*The Problem of Hindustani (1944) by Tara Chand*
III. Some Misconceptions About Hindustani
When in the beginning of the 19th century, at the Fort William College, Calcutta, John Borthwick Gilchrist brought together Lallu Lal, Sadal Misra, Mir Amman, Mir Bahadur Ali, Haidar Bakhsh Haidari, Kazim Ali Jawan, Mazhar Ali Khan Wila, Nihal Chand, Sher Ali Afsos, and others, and set then to make translations from Persian and Braj Bhasha, the problem of the name, character, standard, and style of the language selected for employment was posed. Throughout the 19th century, the problem continued to draw attention, and in some decades the discussion raged with great vehemence.
In the [eighteen] sixties and seventies, John Beames and F. S. Growse carried on a regular debate in the learned journals. Raja Shiva Prasad Sitara-i-Hind supported Beames, who pleaded for the maintenance of the Persian and Arabic elements in the language; but Raja Lakshman Singh opposed him, agreeing with Growse that Sanskriticisms should replace these elements. It is of interest to note that the Christian missionaries had not a little to do in emphasizing this tendency. Sir G. A. Grierson, the universally acknowledged master of Indian philology, remarks in his Linguistic Survey of India, Vol. IX, Part I:
Unfortunately, the most powerful English influence has during this period been on the side of the Sanskritists. This Sanskritized Hindi has been largely used by missionaries, and translations of the Bible hare been made into it. The few native writers who have stood up for the use of Hindi undefiled have had small success in the face of so potent an example of misguided effort.
Since the beginning of the 20th century the discussion has again assumed an acute form. Thus this problem, about which serious argument has proceeded for nearly a century and a half, is neither ephemeral nor unimportant. In fact its solution involves consequences of great practical significance. It is therefore necessary that it should be discussed without undue passion and, so far as possible, in a non-partisan spirit.
Before considering the merits of the question and stating the points of difference between the parties to the discussion, it appears to me necessary that the names which we use should be clearly defined; as, in my opinion, a great deal of misunderstanding is due to lack of clarity in this matter. A number of names have been used in this connection; among them are Bhasha, Hindvi, Hindi, Hindustani, Zaban-i-Dehlavi, Khari Boli, Madhyadesh ki Boli, Rekhta, Zaban-i-Urdu-i-Mualla, Urdu. Of these names Hindi, Hindustani, and Urdu are more important than others; and in fact, controversy is now largely confined to their employment.
Let us take the name Hindi first. As every student of Indian philology knows, the name Hindi or Hindvi has been used in a number of diverse senses. Three of the most important are listed below:
(1) Hindi or Hindvi has been used to denote generally things Indian, as distinguished from things non-Indian. This usage goes back to the earliest period of Muslim contact with India, and gave rise to the name of the Indo-Aryan dialect which the Muslims began to employ when they settled down in and around Lahore and Delhi. Here are some illustrations of this use.
In 1228, Muhammad Aufi compiled an anthology of poems in which he mentions one Khwaja Masud Saad Salman and attributes to him a Diwan composed in Hindvi. In the reign of Alauddin Khilji (1295-1315), Fakhruddin Mubarak Ghaznavi compiled a dictionary in which he gives the Hindi equivalents of Persian words. Amir Khusrau, who died in 1325, uses the terms Hindvi and Hindi. Shah Miranji Shamsul-Ushshaq, who died in 1495, calls the language of his composition Hindi. In the Deccan, the name Hindi was commonly used along with the name Dakhini. Nusrati, who was a poet of the court of Ali Adil Shah II of Bijapur (1656-1673), speaks of his Hindi verses.
When the Mughal court became the patron of the poetry which the Deccan had developed, the poets of Delhi also used the name Hindi for the language they used. Numerous illustrations of this use can be found in the works of poets commencing from Shah Hatim and coming down to Ghalib, and of prose writers from the earliest times to Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan. Hindi in this usage is thus identical with what came to be known as Urdu.
