HOME :: Our Mission is to educate, entertain and invoke critical thinking in creating a cohesive environment to work, socialize and function effectively through the medium of Poetry. Our purpose is to establish a new stream of Pluralism poetry in Urdu and Hindi languages - indeed, it is the 2nd most spoken language in the world. Mike Ghouse, Foundation for Pluralism, Studies in Pluralistic societies

Friday, August 14, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Allama Iqbal Honored for his poem

From Chief Minister of Bengal, Mamta Bannerjee's official page

Today we were honoured to confer the prestigious “Tarana-e-Hindi” Award posthumously on Allama Iqbal, the great poet who penned the famous patriotic piece, “Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara…” in a colourful programme at Nazrul Mancha.
The award was received by Prof. Dr. Waleed Iqbal, grandson of Allama Iqbal.
Some pictures of today’s event are uploaded here for all of you.

Urdu Hindi
website: www.UrduHindi.net ​ 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Enriching Urdu Language; contributions of Allama Iqbal and Hasrat Mohani

Urdu-Hindi, the language of the people | www.UrduHindi.net 

There was a time in India, when English was considered "Angrezon Ki bhasha", but now, that conclusion is withering away. English is indeed a language of the people, for the people by the people to communicate ideas, thoughts and actions. No one owns it and no one can slap its ownership on it, anyone who speaks, writes and reads, he owns it and it is his language.

Indeed, at one time in India, Urdu was the language of the people, for the people by the people. Anyone who spoke wrote or read Urdu, became his or her language.

Since our independence, Urdu got a raw treatment. The right wingers (those who do not think beyond their skulls) forced a religious label on it - that it is the language of Muslims.

If they think, they will find out that Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladeshi, Turkey, Iran, Sudan or Mali..... i.e., 56 out of 57 Muslim majority nations do not speak Urdu. What about India herself? It’s the official language in three states out of 30 States - UP, Delhi and Kashmir. Muslims from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Odessa, Maharashtra and other states do not speak Urdu either, those who speak, is on par with what non-Muslims speak.

Urdu will survive despite the prejudices it faces, it is the language of the common people. By the way Urdu-Hindi is one language with three scripts; Devanagari, Persian and Roman English. The language fell into the laps of Muslims and they are carrying it forward and waiting for fellow Indians to call it their language as well.  Millions of songs are written in Urdu that is the common language. Attempts have been made to force Urdu and Hindi as two languages by giving a heavy dose of Sanskrit and Persian.

Now, we have to re-work the language back from the beginning. A language becomes yours if it captures your imagination and expresses your stories, myths, mythologies, romance and caring of fellow beings.

Now that Urdu has accidentally fallen in the lap of Urdu Speaking Muslims, they have a responsibility to remake the language, a language of the people.  We need to write Prose and poetry in a way that everyone feels a part of the language.

For example Rajiv Chakravarti learned Urdu Language and its nuances from a Muslim point of view, several years ago, he recited poetry and used the word "Toor" - it relates with Moses receiving God's words at Mt. Sinai - also known as Koh-e-Toor. Ahmed Rahi referenced Jesus’ call to cast the first stone who has not sinned, the Christians can relate with that very well. In the past several Muslim poets have referenced Hindu culture, mythology and holy texts in their poetry - making Urdu, a language of the people.

Indeed there are endless references by Muslim poets about Hinduism, some of the best devotional songs (Bhajans) are written, sung and composed by Muslims.  Most of them did not look to it as songs of Hindus, but songs to praise the praise worthy. 

Rajiv Chakravarti, an Urdu Scholar in Dallas shared the following links and it was a delight for me to read them all over the long lunch at Al Kabob's on Harry Hines. A world of people came and left, I was enjoying my reading.

This is the reason we have taken the initiative to make an effort to undo the Muslim label from Urdu, which is not just, and restore it back to the language of the people through the initiative of Pluralism Poetry in Urdu-Hindi. Every South Asian ought to feel, it is his or her language - as there will be references about what is dear to him or her. 

This website www.UrduHindi.net is dedicated to promote Urdu-Hindi as one language, others can do the division we will do the cohesion, are you with me?


The Maulana Who Loved Krishna
Mohani with Ambedkar

Hasrat Mohani was not just a maverick when it came to publicly championing the radical thinking of Tilak. He also wrote verses expressing deep love for Krishna, and often went to Mathura to celebrate Janmashtami.

CM Naim's write up is worth reading, there is a connection you find with the Maualana.

