciation principle infliexibly. The cliched instance
of "but" and "put" should have been sufficient !

And, BTW, the whole world now recognizes the distinction between
British English and American English. If you ask your computer a
question about spelling/pronunciation, most copmputers in use
would give you the answer with a double option : take your pick.

And talking about "purity", is English really all that "pure" ?
Any good dictionary contains entries about the "Etymology" of
many many words, telling you that a word is derived from a Latin
or French root etc. Come to think of it, many words of South
Asian origin now find a permanent place in the English lexicon,
words like 'jungle', 'purdah', 'basmati', 'cheeta' 'pukka',
'pundit', 'loot', 'thug', 'chutney', 'cummerbund' etc. One word
from the area of Cricket is also part of the English language now
--"doosra". You use this word with any Britisher well-acquainted
with the game, and he would readily understand what you are
talking about.

So a language can borrow words from other languages and absorb
them permanently --- and yet retain its "pure" character. If
one is using "pure" (in the sense of "chaste") Urdu one would say
"KHaas", rather than "vishesh", "tabaadla-e-KHayaal" rather than
"vichaar vinimay".

Piyush also talked about the "standard of purity" in the context
of the Urdu language. My own opinion would be "general and wide-
spread acceptability". "Camera" may originally be a 'foreign'
word (perhaps of Italian or Latin origin). But it has since been
completely accepted and absorbed in the Urdu lexicon.

At the same time, one cannot mispronounce a word and then say
that it is the 'modified' form of the original ("chaste") word.
"KHata" and "KHabar" would be 'chaste' Urdu --- but not 'khata'
and 'khabar'.

Another point : Bengali script may perhaps be derived from the D.
script but I do not really know whether any ordinary non-Bengali
individual who can read hindi can also read Bengali script with
equal felicity.

Piyush is also of the opinion that :

"There is a group of people who seem to be against the 'very
idea of representing Urdu content in D. script for the
reason of purity'. If people would have confined themselves


within such false boundaries, Gita, Quran or Bible would not
have been translated in so many other languages".

This is clearly preposterous. Nobody but nobody is against the
concept of "Translation". All Urdu lovers would rejoice if works
in Urdu are correctly "TRANSLATED" into hindi, or Tamil or any
other language. And vice versa. Let me quote one example,
particularly in the context of assertions made by some people
about Urdu being 'linked' to one particular community, on a
religious footing. During the thirties and forties, a great many
English books (particularly in the category or genre of Mysteries
and Thrillers) were translated into "pure" or "chaste" Urdu by
a gentleman whose name was Teerath Ram Ferozepuri. I have myself
read and enjoyed these translations. Some of these translations
were of books written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of
Sherlock Holmes) and his French contemporary Maurice Leblanc
(creator of Arsene Lupin).

It would, therefore, be obvious that nobody is against the
concept (and desirability) of TRANSLATION.

But "Translation" is different from "Transliteration" and that is
where the ideas of "representation" and "purity" become relevant.
Let me take an example from a BBC news item as read through the
'bhomiyo' device. Some of the Urdu words as transcribed in D.
script appear as under :

sama'et - rakani - phal - malak - kahDe -balkaha - ezamee -
makadme - mojodaha - antahaaii - daaKHal - ahtiyaat - bahi -
wakala - ahtajaaj - amtanaaii - KHasosee - amranaha -
maltoi - ankayayari - antakaami - karrayayi ---- etc. etc.

Any Urdu-knowing person would definitely be outraged if told that
this indeed is Urdu. But he would definitely be most pleased if
the same news item is printed in (proper) English translation.

Thus it would be seen that the above argument is based on a
patently dishonest analogy (Translation against Transliteration).


Enough said. I think we should let the matte rest on a permanent
footing.

