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

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A Case for Collaborative Translation of Literary Texts in South Asia

Translation of contemporary works of literature from one South Asian language into another has a great potential for developing a shared understanding of the region’s diverse linguistic cultures. The author shares his experience of translating and editing translations of novels, short stories, poetry, and literary non-fiction from South Asia and elsewhere into Urdu.

The Locations of Hindi

Hindi Nationalism by Alok Rai , Tracts for the Times 13, Orient Longman, Delhi, 2000; pp 138, Rs 150.

Language, Power and Ideology

Language has been intimately related to ideology and power in Pakistan. While Urdu is conspicuous as a symbol of Pakistani identity and national integration, other ethnic groups have seen this as a version of internal colonialism. Indigenous languages thus become tools that serve to assert ethnic identity and ensure a wider mobilisation.

Politics of Language

Once a language patronised by the nawabs, Urdu saw a consistent decline in patronage and support. This paper traces its decline, from the era of divisive colonial politics to the decades after independence, when the language became a victim of an increasingly communalised political arena in UP. It also attempts to unravel the paradox that is Urdu today - a language spoken mainly 'at home' in UP; in western India and in West Bengal, instruction in Urdu has in recent years seen a growing popularity.

Urdu Language and Education

Urdu education must be brought to mainstream educational institutions by overcoming the political descrimination Urdu has suffered as a virtual synonym for religious education. The issue is a political one and demands political will and strategy to address it.

Minorities, Education and Language

Review of the proceedings of an international conference to undertake a realistic appraisal of Urdu language in the formal system of education in contemporary India and to discuss ways of bringing Urdu education to mainstream educational institutions by overcoming the political discrimination Urdu has suffered as a virtual synonym for religious education.

Urdu and Madrasa Education

The association of Urdu with Muslims as their mother tongue, a post-independence phenomenon, had damaging consequences for Muslims. It alienated Muslims from areas other than north India from their regional languages and it weakened the case of Urdu for state patronage as facilities for its instruction as part of a secular syllabus could simply not be provided on an all-India level. As this paper points out and what has been seen in other aspects besides Urdu, it was in this aspiration to be an all-India community, they lost sight of what could be achieved regionally or even locally.

Urdu in India

Like other languages once spoken by former dominant elites the world over, Urdu has suffered a decline in India since independence. But Urdu can draw lessons from those languages that have not only survived but even flourished. The primary onus for Urdu's rejuvenation, however, lies on Urdu speakers themselves.

Urdu Education in India

While Urdu has given way to more career-oriented education, commitment to its revival must solely base itself on a cultural, religious and political identity. An experimental, even innovative educational approach as seen in other regional mediums might provide a welcome strategy.

Urdu in UP

Since independence, Urdu has seen a rapid decline. Initially the decline was largely fomented by the adherents of Hindi and opportunistic leaders of the Muslim community. The cause of Urdu had even been well championed by the likes of Zakir Hussain and I K Gujral, but once in power such well intentions invariably ran aground. At present, besides an appeal filed in the Supreme Court by the Hindi sahitya sammelan against the UP government's 1989 amendment granting Urdu the status of official second language, there are more than 16 petitions filed in the high court that seek to challenge the status accorded to Urdu.
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