My heart has fallen in love with Kanhaiya. 
Why would it think of anyone else now?
We looked for him in Gokul and Brindaban, 
Let’s now go to Barsana and see if he’s there.
Hasrat, give up for him all that is yours, 
Then go to Mathura and become a jogi

man to-se prīt lagā’i kanhā’ī 
kahu or kīsurati ab kāhe ko ā’ī

gokula DhūNDh brindaban DhūNDho 
barsāne lag ghūm ke ā’ī

tan man dhan sab wār-ke Hasrat 
mathurā nagar cali dhūnīramā’ī


Iqbal on Lord Krishna and Ram

It was Iqbal’s confirmed conviction that Sree Krishna was the one of the messengers of God. He traced the visible miseries of India, to the fact that the messages of Krishna were being totally ignored. His beliefs went further to include even Sree Ram also. He envisioned Sree Ram as the ‘Spiritual Leader of the Indian Peninsula’. In his poem ‘The Call of the Caravan bell’, he wrote of Ram as the ‘Philosopher of the Easterners’.
Iqbal endeavoured ceaselessly to remove the misconceptions the Indians had about religion. Ali Sardar Jafri writes: “According to Iqbal’s beliefs, which has the authority of the Quran to support it, every religion, race and nation has received messengers of God i.e. prophets, in different ages to guide them. Gauthama Budha was one of them. Other contemporaries of Iqbal, like Moulana Hasrath Mohani, shared this belief and paid tribute Krishna as a prophet……… He was convinced that the fall of the Hindus was due to the fact that the teachings of Krishna were forgotten”.
Iqbal himself had great respect for Ram. He describes him as the spiritual leader of India (Imamal Hind). This poem was written after 1908, 

Iqbal on Gautama Buddha

Harmit Singh Shares the poerty of Iqbal on Buddha
Thank you


Mike Ghouse, Speaker
Motivation | Pluralism | Human Rights | Religion.
(214) 325-1916 text/talk


Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism, Islam, India, Israel-Palestine, Politics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film " Sacred" to be released on 9/11 and a documentary "Americans together" for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's day song and its translation in English by Rajiv Chakravarti

Mother is the ultimate definition of selflessness! No matter what happens to the world or even her, she is there for you in your need; she recognizes your need much before you know it.  Of course every day is Mother’s day, and each one of us honors her in a variety of ways. From simple caring to doing things for her that makes her most happy. Mothers don't need a whole lot; they just need to know that you care.  Remember you were showered by her attention when you needed it? 

Every religious tradition has elevated mother to nearly the status of God, because she possess many a qualities of God; kind, merciful, beneficent and caring among thousand other qualities.  Mother is the reason for our existence; sustenance, nurturence and shaping who we are. I dedicate this write-up to my Mother, and all the Mothers out there. 
 There is a beautiful song in Urdu/Hindi language

Us ko nahin dekha hum ne kabhi, per us ki zaroorat kya hogi
Ai maa teri soorat say alag bhagwan ki soorat kya hogi.

I have not seen him (God) ever, but what is the need for it?
Dear Mother, your face cannot be different than God’s own face

Here is the song -

My friend Rajiv Chakravarti, a Urdu Poet of Dallas has translated it beautifully:

We have never seen HIM...,
but what is the need for this?
O Mother, O Mother, how different
can HIS face be from your own?

Why talk of mere humans, even Gods
have grown up in your bosom
Heaven is nowhere but on Earth,
right under the shadow of your feet!
The affection that emanates from your eyes,
Which Idol can take its place?
O Mother ...

Why would the heat of suffering burn me?
Why would storms of sorrow affect me?
These hands which raise to prayer of yours
Come and rest permanently on my head
When you are my guide in the dark roads of life,
What would I even need the Sun for?
O Mother ...

It is said that no words suffice
to describe your greatness
Even God does not have enough wealth
that constitutes your price
All I know is that, in this World
There is no fortune that exceeds YOU!
O Mother ...


I called my mother, " Amma" and at times "Ammi" while addressing her it was Ma.