Afzal


piyush

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 3:47:12 PM6/18/07
to
On Jun 18, 3:23 pm, "Afzal A. Khan" <me_af...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>
> Piyush had earlier claimed (on 14th June) that he had posted the
> same message on other Newsgroups and had also received responses.
> Now, your reasearch reveals that there was just one response,
> even though the message (and link) had been posted on nine other
> Newsgroups. That statistic should reveal the actual "benefit" of
> the original post.
> Afzal

Dear Afzal sahib,

You should visit: http://bhomiyo.wordpress.com/ to find out how many
responses are received and check the blog-post for 'Posts About
Bhomiyo on other sites' to find out what other people are talking
about Urdu in Hindi.

Thanks,
Piyush

Afzal A. Khan

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 5:56:59 PM6/18/07
to


Shri Piyush,

Frankly, I am not interested. If Naseer Saheb's research is at
fault, you can point it out to him (in the Newsgroup).

I have made my views in this regard known in no uncertain manner.

I am unable to understand how Urdu's future can be safeguarded
if its script is given up by its users.

Afzal

Naseer

unread,
Jun 18, 2007, 6:25:55 PM6/18/07
to
On Jun 17, 11:36 am, Shyam <sams...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello Naseer Saheb, ALUPers,
>
> What an interesting discussion! As I eagerly await Kala Saheb's reply,
> cant stop myself asking a few questions. Would be great to know if you
> think in these lines too.
> __
> Again, why is the number important?
> How/Why does more people learning and appreciating 'my' language makes
> me more happy? What exactly will I be happy about?
> The pleasure I get of/from something(language, script, here) is
> entirely mine, personal, and its over as soon as I receive it. It is
> not dependent on what somebody else thinks of the same subject, and if
> he gets the same pleasure too, and why should it be?
>
> Thanks and regards,

> Shyam- Hide quoted text -


>
> - Show quoted text -


janaab-i-Shyam Sahib, aadaab 'arz hai,

I am sorry for the delay in replying to you. I was not deliberately
ignoring you. It's just that I could not really understand the
implication/s of your post. Can you be more direct for a simple minded
person like me?

KHair-Khvaah,
Naseer

Shyam

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 7:02:26 AM6/19/07
to


Hello Naseer Saheb,

I thought I am the most simple minded in the currrent discussion :)
But I wont welcome you to my club yet because I have followed your
posts in ALUP closely enough to have quite high regards for your
lingustic and analytical abilities. I decline to take the pun
(intentional or unintentional) from your message and dare to make some
points here ;) It will be good if you agree, much better if you dont!
I will get to learn some more from you ;)

I must say I was a tad disappointed by your post (which seemed very
unlikely from you), where you mentioned 'turning the tables'. It was
not the best example to cite in the conditions, as Vijay Saheb also
mentioned later. And this led me to ask you the questions. However
lots of dirty water has since flown under the bridge :) My
observations below are after I have read all other(and others') posts,
so may not be limited to the particular post of yours.

Say for example, my mother-tongue is Oriya. If I read and appreciate
Oriya literature in Oriya script, I get some value out of it and the
objective is met then and there. I dont really care if other Oriyas,
or non-Oriyas will get this value which I assume to be 'correct' or
'pure'. I dont have a collective responsibility towards the receipt of
pleasure from the literature by the humanity. If the future of Oriya
in the neighbouring Bengal state is in doledrums, it has its own
reasons for this, and I am not concerned by this in any way. I dont
own a collective responsibility of having Bengal people learn Oriya
(and much less that they be correct too). If however, somebody in
Bengal tries to make a software which translates Oriya websites to
Bengali, however faulty this software be, it is conventional to
rejoice (although, I dont see much value in this rejoice, personally.
But I guess there is nothing to oppose too). If a Bengali tries to
learn Oriya out of his interest and to derive pleasure from the Oriya
literature, he is most welcome to learn, and nobody can stop him from
doing so. But he will be a fool if he uses this software to 'learn'
Oriya. There are other proper avenues for this. But if the web-site is
able to provide him(or anybody else who wants just to know the
content, not 'learn' the language) with a gist of the content from a
Oriya web-site, it does not hurt. Please note that he is not trying to
learn 'Oriya' from this. He just wants to know the content of an web-
site.

