Today is Hindi Patrikarita Diwas. In this connection I wish to say that the language of the common man in large parts of India is khariboli or Hindustani, not Hindi. Hindi is an artificially created language, created by some bigots. To illustrate the difference between Hindi and Hindustani ( or khariboli ), let me give an example. In Khariboli we say ‘ udhar dekhiye ‘. In Hindi we will say ‘ udhar avlokan keejiye ‘, or ‘udhar drishtipaat keejiye ‘.
Hindi was an artificial language created by certain bigots who wanted to propagate the idea that Hindi was the language of Hindus, and Urdu of Muslims. This was part of the British policy of divide and rule. In fact Urdu was the common language of all educated persons, whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh, in large parts of India upto 1947 ( see my article ‘What is Urdu ‘ on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in ).
Thus, while Hindustani was, and still is, the language of the common man, Urdu was the language of the educated class in large parts of India. I have explained in my article ‘ What is Urdu ‘ that Urdu is a combination of two languages, Hindustani, which was the common man’s language in urban India ( in rural areas there were dialects like Awadhi, Brijbhasha, Bjojpuri, Maghai, Maithili, mewari, marwari, etc ), and Persian which was the language of the aristocrats or elite in India for several centuries. The foundation of Urdu is Hindustani, on which a layer of Persian was placed to make it sophisticated and elegant. This gives Urdu great power and elegance, and Urdu poetry, in expressing the voice of the human heart, is perhaps the greatest poetry in the world.
After 1947 a massive propaganda was launched by certain fanatics that Urdu was a foreign language, and a language of Muslims alone. Persian words which had come into common usage in Hindustani were sought to be hatefully and systematically replaced by Sanskrit words which were not in common use. For example, ‘zila’ was replaced by ‘janapad ‘.
When I was a judge in Allahabad High Court, a lawyer who argues only in Hindi, filed a petition before me titled ‘Pratibhu Avedan Patra ‘. I asked him what the word ‘ pratibhu’ meant. He said it meant bail. I then told him that he should have used the word bail or zamaanat, which everybody understands in most parts of India, instead of ‘ pratibhu ‘ which no one understands.
Once in Allahabad I was taking a walk in the Cantonment area and saw a board in which it was written ‘ Pravaran Kendra ‘ I could not understand what it meant. Looking lower down I saw the words ‘ Recruitment Centre ‘. Surely the better words would have been ‘ Bharti daftar ‘ which everybody could understand, instead of ‘ pravaran kendra ‘ which nobody would understand.
It is fallacious to believe that a language becomes weaker if foreign words enter into it, in fact it becomes stronger. For example, the English language became stronger and was enriched by foreign words entering into it, e.g. from French, German, Arabic, Hindustani, etc
Once at Allahabad I offered a certain fare to a rickshawall, and he said my offer was ‘wajib; i.e. appropriate. Now this word ‘wajib’ is pure Persian, but it had come into common usage in Hindustani, as even a rickshawalla was using it.
So it is silly to try to remove Persian and Arabic words which had come into common vogue in Hindustani, and in fact this created an artificial language Hindi, which is sometimes difficult for the common man to understand. Often in Courts it was difficult to understand the Hindi used in Government notifications.
This policy of spitefully trying to remove Persian and Arabic words from Hindustani did great harm to Urdu, and almost amounted to genocide on a great language. Great injustice has been done in our country to Urdu, which is in fact a shining gem in the treasury of Indian culture. My attempt has been to restore its old glory.
I may mention here that while Arabic and Persian are foreign languages ( though I have great respect for them too, as I have great respect for all languages ), Urdu is an indigenous Indian language. It is totally false to call it a foreign language, and bracket it with Arabic and Persian. Urdu is the grand daughter of Sanskrit, not of Persian and Arabic, and over 70% of its words are from Sanskrit. It is a totally secular language, not a language of Muslims alone, as the bigots sought to depict it.
This bigoted policy also did harm to Sanskrit, as it was depicted as an oppressor, when in fact.Sanskrit was a language of free thinkers who questioned everything ( see my article ‘ Sanskrit as a language of Science ‘ online and on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in ). Some people think that Sanskrit was only a language of chanting mantras in temples or Hindu religious ceremonies. In fact that was only 5% of Sanskrit literature. 95% of it has nothing to do with religion, and deals with philosophy, science, art, literature, grammar, etc.
लेखक जस्टिस मार्कंडेय काटजू जाने माने जज रहे हैं और अपने बेबाक विचारों व लेखन के लिए जाने जाते हैं.