Languages Spoken in South Asia

Arabic - umm
Assamese - Aayi, mA, mAtri  Aayi, mA,
Baluchi - Ma
Bengali -
Mata or jononi,
Bhojpuri – Mayee
English- Mother, Mama, Mom
French- Mère, Maman
German - Mutter
Gujurati - Ma
Hindi - Ma, Maji, Mata
Kannada -Amma
Konkani - Amma
Kashmiri - Muoj
Latin - Mater
Marathi - Aayi
Malyalam – Amma
Nepali -
Oriya – Bou
Pashtu- Mor
Persian- Madr, Maman
Portugese- Mae
Punjabi - Mai, Mataji, Pabo
Sanskrit - Mata
Sindhi –
Sinhalese- Amma

Tamil - Amma
Telegu- Amma
Urdu -Ammee, Maa, Amma

There are more languages out there… and listed in the Huffington post aricle at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/mothers-day-interfaith-ce_b_7233900.html 

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism, Islam, India, Israel-Palestine, Politics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film " Sacred" to be released on 9/11 and a documentary "Americans together" for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Urdu Language Opportunities

Urdu Language Opportunities | Website: www.UrduHindi.net 

There was a time when High School kids took German, French or Latin as an optional language to learn, then Spanish became popular, and with the amount of business we do in China, a lot of people went for Chinese. My own daughter took German, which is lost as it is not practiced by her in her daily life. I wish Urdu was an option then, she and my son could have talked with me  and my family in Urdu and enjoyed the Bollywood films without straining to read the text at the bottom.

Now there is a new option emerging for schools, colleges and business field; Urdu.

Urdu-Hindi together is the 2nd most understood and spoken language in the world.  I would call it Urdu or Hindi to mean both, the entire Hindi or Urdu Vocabulary is embedded in each other’s dictionary. Many a poetry books carry a poem in 3 scripts; English (called Roman), Devanagari (Sanskrit) and Urdu (Farsi) to make it easy for those who don’t know the two indigenous scripts. Nearly a Billion people speak Urdu-Hindi. 

If you or your kids have to take an optional language, consider Urdu. Good efforts were made by communities and Hindi is being taught in many schools and colleges now. As India will become the 3rd largest economy, and still retains its 2nd spot in population, and in collaboration with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, it will become 2nd largest economy within a few decades. It is time to lay the foundation and get our kids and us ready to see a day when Urdu-Hindi will become a language of necessity to conduct business, a large amount of business and communications.

Thanks to the Bollywood films, many in South East Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa are learning the words and phrases. The other day a Guatemalan Taxi driver surprised me on my way to Love Field, he was playing Fun Asia Radio, and was throwing many phrases at me, that was impressive. My late wife watched Lagaan in a hotel in Costa Rica, and one of my Algerian friends started humming  "Mera tujh se hai pehle ka naata koi" she said that the film ran for a full month and they had to stand in the line to get the ticket. 

The Chief Editor for Saudi Gazette writes quite a lot about India and Pakistan, he went to school in Karachi and speaks Urdu fluently. There is a Jewish business man in Fort Worth, he speaks broken Urdu.  The owner of a Thai Restaurant sings and explains the whole meaning of Baharo Phool Barsao, Mera Mehboob Aaya hai." We walked into New York Deli on Frankford, owned by a Russian, the moment he saw my wife in Sari, he started Raj Kapooring,  "mera Joota hai Japani and repeating Lal topi Roosi, Lal topi Roosi, Lal topi Roosi...". Some one from Ghana has seen Gunga Jumna 10 times! 

In Cancun a road side grill sells Tandoori Chicken as Tandoori Chicken, he was calling me, "Aao, Aao, Tandoori Chicken Khao"  Ah, get this, my daughter in laws father is Malaysian in oil business, he tell me he was in Siberia, the lonely deserted cold place - there was an Indian Restaurant among some five others, that's right, one in five people on the earth are Desi's. This language Urdu-Hindi has great potential for our kids and grand kids. If you have experienced some such things, please write in the comments section below. 

Additionally, if you learn the Urdu Script, it would be easy to learn Arabic Language with so much business we conduct, and will conduct,  this would be an asset to our kids or even ourselves.

There was yet another time, just some 30 years ago, we did not have a direct flight from Dallas to any one of the South Asian Nations, today we have plenty of airlines flying to those destinations everyday, and it will continue to increase. This language Urdu will take a prominent spot on the world stage, and it is time that we the Americans of Native and Desi heritage not miss the boat.

Indeed, almost all of the Bollywood films carry the common language understood by a vast majority of the people of Subcontinent. However politics creeps in and reduces the language’s reach. It particularly happens  when the news segment hits the airwaves, Hindi gets heavily Sanskritized or Urdu gets Farsi-ized reducing the number of people who can understand either in full. Even me, who has a good working knowledge (writing, reading and speaking) in both the scripts, find it difficult to watch the Sanskritized Hindi or Farsi-ized Urdu. News is not a big part of our lives, just skip the news part and you will be fine, and connect with anyone and any where in the subcontinent. 