(Most of the Google translations are incorrect, if you see it from a
more detailed perspective. But they do manage to give you an idea of
the content you are trying to translate. (Believe me it helps, I am
working in Germany, and Google translation is my Homepage ;)) But if I
intend to learn Deutsche, I for sure wont refer to Google Translator!)

Ok, now whether there is one Bengali who wants to learn Oriya, or
millions, I really have nothing to gain. You see what I had received
by reading Oriya literature is over and done with loooooong back. I
dont see the number of people speaking any language has a direct
reference to anything that concerns me. Or I fail to see if I get any
value out of this.

Whether the state provides any opportunity by way of grants, colleges,
schools etc for a certain language it is immaterial for a person who
WANTS to learn it. (Needless to say, I am attracted to Urdu without
any such opportunities). Also, it will be good for the language to get
one person who wants to learn it genuinely, than having millions who
just learn it by TINA factor. (Everybody eats, how many are
conneisseurs?). I want that one Ghalib, one Mir, and one Jafer who
elevates the language to a different level. You see numbers are not
important, they never were in this case. And I believe, this small
number will be _despite_ of anything else than the inherent value of a
language.

I have no business trying to be a savior of a language, much less
acting like a big brohter trying to safeguard my little kid brother. I
think one cannot dishonor my language more than by giving it this
emotion. It is easy to think so as soon as you dont relate the number
of people using a language as a direct reference to its strength/
beauty/value as a language. May be you can relate it to the popularity
( Even Himesh Reshmiya is popular:))

This is more important to understand in today's world, where more and
more people of different languages are inter-mixing. That will give
birth to new languages, say for example Hinglish. Much can I rue over
the impurity of Hinglish, which is neither here nor there, but fact is
that it is now more popular than Hindi or English in India. Again,
does that matter!

Thanks and regards,
Shyam

Epilogue: I have a collegue from Chek Republic, one from France and
another from Germany. I swear at them with their own respective
languages, and they give it back to me in Hindi :))

Naseer

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 7:54:40 AM6/19/07
to
> languages, and they give it back to me in Hindi :))- Hide quoted text -

>
> - Show quoted text -

Shyam Sahib, aadaab 'arz hai,

There is a strong possibility of further "ignitions" taking place if I
were to attempt to answer your questions in an open forum. If you do
not mind my saying so, could you please send me a copy of your post by
e-mail and I shall endeavour to reply to you at first available
opportunity.

It appears that one or two of my comments have taken one or two
(perhaps more) ALUPers by surprise. Unfortunately there is no
impartial judge who could pronounce me guilty or not guilty of any
wrong doings. The judge will have to be my conscience. Despite all
this, as I have said in my last post to Piyush Bhatt Jii, I offer my
apollogies if anyone's sensitivities have been hurt...most of all Zoya
Bahin and Vijay Bhaaii, both of whom I respect dearly. I know the
"guilty" party hardly ever owns up to the offence they have committed.
But I sincerely believe I have not said anything offensive. Who said
was an angel any way?:)

KHair-andesh,
Naseer

Naseer

shyam...@gmail.com

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 7:57:09 AM6/19/07
to
> (and much less that they be correct too). If however, somebody in
> Bengal tries to make a software which translates Oriya websites to
> Bengali, however faulty this software be, it is conventional to
> rejoice (although, I dont see much value in this rejoice, personally.
> But I guess there is nothing to oppose too).