(2) The second use of the term Hindi is to denote a group of dialects which belong to what Grierson calls the Tertiary Prakrits, or Dr. S. K. Chatterji calls 'new Indo-Aryan languages.' The region in which they have prevailed extends roughly from the meridian of Sirhind in the West to that of Benares in the East, and from the Himalayan Terai in the North to the watershed of the Narbada in the South. They are the dialects of the ancient Madhyadesha or Midlands, and of the ancient northern and southern Kosala. They comprise the two linguistic families known as Western Hindi and Eastern Hindi.
The name Hindi thus includes the following well-recognized dialects: i.) Bundeli; ii.) Kanauji; iii.) Braj Bhasha; iv.) Bangru; v.) Hindustani (Grierson), or Khari Boli (tradition and Bharatendu Harishchandra), or Dehlavi (Sheikh Bajan and Amir Khusrau); vi.)Avadhi; vii.) Bagheli; and viii.) Chhattisgarhi. Some scholars add to these eight, Rajasthani (Pts. Surya Karan Pareek and Narottam Das Swami) and Magahi (Rahula Sankrityayana). In this sense Hindi tends to stand for all the spoken dialects of Northern India.
(3) In the third place the name Hindi is specifically used for the modern language which is the literary form of the speech known by the names Hindustani, Khari Boli, or Dehlavi. Phonetically and morphologically, modern Hindi is distinct from the other sister speeches included in the groups of Western Hindi and Eastern Hindi, and identical with Urdu.
The name Urdu for Hindi (usage 1) was probably first used by Mushafi. Mir in his anthology Nikatush-Shuara, written in 1752, uses the expression Zaban-i-Urdu-i-Mualla. The name occurs in Qaim's Makhzan-i-Nikat (1754). Baqar Agah, a poet of the Deccan, uses the term Urdu in 1772, as does Ali Ibrahim Khan, the author of Tazkira-e-Gulzar-i-Ibrahim, in 1782. Ata Husain Tahsin, the author of Nau Tarz-i Murassa (1770 or 1797), speaks of the Zaban-i-Urdu-i-Mualla. Mir Amman calls the language of his book Bagh-o Bahar (compiled in 1801), Urdu. In the 18th century the name gained popularity, and today it signifies the language which is the literary from of the speech known by the names Hindustani, Khari Boli, or Dehlavi. Phonetically and morphologically, it is identical with modern Hindi. Its difference is confined to its loan words.
The name Zaban-i-Hindustan occurs in the writings of Wajahi (1635), in the history compiled by Ferishta (b. 1590), and in the Badshah Nama of Abdul Hamid Lahori (d.1654). This name for the language was thus quite well known in the 16th and 17th centuries, and was adopted by the Europeans who travelled in India at this time. Thus Terry (1616) and Fryer (1673) called it 'Indostan.' Amaduzzi refers to the manuscript of a lexicon Linguae Indostanicae (1704), and Ketelaer wrote the first grammar and vocabulary of Lingua Hindostanica about 1715.
The term Hindustani obtained currency in the 18th century. When Mir Amman composed the Bagh-o-Bahar in 1801, he deliberately set himself to use theth Hindustani. Gilchrist used the name Hindustani in the title of his books, e g., Angrezi Hindustani Dictionary, and Garcin de Tassy lectured in Paris on the history of 'Hindouie' and 'Hindoustanie' (Hindvi and Hindustani). The name Hindustani has been used for Khari Boli. It has also been used as a synonym for Urdu by many writers, and for Modern Hindi by some.
Grierson's definitions may be reproduced here to clarify the position :
Hindostani is primarily the language of the Upper Gangetic Doab, and is also the lingua franca of India, capable of being written in both Persian and Deva-Nagari characters, and without purism, avoiding alike the excessive use of either Persian or Sanskrit'words when employed for literature. The name Urdu can then be confined to that special variety of Hindostani in which Persian words are of frequent occurrence. . . . and similarly, Hindi can be confined to the form of Hindostani in which Sanskrit words abound.Hindustani is thus no new-fangled name, invented to replace Hindi and Urdu, but a well-recognized and old established term for the speech which is the common basis of its two divergent forms, Hindi and Urdu.