You can go to India or Pakistan and even cities in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka and speak the generic language, the language of the Bollywood Films, and you will be able to communicate to a larger segment of the population anywhere in the world.

If you sing Hindi songs professionally you have to learn pronouncing the words properly and almost all of the singers and actors in Bollywood (world's largest film industry) learn the language of Urdu. 

If you have the option to choose a foreign language in the school, Urdu  is an attractive choice and a good business asset. Urdu will make a big come back.

The leaders who are taking this initiative forward are: Mr. Amin Tirmizi, Mrs. Talmeez Fatima Burni, Mr. Like Ali Khan, 
Dr. Akbar Haider and Dr. Amer Suleman.  I have taken the tiny responsibility of administrative support.     

I am developing this article as a survey to see how many kids and adults have an interest in joining the Urdu classes. A lot of benefits are offered right now as an incentive for kids.

I urge my Urdu-Hindi friends to write a sentence or a few words to be quoted in the article that we will publish in a News paper. Let it be no more than 50 words.

On my part, my tiny contribution to the vast Urdu-Hindi literature would be through a brand new stream of poetry that focuses on Pluralism, 
and we have already conducted several Mushaera-Sammelans on the topic and hope to continue them.

Last year, Dr. Amer Suleman of the Urdu Ghar fame experimented with his kids,  on Father's Day, he asked them to speak to him in Urdu and learn at least 25 words as his Father's Day gift, and they did, and my son did it too. We had sent that note to all the Desis' on my lists.

Through America Together Foundation, we are hoping to see the need for starting classes in Urdu language affiliated with established schools and colleges, and if we have enough members of the community wanting it, we can start soon.  Are you ready?

At America Together Foundation, our Mission is to educate, entertain and invoke critical thinking in creating a cohesive environment to work, socialize and function effectively.  

Please write your notes and interest in the comment section or click this link to write your comment - http://urduhindinet.blogspot.com/2015/03/urdu-language-opportunities.html#comment-form

Thanks to Milton Roy for sharing this information

Urdu Couplets are elixir for brain, learning prevent dementia

You don't have to believe this, but it is research done by Doctor Uttam Kumar. Urdu Couplets are elixir for brain; learning the language helps prevent dementia.

A recent study by the Center for Bio-Medical Researches (CBMR), Lucknow, suggests that reading Urdu passages helps in brain development. Learning Urdu also has a role in delaying the onset of dementia, besides helping children with learning disabilities. The work, which has made it to the recent edition of international journal 'Neuroscience Letters'.

Urdu is the deepest language and therefore reading it involves more areas of the brain, which is good for mental health," said Kumar adding, "Urdu has two more advantages over others — visual complexity of letters and direction of writing."
Please read the business opportunities for Urdu - Mike Ghouse

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse
email: UrduHindinet@gmail.com  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Spirit of Urdu festival - Javed Akhtar and Ashok Vajpayee

One of the most elegant websites I have visited, offering every piece of material in three scripts - Roman, Farsi and Devanagri. Please register your name and upload your poetry.  

One of my favorite topics is up for panel discussion, Urdu aur Hindi, qurbatien aur fasilay. 

Mike Ghouse

# # #
"This festival is a platform to showcase the world of Urdu through the eyes and experience of its masters. We aim to reach out to both the Urdu speaking and the non-Urdu speaking audience," Sanjiv Saraf, founder of https://rekhta.org/ , said in a statement Friday.

The festival ends March 15.

Javed Akhtar, Ashok Vajpayee to explore the spirit of Urdu

  • IANS, New Delhi | 
  • Updated: Mar 01, 2015 03:14 IST

From L to R: Ashok Vajpayee and Javed Akhtar

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Indian and Pakistani writers Intizar Hussain, Javed Akhtar, Ashok Vajpayee, and Nida Fazli, among others will participate in an Urdu festival in Delhi to celebrate and explore the spirit of the language.
The two-day "Jashn-e-Rekhta" festival will begin March 14 and will bring together 60 renowned personalities from both the countries to celebrate Urdu language through performances, recitations, dastangoi, musical renditions, mushaira, dramas, panel discussions, film screenings and interactive sessions.
The festival is presented by the Rekhta foundation, which has curated the largest online anthology of Urdu poetry, and will be hosted at India International Centre.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Finding’ the ‘lost’ Urdu

www.UrduHindi.net | Shared by Dalibagh from Indian Express.