Ok, I mixed up which language to be translated to which. But I hope
the point is clear. :)

Regards,
Shyam

Vijay

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 9:51:26 AM6/19/07
to
On Jun 19, 12:02 pm, Shyam <sams...@gmail.com> wrote:

I enjoyed your post Shyam bhaii. I was going to respond to Naseer
sahib's post on somewhat similar lines but you have done a much better
job and as it is, there remians very little to add to the debate. I
agree with Naseer sahib's assertion that there remains considerable
room for a healthy disagreement and we shall avail ourselves of it.
Your epilogue reminds me of a story I read years ago when Khushwant
Singh used to be the editor of Illustrated weekly. He wrote of an
experience when he was on a cruise. Every evening, two gentlemen, one
Indian and the other French, will sit at the same table for dinner.
The Frenchman will say to the Indian 'bon appetit' before starting his
dinner. To this the Indian, thinking the Frenchman is introducing
himself, will respond, 'shaamji-ghanshyamji'. On the third or fourth
evening, Khushwant Singh, who has been noticing this exchange from the
neighbouring table, accosts the Indian and tell him that 'bon appetit'
is not a name but a 'good appetite' wish. He further encourages the
Indian to practice the phrase and wish the Frenchman 'bon appetit'
before the dinner that night.

So, before they start the dinner that evening, the Indian takes the
initiative, bows and says to the Frenchman, 'bon appetit'. The
Frenchman politely bows and goes, 'shaamji-ghanshaamji':-)

(I have since heard this story in different contexts but Khushwant
Singh's was the original. He wrote it somewhere in early to mid 70s)


Auf wiedersehen,

Vijay

Naseer sahib, perhaps I can clear up one point from my earlier post to
you. By 'almost religious fervor', I meant 'subjective, personalized,
impassioned, emotion laden', and not anything to do with religion per
se.I know you would have understood it that way but I thought for the
benefit of everyone I shall make this clarification.

Regards,

Vijay

Zoya

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 11:24:01 AM6/19/07
to
On Jun 19, 6:54 am, Naseer <qures...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> I offer my apologies if anyone's sensitivities have been hurt...most of all Zoya

> Bahin and Vijay Bhaaii, both of whom I respect dearly.
>
> KHair-andesh,
> Naseer
>

Naseer Sahib,

You don't owe me an apology! :) I did not find anything offensive in
any of your messages, or in anyone else's posts in this thread for
that matter! I can understand perfectly where all of us are coming
from, and can even relate to the different points of view.

This is what Alup has always been known for, having healthy
discussions, and agreeing to disagree in an amicable way. :)

__________Zoya


Shyam

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 2:16:20 PM6/19/07
to

> So, before they start the dinner that evening, the Indian takes the
> initiative, bows and says to the Frenchman, 'bon appetit'. The
> Frenchman politely bows and goes, 'shaamji-ghanshaamji':-)


Hello Vijayjee,

Please dont be surprised if this joke returns to you sometime soon,
only with a different name like "Jai Kumar Vijay Kumar". :))

Glad you liked my post.

Thanks and regards,
Shyam

Afzal A. Khan

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 2:28:27 PM6/19/07
to


My dear Shyam-ji

{ Not to be confused with Shamji of Khushwant Singh fame ! }

Your queries are directed to Naseer Saheb and I am sure he
would be able to give you suitable clarifications.

But this is a public debate and your post has appeared on a
public Newsgroup, so I hope you will not take it amiss if
I respond to it, even though my rejoinder may not be as
full or comprehensive as Naseer Saheb's.

First, I would like to get one thing out of the way. You used
the words "lots of dirty water". Why ? Although much of the
discussion has been very animated and passionate (and, to borrow
Vijay Saheb's expression "carried on with religious fervour" !),
it has been done in a civil manner, as far as I think. There
were no abusive posts and the participants tried their best to
stay within the limits of decorum. On the whole, it has been a
dignified debate. We would all feel enlightened if you could
explain or clarify your choice of these words.

Secondly, I am not sure that the Oriya/Bengali example cited by
you is very relevant to the Urdu/hindi debate. Every geographi-
cal and demographic region has its own uniquely peculiar linguis-
tic sensibilities and it may not be proper to treat these two
separate issues on the same footing. The Urdu/hindi debate is,
I believe, of much earlier vintage and very widespread. The
Oriya/Bengali issue, I think is more localized and may not be
known to many people outside these two areas.