Misconception about the name has created curious misunderstandings about the language itself. Even professed historians of language and literature have fallen into mistakes concerning the origin and development of Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani. These mistakes are due either to ignorance of the literature in its different forms, or to the mixing up of the three meanings of the term Hindi given above, especially the second and third. When some people speak about the development of Hindi they fail to take note of the fact that the history of Hindi is distinct from the history of languages like Rajasthani, Braj Bhasha, and Avadhi; and they equally ignore the fact that a great deal is common to the history of Hindi and Urdu.
Hindustani or Khari Boli, which developed from one of the branches of the new Indo-Aryan dialects, has a continuous history from the time (somewhere about the 12th century) that it separated itself from the other midland dialects. As everyone knows, this basic dialect was and continues to be the spoken language of the people inhabiting the Upper Gangetic Doab and the neighboring region. This spoken language was adopted by the Muslims when they settled down in and about Delhi at the end of the 12th century. From the tongues of the new speakers a number of new sounds passed into the sound system of Khari Boli, which was a purely Indo-Aryan speech. The morphology of Khari Boli also underwent slight and rather unimportant changes, and it began to absorb loan words from the languages of the Muslim conquerors.
This modified speech became the vehicle of literary expression. Amir Khusrau is said to have employed it in the 14th century, but in the absence of any documents of his time, the matter is not free from doubt. In the Deccan, however, the speech became the medium of both prose and poetry, and here a rich literature grew up between the 14th and 18th centuries. The language used in the literature is replete with tadbhavas (indigenous words), and the literature is not encumbered with exclusively foreign elements. The authors of the Deccan very justifiably considered themselves writers of Hindi, the name which they adopted for the language which they used in their composition in prose and verse.
In Northern India the situation was very curious. Although Khari Boli or Hindustani was a northern speech, it mainly developed as a literary language in the Deccan, for there is scarcely any important independent work in the language which may be assigned to a time preceding the 17th century. The reason appears to be this. When Khari Boli emerged as a language fit for polite speech and literary expression in the 13th century, it had to face the rivalry of Rajasthani, which was the popular literary language of Northern India in that period, the language in which Jaina works were written, and Narpati Nalha and other poets wrote their heroic and other poems.
The rise of the Bhakti movement in the 15th century led to the establishment of three sects—Nirakar Bhakti, Krishna Bhakti, and Ram Bhakti. The saints of the first school, like Kabir, Nanak, Dadu, employed Khari Boli or Hindustani along with other dialects to popularize their faith; the propagators of the second sect, Surdas, Nand Das, etc., employed Braj Bhasha in their hymns and songs exclusively; the leaders of the third sect ,headed by Goswami Tulasidas, used Avadhi in their compositions.
Thus the main currents of literature in the 15th and succeeding centuries flowed in two channels, Braj Bhasha and Avadhi. Not only did Hindu writers use them; Muslim poets also made them their own. Rahim, Raskhan, Raslin are as well known in the history of Braj Bhasha poetry as any Hindu poets; and everyone recognizes that but for Malik Muhammad Jayasi's foundational work, Avadhi might never have produced the glorious structure of Ramacharitamanas.
During this period Modern Hindi or Sanskritized Hindustani lived only a furtive existence. Khari Boli was, of course, the living medium of conversation, but so far as literary work was concerned, Hindi (Persianized Hindustani), Braj Bhasha, and Avadhi occupied the field, and continued to do so till the end of the 18th century. Some recent writers on Hindi literature have sought to prove that Modern Hindi had a literature in centuries preceding the 18th, but these attempts are hardly successful.
A 16-page pamphlet bearing the title Chand Chhand Barnan ki Mahima written by Ganga Bhatt in the 16th century is supposed to be the first specimen of modern Hindi prose, and, longo intervallo, in the 17th century comes Jatmal's Gora Badal Ki Bat. The first, however, is written in mixed Braj Bhasha and Khari Boli; and the second has been proved to belong to the 19th century, and is the prose rendering of the Rajasthani original in verse. It is said that there are two or three other pieces, dated [to] the 18th century, like Mandovar ka Varnan, Chakatia ki Patsyahi ki Parampara, in which Khari Boli has been used. But it is scarcely possible to treat them as works of real literary value at all comparable with contemporary works of prose in Hindi (Persianized Hindustani), Braj, and Avadhi.
