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Reflecting on the state of Urdu in India and South Asia

Urdu is a major South Asian language spoken in large parts of India and Pakistan. In India, it is one of the 22 languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution while in Pakistan Urdu is the national language. There are similarities between the Urdu, Persian and Arabic scripts. Hindi and Urdu too, share similarities in grammar and vocabulary. Urdu in India is currently at a place where some worry over the passing of the era of Urdu’s glory. At the same time, there is a revival of interest in its script and vocabulary, literature and poetry.

Mahtab Alam, managing editor at the National Foundation of India has been a journalist for nearly a decade and writes in English, Urdu and Hindi. He was also Executive Editor (Urdu) for The Wire.

In this episode of Beyond Nation and State, Mahtab Alam explains the nature of the crisis of Urdu in India, the state of Urdu press and journalism, Urdu-speaking diaspora and the capacity of Urdu to act as a binding agent for the people of India and Pakistan.

Show notes:

Safekeeping Urdu depends on the next generation’s zeal to embrace it
Explained: Why Urdu is an Indian language, not a foreign one
Rekhta’s Trilingual Online Dictionary Opens up New Worlds For Urdu Lovers
Census Data on Language Reveals a Surprise about Urdu
Tom Alter: The ‘Angrez’ Who Wrote His Memoir in Urdu
Can Urdu regain its place in India’s linguistic landscape? Yes, if it is treated as a mother tongue

Reflecting on the state of Urdu in India and South Asia

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