BTW, let me add that I have lived in Orissa for a while and know
a little bit of the conditions there. Of course, nothing even
remotely comparable to others who belng to that region or those
who have studied the issues very deeply. I believe Orissa was
part of the Bengal Presidency and then part of Bihar for a long
time, before finally emerging as an independent entity in the
1930s. Due to its proximity with what is now Andhra Pradesh,
it also had considerable Telugu influence. In many ways, Bengali
and Telugu (or Andhrite) cultures and people held sway in Orissa,
and the Bengalis/Andhrites enjoyed a much greater share of that
region's "cake", in terms of employment, occupation of key posi-
tions and even linguistic dominance. These are my impressions
alone, and subject to others' differing views. The local (Oriya)
people and their language did not seemingly enjoy the same status
as the Bengali and Andhra folks/languages. There has, however,
been a considerable reversal of this state of affairs in recent
decades.

You have also raised questions of "individual satisfaction" over-
riding concerns over the larger issues (Oriya/Bengali websites
etc.). Is that really an appropriate attitude to adopt for most
of us ? Should we not be concerned about what is going on around
us, and which is adversely affecting our colleagues/countrymen ?
In fact, in this age of globalization, and where technological
advances have really shrunk the world, I feel the entire mankind
needs to feel involved and concerned about issues such as global
warming, preservation of wildlife and their natural habitat,
the war against poverty, hunger and disease, promotion of global
peace and the pursuit of prosperity and happiness.

These are of course larger issues, but I think the same principle
applies to smaller issues that still affect a large number of
people. If you are earning a decent livelihood in Germany and if
I am comfortably placed where I happen to live, that ought not to
make us oblivious to the miseries and woes afflicting our own
people back in, say, India.

Language issues also belong to this category, where the interests
of an entire linguistic community concern each and every indivi-
dual who is part of that particular community.

These are my personal beliefs and I am sorry if I have hurt your
feelings in any way.

Let us now discuss the specific example cited by you. As far as
I was able to understand your views, an Oriya person should in
fact rejoice if someone in Bengal makes a Software that seeks to
enable Bengali folks to read Oriya websites. First, I am very
doubtful if this can really happen in real life --- a Bengali
person preparing a Software that translates Oriya websites. The
reverse is more probable. Secondly, I do not know if there are
any problems in the Bengali script accurately representing Oriya
language and its usages. (For others, who may not know, the two
scripts are NOT the same.) Assuming that there are no such prob-
lems, can we also assume that there are many many Bengali folks
who are deeply interested in reading Oriya websites ? And how
does this whole exercise affect the Oriya people themselves ?
If it can be presumed that most of them are familiar with the
Bengali script, would they be interested in reading websites in
their own language THROUGH the Bengali script ?

It would be much better if you can make enquiries and ascertain
whether the above scenario outlined by you is really true ---
whether such Software has been made and whether the Oriya people,
by and large, have supported it in large numbers.

The present case, invloving Urdu and hindi is on a very different
footing. Naseer Saheb and myself have demonstrated that the
device offered is most unsatisfactory. Also, it is the feeling
of Urdu-wallahs (in general) that the D. script cannot adequately
represent Urdu language and its usages. Thirdly, it is commonly
felt by most Urdu-wallahs that the Urdu script is the lifeline of
the Urdu language. Fourthly, suggestions have been made for the
last several decades by "interested" quarters that the Urdu
script must be abandoned by Urdu-wallahs, who should instead
adopt the D. script. Fifthly, because of a certain commonality
between Urdu and hindi, Urdu-wallahs feel that such a demand is
just one step short of a general assertion that Urdu is indeed
hindi, except that it has so far been written in a different
script. Adoption of a "common" script would, therefore, mean
an amalgamation of or assimilation of Urdu into hindi. And
that, in effect, would mean annihilation of Urdu as a separate
and distinct language. And those who love Urdu and have been
its practitioners for long years cannot be expected to support
any scheme that seeks the obliteration of the Urdu script.