Throughout these centuries, Hindi (Persianized Hindustani), and not Modern Hindi (Sanskritized Hindustani), was the lingua franca of India, and the speech of polite society, whether Hindu or Muslim. So [as] late as 1871, Bharatendu Harishchandra stated in the preface of his book on the origin of the Agarwal community, 'the speech of the Agarwals, of all their men and women, is Khari Boli or Urdu (in ki boli stri aur purush sab ki, khari boli arthat Urdu hai). What was true of the Agarwal community was equally true of the other communities of Northern India.
It was only at the beginning of the 19th century that Modern Hindi (Sanskritized Hindi) started its career. Munshi Sada Sukh Lal Niyaz, who was on retirement from the service of the East India Company, settled down in Allahabed, made a free translation of the Srimad Bhagavata, and gave it the title of Sukh Sagar. About the same time Insha Allah Khan composed Rani Ketki ki Kahani. Then Sadal Misra and Lallu Lal were directed by John Gilchrist and the English professors of the Fort William College to create a literary medium for the Hindus which would take the place of Hindi (Persianized Hindustani).
Mr. F. E. Keay, the author of A History of Hindi Literature in the Heritage of India series, says: "Urdu however, had a vocabulary borrowed largely from the Persian and Arabic languages, which were specially connected with Muhammadanism. A literary language for Hindi-speaking people which could commend itself more to Hindus was very desirable, and the result was obtained by taking Urdu and expelling from it words of Persian and Arabic origin, and substituting for them words of Sanskrit or Hindi origin." Again: "The Hindi of Lallu Lal was really a new literary dialect."
Pandit Chandra Dhar Sharma Guleri wrote a series of articles in the Nagari Pracharini Patrika in 1921 (1978 Samvat) on old Hindi. He says:
Mere kahne ka tatparya yeh tha ki Hinduon ki rachi hui purani kavita jo milti bai woh Brajbhasha ya purvi Baiswari, Avadhi, Rajasthani, Gujarati adi hi main milti hai, arthat "Pari boli" main pai jati hai. Khari Boli ya Vartman Hindi ke arambh kal ke gadya aur padya ko dekhkar yehi jan parta hai ki Urdu rachna men Farsi Arbi Tatsam ya Tadbhavon ko milakar Sanskrit ya Hindi Tatsam aur Tadbhava rakhne se Hindi bana li gai hai.
Mr. Jules Bloch, the author of La formation de la Language Marathe, supports the statements of Keay and Guleri. According to him:
"Lallu Lai, sous l'inspiration du Dr. Gilchristr changea tout cela en ecrivant son celebre Prem Sagar, dont les parties en prose etaient en somme de l'ourdou dont les mots Persans auraient ete remplaces partout par des mots Indo-aryens. . . . Le nouveau dialecte donna une 'langue franque' aux Hindus."
(Lallu Lal, under the inspiration of Dr. Gilchrist, changed all that by writing the famous Prem Sagar, whose prose portions are on the whole Urdu, from which Persian words have been throughout replaced by Indo-Aryan words. . . . The new dialect gave a lingua franca to the Hindus.)
Some recent Hindi writers have protested against this account of the origin of Modern Hindi, but so far as I can see, their protests do not seem to hold much water. It appears to me that a dispassionate study of the origin and growth of Modern Hindi (Sanskritized Hindustani) can lead only to one conclusion: namely, that the language is only 135 years old, and perhaps not even that. For although Sadal Misra and Lallu Lai heralded the dawn of modern Hindi, it proved to be a false dawn, as darkness descended upon Hindi again and was not lifted till after the Mutiny of 1857, when Raja Shiva Prasad, Raja Lakshman Singh, Babu Harishchandra, and others lifted it once for all and ushered in the true dawn of Modern. Hindi literature.
To avoid misunderstandings, let me state the following propositions, which, I believe, will be regarded by every scientific student of our language as true:
1.) Magahi, an eastern member of the new Indo-Aryan speech group, has a literature going back to the 9th century.
2.) Rajasthani, a western member of the same group, had an abundance of literature from the 12th to the 19th centuries, but has now ceased to be a literary language.
