How Urdu writers depict the Mahatma


Rare studio photograph of Mahatma Gandhi taken in London England UK at the request of Lord Irwin 1931
Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi opposed the Partition that came as an edging of  India’s Independence movement. In 1947, he told Rajendra Prasad,”, “I can see only evil in the plan.” Rajendra Prasad went on to become the first President of India and the pacifist father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was shot by Nathuram Godse, the fanatic Hindu nationalist. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, gave in to the Partition as he saw it as a necessary step to accommodate the growing divisions with Jinnah, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, and the Muslim League.

Urdu with the Nastaliq script was adopted as the national language of Pakistan and Hindi written the Devanagari script became the national language of India.

Hindi and Urdu both started as dialects of Hindustani. Both the dialects continued to diverge both linguistically, politically and culturally. Hindi drew words from Sanskrit, and Urdu from Arabic, Persian and Chagatai, an extinct Turkic language. Culturally, Urdu was associated with Muslims and Hindi with Hindus.

This divide between the dialects in the 1920s was deplored by Gandhi.  He wanted the re-emergence of both Hindi and Urdu as Hindustani with the acceptance of both the Devanagari and the Nastaliq scripts.

Writers have used both languages to write of Gandhi. Urdu writers have been writing about Gandhi from his time in South Africa, before he spear- headed the Indian Independence movement.

Read more about these Urdu writers in this article in The Hindu.

 

 

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