ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Reflections on Teaching Urdu in Germany

Although Urdu is taught in German universities, students who opt for it are only those who want to embark on historical studies. To a scholar wanting to study India a knowledge of Urdu is of practically no importance. The concept of Urdu as primarily or even exclusively a literary language, a language of love poetry, of refinement and elegance causes much damage to the way Urdu instruction is designed. It also helps in trivialising Urdu literature, particularly ghazal and qawwali. Urdu needs to be projected as a modern language.

Living as far from India as I do, my information on the Urdu education is very limited. Whatever I get are glimpses only, but never all the facets of the picture. Moreover, I have not systematically been following developments in the field of Urdu education since 1947. I therefore request you to let me start my observations from the angle of my own experience as a teacher of Urdu in Germany. I will then return to the question of Urdu education in India in the light of its consequences for Urdu education abroad.

In addition to being so far removed from the scene of education in India itself, my knowledge of the secondary sources too is rather sketchy. My regular reading is limited to a few literary journals. Newspapers and periodicals of a more general character I am able to go through only once in a while. Therefore, I have to refrain from making any general statements on Urdu education. All I can present here are a few stray observations and impressions. These may add nothing new to the overall picture – nevertheless my distant and alien perspective could perhaps serve to question certain given perceptions.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top