Naseer Saheb and myself have expressed our views quite clearly
in this thread. I have also tried to explain in this message
that the Oriya/Bengali example is not relevant to the Urdu/hindi
debate.

This post has become rather long. Even then, if you desire any
clarification on any specific point, please feel free to post
your queries here.

Afzal


pranja...@gmail.com

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 4:00:19 PM6/19/07
to
Shyam-ji,

Just to add to your post that 'Transliteration' from Oriya to Bengali
and Bengali to Oriya is possible. If you check following blog which is
in Oriya, you will see a link to read that blog in Bangla:
http://unnata-utkala.blogspot.com/
In Bangla: http://bhomiyo.com/bn.xliterate/unnata-utkala.blogspot.com

Similarly if you need to read any Bangla site using Oriya script, it
is possible using:

http://bhomiyo.com/or.xliterate/<bangla-site-address>
for example, http://bhomiyo.com/or.xliterate/bn.wordpress.com/

Transliteration is helpful to people who know one language but cannot
read its script. Using transliteration they can do so. And that is
exactly what we are trying to achieve for Urdu and Hindi because of
their similarities.

I just wish that this becomes useful to someone rather than a topic of
controversy. You can read at http://bhomiyo.wordpress.com that there
are many bloggers who are interested in publishing their content in
different languages and one of their wish was to be able to read Urdu
and to publish their content in Urdu.

Thanks,
Piyush

Shyam

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 6:57:04 PM6/19/07
to


Respected Afzal Saheb,

Please see my comments inline. I hope this is the proper format to
reply and Google doesnt mess it up.
Also, your questions led me to digress a bit(only a bit ;) from the
current topic. Hope it will be taken as it is.

Thanks and regards,
Shyam


>
> My dear Shyam-ji
>
> { Not to be confused with Shamji of Khushwant Singh fame ! }
>
> Your queries are directed to Naseer Saheb and I am sure he
> would be able to give you suitable clarifications.
>
> But this is a public debate and your post has appeared on a
> public Newsgroup, so I hope you will not take it amiss if
> I respond to it, even though my rejoinder may not be as
> full or comprehensive as Naseer Saheb's.


Vijay Saheb and you, have made my day by considering my post worthy of
replies. I am glad you have replied. May I also request you to not
attach any honorific with my name if it is possible for you. Please
refer me by my first name, I will be more honoured.

>
> First, I would like to get one thing out of the way. You used
> the words "lots of dirty water". Why ? Although much of the
> discussion has been very animated and passionate (and, to borrow
> Vijay Saheb's expression "carried on with religious fervour" !),
> it has been done in a civil manner, as far as I think. There
> were no abusive posts and the participants tried their best to
> stay within the limits of decorum. On the whole, it has been a
> dignified debate. We would all feel enlightened if you could
> explain or clarify your choice of these words.
>

As much as I have seen in ALUP, it has very high standards even for
disagreements. However instances like 'Urdu being referred to as
impure', 'Madarasa and devdasi comparision', 'Question if somebody is
a direct descendent of the Indus Valley Civilization', and 'Replying
to somebody's post in negativity without even testing his contention
based on somebody else's research(they say never add salt without
first testing the soup yourself)' makes me label it as dirty. I cannot
help it if I feel so, just like I could not help feel the existence of
very high standards in ALUP discussions.