3.) Braj Bhasha, also a western branch of the same group, flourished as a literary language from the 15th to 19th century. It ceased to be the language of prose after the rise of Modern Hindi, and is now receding into the background as a vehicle of poetry.
4.) Avadhi, an eastern branch, came into prominence in the 15th century, but never acquired the same popularity as Braj Bhasha. It is no longer regarded as a literary language.
5.) Other branches of Western and Eastern Hindi were used as instruments of literary expression from the 14th to the 19th century, but they have all ceased to be so used now.
6.) Khari Boli or Hindustani has two literary forms. The earlier form, called Hindi by its users, and now known as Urdu, has a continuous history from the 14th century to the present day. The second form, known as Modern Hindi, came into literary use at the beginning of the 19th century and has made rapid progress since the Mutiny.
A third set of misconceptions exists in regard to the relation between Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani. Now there should be no doubt in anybody's mind that the three names indicate one and the same language. In order to determine the relationship of languages, it is necessary to resort to a comparative examination of their (a) phonetic features, (b) morphological or syntactical features, and (c) vocabularies. But among these three elements the first two are of primary importance, and the third of secondary importance only. All writers on philology agree that the grammatical structure of a language is the most stable part of it, which remains intact from generation to generation in all its progressive transformations; that the phonetic system, while less stable than the morphological, has a certain fixity; but that the vocabulary of a language is subject to brusque and capricious innovations.
A. Meillet, one of the greatest living authorities of language, says.
"La prononciation et la grammaire forment des systenmes fermes; toutes les parties de chacun de ces systemes sont liees les unes aux autres. Le systeme phonetique et le systeme morphologique se pretent donc peu a recevoir 'des emprunts' . . . au contraire, les mots ne consituent pas un systeme; tout au plus formentils de petits groupes . . . chaque mot existe pour ainsi dire isolement. . . . C'est donc avant tout par la persistence de la prononciation et de la grummaire que se traduit linguistiquement la volonte continue de parler une certaine langue qui definit la 'parente de langues'."
(Pronunciation and grammar constitute fixed systems; all the parts of each of these systems are interlinked. The phonetic and morphological systems are little disposed to receive 'loans' . . . on the contrary, words do not form a system; at most they form small groups; . . .each word exists, so to speak, in isolation. . . . Thus the continuous desire to speak a certain language, which defines the 'relationship of tongue', manifests itself linguistically above all through the persistence of pronunciation and grammar.)
Thus although the Persian language is abundantly stocked with Arabic words, still it belongs to the Aryan group. English remains a Teutonic tongue, in spite of large Latin elements, and the difference in the styles of those who lean towards an Anglo-Saxon vocabulary and those who prefer Johnsonese does not create two languages. Nearer home, Sindhi and Punjabi illustrate the same principles. They have borrowed numerous words from Persian and Arabic, yet their phonetics and grammar proclaim them to be Indo-Aryan.
Vocabulary depends on the caprices of history, of which the Great War furnishes the latest illustration. In England, the German names of aristocratic houses were abandoned in favor of English names, so much so that the House of Hanover became the House of Windsor. French, which is fastidious in the adoption of foreign words, opened its arms wide to receive English words, like 'gentleman', 'sport'. The Russians expelled the German suffix 'burg' from the names of their cities and substituted the Slavic 'grad'. Thus St. Petersburg became Petrograd, and, when the wheel of fortune laid Peter's dynasty low, Petrograd was transformed into Leningrad. Historic causes, national attractions and repulsions, and other social factors continually affect vocabulary.
What do we find in the light of these principles? The sound system of Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani is identical. Each contains the same number of three classes of sounds: old Indo-Aryan vowels and consonants, new Indo-Aryan vowels and consonants, Semitic sounds. This fact is admitted, sometimes grudgingly, by the grammarians, e.g. Pt. Kamta Prasad Guru in his Hindi Vyakarana, Dr. Dhirendra Varma in his Hindi Bhasha ka Itihas, M. Abdul Haq in his Qawaid-i-Urdu. The phonetic system identifies Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani, but differentiates them from other Aryan and Semitic languages, e.g. Sanskrit, Braj Bhasha, Avadhi, Persian, and Arabic.
