The Story of Urdu

Urdu Hai Jiska Naam ‘ (The Story of Urdu) a documentary

The story of Urdu begins many centuries before the arrival of the language itself. It starts with the break away from Sanskrit with Gautam Buddh and Mahavir Jain using Pali and the Prakrits -the languages of the people leading to the birth of  Gujrati, Sindhi, Punjabi, Braj, Avadhi, Maghdi, Maithli, Bangla and Khari Boli in the 11th century

The arrival of the Sufis, Central Asian Armies and large number of traders in the next 100 years brought in new technologies, new crafts, new languages and scripts and all these began to combine with their South Asian Counterparts to create new vocabularies of Music, Attire, Architecture and Creative Expression. All this took place at the Shrines of the Sufis, in Army Camps, in the Bazars and the Sarais

The shifting of the Capital from Delhi to Devgiri led to the spread of Hindavi or Dehlvi or Zaban-E-Delhi to the Deccan where it gradually developed into Dakini under the patronage of the Qutub Shahi and Adil Shahi Rulers and reached back to Delhi as Rekhta around 1705. From the beginning of the 18th Century, Rekhta grew into Urdu, that became the language of the Royal Fermaans of Bahadur Shah, the Ishtihaars of the rebels of 1857. Through the great Urdu poets (Meer and Sauda and later through Ghalib  Zauq, Anees, Dabeer , Nazeer and Insha) it came to be established as the literary language of the North.

In the next 100 years Urdu led the progressive movement in India through Jafari, Majrooh, Kaifi, Firaq, Faiz, Josh, Bedi, Krishan Chandar, Ram Lal and others. It was again the same language born of the coming together of diverse cultures that rose up in protest against the senselessness of war and of the division of India.

This 4 part documentary which includes the Ghazals of Quli Qutub Shah, Meer Taqi Meer, Mirza Ghalib  and Faiz Ahmed Faiz will be shown – Part 1 & 2 6 to 7 pm, tea 7 to 7.15, Parts 3 & 4 7.15 to 8.15pm.

Sohail Hashmi is a former Director of Leap Years – a Creative Activity Centre for Children, a founding trustee of SAHMAT and a producer of documentary films.  He has also been involved in scripting and producing a 9 part series on Pioneers of Women’s Education in India and a 5 part series Shehernama on the history of Shahjahanabad. He has recently scripted 6 half hour documentaries on the real life stories of 6 rural women and their struggles to become literate and self reliant. Sohail writes a regular column on the lesser known monuments of Delhi and its history in ‘Landscape’ and blogs irregularly, on issues of culture and communalism. He organizes heritage walks and loves to cook and talk about food.

Researched and Scripted by Sohail Hashmi
Directed by Subhash Kapoor
composed by Shubha Mudgal & Dr. Aneesh Pradhan and sung by Shubha Mudgal
Produced by Meka Films and Kaamna Prasad
For Public Diplomacy Division Ministry of External Affairs Govt. of India


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