I must apologise here for giving you an idea that these are one and
the same problem. I could have used Hindi versus Urdu. But I didnt
want to make it sound like 'India opposed to Pakistan', and 'Hindi
opposed to Urdu', because there was every chance that it would have
connotations I would not have wanted to make. At the same time I fail
to recognise the oft repeated logic 'that Urdu is not just a language,
its much more than that', and the others are unfortunately just banal
languages. May be I need more in-depth knowledge of Urdu to recognise
this. I could have gone with language A versus B, but it would have
sounded too boring :)

>
> You have also raised questions of "individual satisfaction" over-
> riding concerns over the larger issues (Oriya/Bengali websites
> etc.). Is that really an appropriate attitude to adopt for most
> of us ? Should we not be concerned about what is going on around
> us, and which is adversely affecting our colleagues/countrymen ?
> In fact, in this age of globalization, and where technological
> advances have really shrunk the world, I feel the entire mankind
> needs to feel involved and concerned about issues such as global
> warming, preservation of wildlife and their natural habitat,
> the war against poverty, hunger and disease, promotion of global
> peace and the pursuit of prosperity and happiness.
>
> These are of course larger issues, but I think the same principle
> applies to smaller issues that still affect a large number of
> people. If you are earning a decent livelihood in Germany and if
> I am comfortably placed where I happen to live, that ought not to
> make us oblivious to the miseries and woes afflicting our own
> people back in, say, India.
>
> Language issues also belong to this category, where the interests
> of an entire linguistic community concern each and every indivi-
> dual who is part of that particular community.
>
> These are my personal beliefs and I am sorry if I have hurt your
> feelings in any way.


You have not hurt me in anyway by putting across what you consider is
right. Let me do so too, and I dont intend to hurt anybody by saying
this. Much of it will sound aggressive individualism to you, but I am
in love with objectivism. I do give individual satisfaction more
importance than a collective satisfaction. I see no sin in doing this,
and I fail to recognise if there is such a thing as collective
satisfaction.(My satisfaction from reading a couplet in Urdu, and your
satisfaction of reading the same, do they homogenously mix to give a
'our' satisfaction? Why add them, why not subtract, multiply or
divide? Too complex for me) If I am not able to feel for the larger
global issues you have mentioned, I am being true to my emotion. I
cannot take responsibility of these issues merely because it is
traditionally considered good to do so, and everybody else thinks it
is good to do so. However if somebody feels a genuine emotion towards
this issue he is free to do so and is also free to do what he thinks
is right. Similarly I reserve my right not to do anything towards
these problems, until I have a genuine emotion towards them based on
my understanding and reasoning that I get a value out of doing so.

But how does this add up to support or negate the original idea of
being able to read one language in another script? The concern was if
language A will die if it is written in language B for an audience of
language B. I fail to see the origin of such a concern here, much less
to take the resonsibility of saving the language from such a
hypothetical death by opposing this particular software. And if yes
the concern is genuine,then we are considering this software as
something much more powerful than the creator of it could ever
imagine!!

>
> Let us now discuss the specific example cited by you. As far as
> I was able to understand your views, an Oriya person should in
> fact rejoice if someone in Bengal makes a Software that seeks to
> enable Bengali folks to read Oriya websites. First, I am very
> doubtful if this can really happen in real life --- a Bengali
> person preparing a Software that translates Oriya websites. The
> reverse is more probable. Secondly, I do not know if there are
> any problems in the Bengali script accurately representing Oriya
> language and its usages. (For others, who may not know, the two
> scripts are NOT the same.) Assuming that there are no such prob-
> lems, can we also assume that there are many many Bengali folks
> who are deeply interested in reading Oriya websites ? And how
> does this whole exercise affect the Oriya people themselves ?
> If it can be presumed that most of them are familiar with the
> Bengali script, would they be interested in reading websites in
> their own language THROUGH the Bengali script ?
>
> It would be much better if you can make enquiries and ascertain
> whether the above scenario outlined by you is really true ---
> whether such Software has been made and whether the Oriya people,
> by and large, have supported it in large numbers.

This point is null and void with my apology with the example above. I
know you agree that this would be a totally unrelated discussion.