Again, the grammar of the three is more or less identical. "There is no difference of importance between the declensions and conjugations used in Urdu and Hindi respectively" (Grierson). In the opinion of J. Beames, "it betrays, therefore, a radical misunderstanding of the whole bearing of the question, and of the whole science of philology, to speak of Urdu and Hindi as two distinct languages”\" (A Comparative Grammar of the Modern Aryan Languages).
In regard to vocabulary the identity is not complete. The vocabulary of a language consists of original or indigenous words of the spoken dialect, loan words or words borrowed from foreign languages, and compounds and derivatives. So far as Urdu and Hindi are concerned, they have numerous words of the first class which are common, e.g. almost all the verbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. So far as nouns and adjectives are concerned, in addition to their common indigenes, both have borrowed from Sanskrit, Prakrit, Persian, and Arabic, besides other languages. The exact measure of the loan is not known, as exhaustive dictionaries drawn up on rigorously scientific lines do not exist.
M. Sayyid Ahmad Dehlavi, the author of the famous dictionary Farhang-i-Asafia, has analyzed the words collected by him. The total number of words is 54,000; the number of loan words from Arabic is 7584, from Persian 6041, from Sanskrit 554, from English 500, and from others 181. The remainder are indigenous. If we turn to the pages of the Hindi dictionary known as Hindi Shabda Sagar and compiled under the auspices of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha, we find that almost every one of these 7584 Arabic and 6041 Persian words is included in it. This is a clear recognition of the fact that even as regards loan words, the difference between Hindi and Urdu is not so great as some people imagine.
So far as compounds and derivatives are concerned, the methods of
and the use of vocables (affixes) in forming derivatives are to a
extent common, as a reference to the grammars of the two languages
While it is necessary to point out the similarity between the vocabularies of Urdu and Hindi, one must recognize that the differences between them are quite large, and that if proper measures are not taken they may increase. The writers of Hindi and Urdu are divided between two schools. One school considers it necessary to borrow extensively from the classical languages; the other wishes to limit the quantity of such loans. They use similar arguments for their choice. For instance, the Hindi writers of the first school base the desirability of the extensive use of Sanskrit tatsams and the rejection of Perso-Arabic words on the following grounds:
(a) Hindi is an Indo-Aryan dialect having close relations with other Indo-Aryan dialects like Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati. It is natural for them all to borrow from the same parent language, which is Sanskrit. The more Sanskrit tatsams are used, and the more Sanskrit roots are employed in technical terms, the nearer will they come, and the easier will it be for speakers of the sister dialects to understand and use Hindi. Hindi will thus have a chance of becoming the inter-provincial language of India.
(b) Words carry about them a cultural atmosphere. Sanskrit words are redolent of the aroma of ancient Indian culture, while Perso-Arbic words have an alien reference and significance. Therefore an Indian language should prefer words of the first class to those of the second.
These arguments are weighty—nay more, strike a sympathetic chord in the heart. They should therefore be examined with earnest care.
Those who favor Arabic as a source of loan words, technical or otherwise, advance arguments which are similar. According to them, Arabic is the language of the sacred scriptures of a great community, and enshrines traditions which are dear to it. Again, Arabic is a living modern tongue which is rapidly assimilating the sciences of the West, and therefore provides a suitable source of terms required in modern thought. It is fairly extensively studied in all parts of India by the religious-minded, and its sounds and phrases are familiar to a wide circle of people. It has continuously exercised influence upon Hindustani or Khari Boli, of which the phonetic and grammatical system and vocabulary are proofs. In the past, great writers of Braj Bhasha like Surdas, and Avadhi like Tulasidas, felt no compunction in using Arabic words in their songs and poems; in fact thousands of such words have become a part of the language, to which the Hindi Shabda Sagar is a witness.
None can say that no value need be attached to these arguments. But after giving the most careful consideration to them, one cannot resist the conclusion that between these divergent views the middle course is the wisest.