The greatest linguistic shames of the century that I know are endured by three languages; Maya, Bo and Urdu.  Perhaps there are more, if you do know others, please share in the comment section below http://urduhindinet.blogspot.com/2015/02/finding-lost-urdu.html

1. Speaking Mayan language in Belize is a crime; they are prevented from speaking the language. The tyrants in Mexico do the same.  I was in Mexico with the high priest of the Maya tribe – and took them up to the Chichen-itza temple, they were afraid of going up there and praying. I took them up and dared the Mexican authorities and for the first time in 30 years they prayed in their own temple. |

2. The Bo Language - http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2010/02/press-release-in-behalf-of-indians-of.html

3.  Urdu Language – Not all, but enough of the crazies among right wing Hindus and right wing Muslims alike have forced it to become the language of Muslims. How dumb and stupid!  Even in India, the Muslim Bengalis, Malyalees, Guajarati, Tamilians… and neither the Arabs nor the Indonesians, the largest Muslim population in the world speak Urdu.  Whereas Hindus of North India do speak Urdu, it is their language.  Urdu is the language of India, born and bred in India; it is also the official language of Pakistan.

The writer of the article Irene made a point to show the so called Urdu words in Hindi language.  What she failed to share was that the Urdu dictionary has almost all the “Hindi” words listed as Urdu words which I have checked, however I have not checked the Hindi dictionary if it has all the words known as Urdu words.  That is the way to go forward to be inclusive of the other.

I have always called it Hindustani, the only language in the world with three scripts – Devanagiri, Farsi and Roman.  Indeed, our website is UrduHindi.net to reflect that Unity.

I have not made the time to watch “Hindi” movies in a long time – three hours is a lot of time. However, I have learned to watch a few with my wife – we just watched “2 States” a must watch movie – there it is the common Hindustani in it – a blend of Urdu and Hindi that most people can understand. Then we watched Babul with Amitabh, Salman and John Abraham – It’s beautiful Urdu in it laced with specific Hindi words to describe the Hindu tradition.  We also watched Namaste London….

There was a song which talked about, “ choro urdu hindi ka Jhagda” cannot think of the whole song but there is another one that speak about kids “ bhasha ki takrar nahin mazhab ki deewar nahin” from the song in Do Kaliyan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d95tEfX9pNE

My personal contribution to Urdu would be to make this a language free from Muslims and Hindus, and re-induction of words and similes that both people can relate. The references should not be merely Muslim history but Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Adivasis and Dalit heritage as well. 

In 2012 we introduced a new stream of Pluralism in the poetry to seed the idea of one language that reflects the larger culture of the subcontinent.  Thanks to so many poets of Dallas for beautifully re-blending the cultures in their poetry.

There are many poems, but here are the two that reflect inclusion of similes (references) from subcultures of the Subcontinent – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Jewish, Adivasis, Buddhist and others.

I propose that the Hindu and Urdu groups sit down with both the dictionaries and make random comparisons of 100 words and I hope someday both the Urdu and Hindi dictionaries will carry the same words.

I hope you like the following piece

Mike Ghouse

Such uninterested, defeatist “Urdu-is-dead-who-cares” attitude among Muslims will ensure the language continues to be denied the credit it deserves. In such times, it is good news that social media, and Pakistani serials are doing their bit for the Urdu cause. But here too, it would be great to see if praise for Urdu is not limited to just its poetry, but also extends to its simple, humble words that we use in our everyday lives. Ummeed hai hamari khwahish poori ho.

The young generation of Muslims can not read Urdu script although they speak Urdu at home. They were educated in Hindi medium and are comfortable with it. Unless parents teach their children Urdu at home they will not be comfortable with Urdu script. Although state governments have given some help to urdu schools their standards are low. There are no science and mathematics books in Urdu hence the emphasis on learning Urdu is on language and poetry rather than science and mathematics.

‘Finding’ the ‘lost’ Urdu: But did the language ever really go away? http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/finding-the-lost-urdu/99/

A large number of mushairas and qawwalis are being held in metropolitan cities, thus further helping Urdu make a “comeback”. A large number of mushairas and qawwalis are being held in metropolitan cities, thus further helping Urdu make a “comeback”.


A large number of mushairas and qawwalis are being held in metropolitan cities, thus further helping Urdu make a “comeback”.