>
> The present case, invloving Urdu and hindi is on a very different
> footing. Naseer Saheb and myself have demonstrated that the
> device offered is most unsatisfactory. Also, it is the feeling
> of Urdu-wallahs (in general) that the D. script cannot adequately
> represent Urdu language and its usages. Thirdly, it is commonly
> felt by most Urdu-wallahs that the Urdu script is the lifeline of
> the Urdu language. Fourthly, suggestions have been made for the
> last several decades by "interested" quarters that the Urdu
> script must be abandoned by Urdu-wallahs, who should instead
> adopt the D. script. Fifthly, because of a certain commonality
> between Urdu and hindi, Urdu-wallahs feel that such a demand is
> just one step short of a general assertion that Urdu is indeed
> hindi, except that it has so far been written in a different
> script. Adoption of a "common" script would, therefore, mean
> an amalgamation of or assimilation of Urdu into hindi. And
> that, in effect, would mean annihilation of Urdu as a separate
> and distinct language. And those who love Urdu and have been
> its practitioners for long years cannot be expected to support
> any scheme that seeks the obliteration of the Urdu script.


I understand your logic here and I agree with it. If you feel for this
cause genuinely, as I can feel you do, you are free to voice it, and
do whatever is possible to oppose such a move. But does the present
case of this particulare software seem to be having that sinister a
motive to you. I will be surprised if you say yes.

Shyam

unread,
Jun 19, 2007, 6:58:59 PM6/19/07
to
On Jun 19, 10:00 pm, pranjalpbh...@gmail.com wrote:
> Shyam-ji,
>
> Just to add to your post that 'Transliteration' from Oriya to Bengali
> and Bengali to Oriya is possible. If you check following blog which is
> in Oriya, you will see a link to read that blog in Bangla:http://unnata-utkala.blogspot.com/
> In Bangla:http://bhomiyo.com/bn.xliterate/unnata-utkala.blogspot.com
>
> Similarly if you need to read any Bangla site using Oriya script, it
> is possible using:
>
> http://bhomiyo.com/or.xliterate/<bangla-site-address>
> for example,http://bhomiyo.com/or.xliterate/bn.wordpress.com/

>
> Transliteration is helpful to people who know one language but cannot
> read its script. Using transliteration they can do so. And that is
> exactly what we are trying to achieve for Urdu and Hindi because of
> their similarities.
>
> I just wish that this becomes useful to someone rather than a topic of
> controversy. You can read athttp://bhomiyo.wordpress.comthat there

> are many bloggers who are interested in publishing their content in
> different languages and one of their wish was to be able to read Urdu
> and to publish their content in Urdu.
>
> Thanks,
> Piyush

Thanks a lot Piyush-ji for the information.

Regards,
Shyam

Naseer

unread,
Jun 20, 2007, 11:44:49 AM6/20/07
to
janaab-i-muHtaram Vijay Sahib, aadaab 'arz hai.

This is just a PS of my previous post to you. In your post to me you
wrote...

>3. Turkish language has produced prize winning literature but
the

>language itself uses roman script. I don't think it diminishes a/
the
>language just because it doesn't have its own script.


In the case of Turkish, it had its *own script*. Then when this script
was substituted with modified Latin script, this became its *own
script* because the decision makers were Turks. If Urdu speaking
populace decide to change the Urdu script to another script, this new
script will become their *own script*.

As you have cited Turkish by way of an example, let me cite the
example of Tajik. This is basically a variety of Farsi, just as Dari
(in Afghanistan) is a variety.

Up to 1928, Tajik was written in a modified form of Arabic script, the
same script which is used to write Farsi in Iran and elsewhere. From
1928-1940 it was written in the Latin alphabet. From 1940 onwards, the
Soviets felt that the needs of this language would be best served by
the Cyrillic script in which their beloved Russian was written. In
1989 the Tajik government (free from Russian domination) passed a law
for the re-introduction of original script.

So, Vijay Sahib, this burning desire of the Tajik community to write
their language in an alphabet with which *they* were happy, manifested
itself again when they were free to decide for themselves the destiny
of their language.

KHair-andesh,
Naseer

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