Against the Sanskritization of Hindustani voices have been raised not only by such eminent European linguists as J. Beames and Sir G.A. Grierson, but also by Indian scholars like Raja Shiva Prasad, Pt. Bal Krishna Bhatt, M.M. Pt. Giridhar Sharma, Pt. Padma Singh Sharma, and Pt. Ayodhya Singh Upadhyaya. I will quote only the opinion of Pt. Giridhar Sharma here. He says:
Sanskritmaya bana kar apne Bangal, Maharashtra, adi men Hindi ka prachar shighr kar liya, kintu woh kewal shikshiton ki bhasha ban gai, sarva sadharan use bilkul na samajh sake, to kya labh hua? Labh kya bari hani ho gai. . . . Hindi bhasha me Hindi bhasha ke shabdhi pratham lene chahiyen, phir jab unse avashyakta puri na ho, tab Sanskrit bhasha se saral shabd lene chahiyen.
On the other side, scholars like Syed Ali Bilgrami, Maulvi Wahidud Din Salim, and Maulvi Abdul Haq have attempted to moderate the zeal of the Arabicists. M. Wahidud Din pointed out in his book on the formation of technical terms (Waz-i-Istalahat):
Hamko is dhoke se bachna chahiye aur Hindi zaban ke alfaz wa haruf se, jo hamari zaban ki fitrat men dakhil hain, nak bhaun chadhana nahin chahiye. Ham jis tarah Arbi Farsi se istalahat lete hain, isi tarah Hindi se bhi be-takalluf waze istalahat men kam lena chahiye.
Unfortunately these groups have been working in isolation from one another, and therefore their advice and warning have gone unheeded. The result is that Hindi and Urdu are fast becoming the jargon of the learned, remote from the speech of the common people. They are creating barriers of unintelligibility between neighbors, instead of providing them with a medium of mutual understanding; the circle of their usefulness is being narrowed, the sweep of their popularity limited.
Surely the argument regarding cultural affinities is over-strained. Culture is an affair of values—spiritual, moral, social, and aesthetical. These values arise partly out of men's struggles with nature whereby groups sustain themselves, and partly from the inner conflicts whereby they win self-directing unity. Thus physical and psychological factors determine culture. We have, therefore, regional cultures—French, English Chinese, Persian; or class cultures—aristocratic, bourgeois, proletarian. We speak of an Indian culture; but is there any meaning in an Urdu or a Hindi culture?
The Urdu (Persianized Hindustani) language is an instrument which has been used in the past for disseminating Hindu religious ideas; it is being used for that purpose today; and, so far as one can see, will be used in future to do the same. Similarly, Hindi (Sanskritized Hindustani) has given service to the Muslims. And why not? If Chinese, Persian, Pushto, Javanese, Avadhi, Bengali, and a host of tongues having no relationship with Arabic can be used as media for speech and writing embodying Muslim religious ideas, why should the employment of a number of Sanskrit words in Hindustani spell disaster and ruin to religion?
Indian culture is a modern growth to which every community inhabiting this great land makes its contribution; its ideals of truth and worth have a national reference transcending the particularisms of provinces, races, creeds. The physical and social conditions in which this culture is taking shape are different from what they were in the past, and our struggles, inner and outer, are no longer the same. A transvaluation of old values is going on amidst us, needing a new interpretation and a new expression. It is this growing consciousness of a common culture which must inspire, more and more, the literary creations of India, whatever the idiom used—Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, or Hindustani.
Let us then not lay too much stress on the differing cultural atmospheres of Urdu and Hindi. On the other hand, let us consider the practical consequences of a policy which inspires coiners of technical terms like the following:
English—1. Abscissa, 2. Absolute Term, 3. Accelerate, 4. Algebra, 5. Alternando, 6. Antecedent, etc.
Hindi—1. Bhuj, 2. Param Pad, 3. Gati vriddhi karna, 4. Bijganit, 5. Ekantar nish-patti, 6. Purva pad, etc.
Urdu—1. Fasla or Maqtua, 2. Raqam Mutlaq, 3. Isra-i-harakat, 4. Jabr-o-muqabala, 5. Tabdil, 6. Mukaddam, etc.
