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World Urdu Conference 2020

  • 28 Aug 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The World Urdu Conference 2020 is being organised by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) from 27th-28th August 2020.

Key Points

  • Meaning: Literally, the word Urdu (originally Turkish) means the royal camp.
  • Historical Background:
    • Urdu had developed and flourished in Delhi during the period of ‘Delhi Sultanate’ from 12th to 16th century and then during the period of ‘Mughal Empire’ in Delhi from 16th century to 19th century when several court poets used this language in their great poetry and writings.
      • Its first major folk poet Amir Khusrau (1253-1325), composed dohas (couplets) and riddles in the newly-formed speech, then called Hindavi.
    • Spread in South India: When Delhi Sultanate and then Mughal Empire spread in the Deccan, Urdu spread in southern states.
      • The language derived even local words from the local languages of those states and developed as a ‘Dakhni’ language which was a bit distinctive of Urdu language in the North.
    • The divide between Urdu and Hindi occurred under the colonial impact.
      • Hindi and Urdu got split along religious lines with Hindi in Nagari script becoming identified with Hindus, and Urdu in Persian script identified with Muslims.
  • Contemporary Context: Urdu is a major language of South Asia.
    • It is spoken in countries including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
    • It has become the culture language and lingua franca of the South Asian Muslim diaspora outside the sub-continent, especially in the Gulf and the Middle East, Western Europe, Scandinavia, USA and Canada.
  • Relation with Hindi:
    • Both Urdu and Hindi belong to the new Indo-Aryan group sharing the same Indic base.
    • Urdu and Hindi taken together form the third largest speech community in the world today.
  • Status in India:
    • Scheduled Language: Urdu is one of the languages mentioned in the 8th Schedule to the Constitution.
      • The Constitutional provisions relating to the 8th Schedule are articles 344(1) and 351.
      • Presently, 8th Schedule consists of the 22 languages namely (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri.
    • Official Language of Different States: It is one of the official languages in states like Kashmir, Telangana, UP, Bihar, New Delhi and West Bengal.
    • Composite Culture: Urdu is a language of composite culture and interfaith bonds in India.
      • Hindu-Muslim composite culture is a constructed concept of the 20th century that describes amalgams of Hindu and Islamic elements in South Asian culture.
      • Article 51A(f) of the Constitution declares a solemn fundamental duty of every citizen to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
    • Speaker Base: The Urdu speakers in India number almost 44 million. The largest numbers are in the state of Uttar Pradesh, followed by Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
      • These states together account for 85% of the national Urdu-speaking population.
      • Delhi is the major centre of Urdu literature and publishing.

National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language

  • NCPUL has become the biggest Urdu networking hub in the world.
  • The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language started functioning as an autonomous body in 1996. It comes under the Ministry of Education.
  • It is the National Nodal Agency for Promotion of Urdu.
  • NCPUL has also been assigned the responsibility of promotion of Arabic and Persian.
  • Major Objectives:
    • To take action for making available in Urdu language, the knowledge of scientific and technological development as well as knowledge of ideas evolved in the modern context.
    • To advise the Government on issues connected with Urdu language as may be referred to it.

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