I have taken these from the dictionaries of technical terms issued by the Nagari Pracharini Sabha, Benares, and the Anjuman Taraqqi-e-Urdu, Aurangabad. They are a sample of the terms used in Algebra, and they show what a wide gulf is being created between the two forms of Hindustani by their adoption.
So long as the education of Indian youth was carried on through the medium of English, it did not matter whether there were two sets of technical terms or one in the Indian language; but now that education at the secondary stage is being imparted in our own language, and we are moving towards the stage when the highest education will be given through it, the question of duplication of terms assumes great importance, especially in North India outside Bengal, where the devotees of Urdu and Hindi live intermingled.
If Urdu and Hindi become unintelligible to the pupils, the result will be that teaching will have to be duplicated in schools, which will inevitably either reduce efficiency or increase expenditure. In the Universities these difficulties will be magnified even more enormously. The problem of learning, research, and dissemination of knowledge will be greatly complicated. Shall we have two sets of teachers in each University, one for Urdu and one for Hindi, or two universities in each center?
What, again, will be the language of the legislatures and of the government? In the Punjab they are debating the question today, and soon we shall have to consider it in the U. P., Bihar, and lastly, at Delhi. Then there is the question of public amusement and instruction, radio, cinema and theatre, and that of inter-provincial trade and intercourse. What Indian language will take the place of English? For I take it that we are all agreed that English cannot possibly serve those purposes in future.
It seems to me a tremendous pity that merely because of the loan words in the language, we are letting the two forms of the same language drift; and we are making the solution of practical educational and administrative problems more and more difficult.
Hindustani, as I have tried to show above, is no artificial speech. It has existed these thousand years as a distinct language. It has a considerable literature, for I include almost all that has been written in the Deccan whether in prose or in poetry as part of Hindustani. In the North, in spite of the efforts of enthusiasts for foreign imitations, there is a good deal of poetry which is written in simple, common, everyday speech. Illustrations could be found in the Diwans of any period.
Hali's Munajat-i-Bewa and Barkha Rut are extremely good examples of an Urdu which both in sentiment and in idiom are wholly Hindustani. Modern Hindi also furnishes illustrations of how Hindustani should be written. I shall content myself with putting forward the name of only one author, but one who stands unrivalled as a creative artist in the history of modern Hindi Literature. I refer to M. Premchand.
The fact of the matter is that so far as literary composition is concerned, modern Hindi and Urdu are merely two styles of Hindustani, while in regard to scientific treatises their difference is confined to loan words alone. It appears to me that it is not impossible to remove this difference, provided there is a will to do so. Of the desirability of this course I am personally fully convinced, and I make a few suggestions for the consideration of those who desire that the gulf between the two should be bridged.
1.Measures should be adopted to encourage the study of modern Hindi by Urdu speaking people, and of Urdu by Hindi speaking people.
2.A dictionary of words used by standard authors of Urdu and Hindi should be compiled.
3.A grammar on modern lines giving the analysis of the phonetic and morphological systems of Hindi and Urdu and a generous treatment of the rules of combination and derivation should be drawn up.
4.A dictionary of technical terms for the use of Hindi and Urdu authors should be compiled.
5.An English-Hindustani dictionary for the use of translators should be compiled.
6.Anthologies of prose and verse containing literary pieces written in easy Urdu and Hindi should be put together.
Of these suggestions, some could be carried out by individuals or associations, but others would require the help of the government. For instance, measures to promote the study of Urdu and Hindi could be enforced at schools by the education department alone. Again, a dictionary of technical terms could not be compiled without an agreement between Hindi and Urdu scholars of the regions where these languages are in use. As this question affects the educational advancement of a number of provinces and states, it will be difficult to tackle it successfully without the help of their governments.
But the practical issues involved are of such importance as to justify their intervention. n the absence of an authority like the Academy in France, a committee consisting of representatives of governments, universities, literary and scientific bodies, could be appointed to consider the specific problems of common technical terms and give an authoritative solution.
If an agreement is reached on the question of words required for
and technical purposes, the sting of the quarrel between Hindi and Urdu
will have been removed; the difficulties created by the existence of
languages in the same region will have been smoothed out; and Hindi and
Urdu will then tend to merge into one, as the medium of both speech and