Written by Irena Akbar | Posted: February 17, 2015 5:39 pm | Updated: February 17, 2015 5:47 pm

There is Faiz in the air. Urdu, the “lost” language of the poets, the hopeless romantics and the ardent idealists, is “re-emerging”. Several online Facebook groups are dedicated to varied Urdu poets, and Urdu learning websites such as Rekhta and Urduwallahs are becoming popular. Pakistani soap operas, broadcast on Zindagi channel, too are helping “revive” the language that “got lost due to Partition”. A large number of mushairas and qawwalis are being held in metropolitan cities, thus further helping Urdu make a “comeback”.

The question, however, is, did Urdu really go away? If anything, it has stayed on, through Bollywood songs, and since the 1990s, through Hindi news channels. Hindi news channels relay “khabrein”, not “samachar”, as was by Doordarshan. Reporters talk of a “shakhs”, not a “vyakti”, and use “adalat” instead of “nyayalaya”, for example. So, since the 1990s, the use of Urdu in popular media has gone beyond just Hindi cinema and extended to television news. Certainly, the language has not been “dying” as Urdu “revivalists” claim.

What has been dying is not the language, but the credit given to the language. Most people don’t know that many of the words spoken in Hindi films or news channels are Urdu. This is not a case of war between Hindi and Urdu. Both languages are closely linked to and depend on each other for their survival. After Partition, Urdu came to be identified with Muslims. “Muslim” Urdu became the state language of Pakistan and was imposed on native Punjabi, Sindhi and Pashtun speakers. In northern India, the land of Urdu and Hindi, the language lost its popularity among non-Muslim Hindi speakers because of its “Muslim” label. Publishers of Urdu books began focusing only on religious literature, further making it less attractive for the non-Muslim audience. In sad contrast, there was a time when Hindu poets like Firaq Gorakhpuri added so much to Urdu heritage.

After Partition, and even now, it is Hindi cinema and news that have ensured Urdu its space in popular culture. But let’s not get patronising here. Urdu writers such as Salim Khan, Javed Akhtar, Sahir Ludhianvi and Shakeel Badayuni have contributed immensely to Hindi cinema. In fact, many Hindi film titles are in Urdu, like Mohabbatein, Kurbaan, Dil, etc. Most Hindi film singers and actors take classes in Urdu diction. Had it not been for Urdu, would we ever have timeless Bollywood dialogues like “Mogambo khush hua” or “Kitne aadmi the” or “Main tumhara khoon pee jaaoonga”?

Yes, “khush”, “aadmi” and “khoon” are Urdu words. And here is the flipside to the Hindi-Urdu marriage. Urdu has so often been used in Hindi cinema — which is a good thing — that Urdu words are now mistaken as Hindi — which is a bad thing. Hindi has helped Urdu grow in popular culture, but in the process, it has stolen (for lack of a better word) many Urdu words and added to its lexicon. How many of us know that “paani”, “duniya”, “gussa” and “baad” are Urdu words? In Hindi, these words are translated as “jal”, “jag”, “krodh” and “pashchaat”. Some people, thankfully, call this mixed lexicon “Hindustani”, thus acknowledging the frequent use of Urdu in Hindi. In fact, even as the government goes overboard in promoting Sanskrit, its ministers use Urdu words like “Ram-zaade” or “Haraam-zaade” to put their messages across.

But it’s neither the fault of Hindi or Urdu for the dying acknowledgment of the use of Urdu. Languages are used by people, and it’s only people who can make them thrive, survive or perish. So, for the sake of acknowledgment of the the use of Urdu, Hindi and Urdu speakers need to put in their efforts. Sadly, that’s not how it is. Take Zindagi channel. Despite garnering critical appraise and TRPs not just for broadcasting better content but also for “bringing back Urdu to the living rooms”, it has adopted a new tag line: “India’s premium Hindi channel”. When everyone is loving the Urdu being spoken in its serials, why not call itself “India’s premium Urdu channel”? Some say it is a way to attract more viewers. But how will Urdu in its tag line repel viewers? My sad guess is the channel’s decision is probably because of the language’s “Muslim” association.

And here comes the responsibility of Urdu speakers, primarily Muslims of north India. I am not getting into how governments, Muslim political leaders or organisations need to go about Urdu’s cause. I am talking about ordinary Urdu speakers. Here’s a small but telling example. I follow a Facebook page called “Lucknow”. A year or so back, the page would share posts which would display a word, its origin and its use in a couplet. The word, and the couplet, would be displayed in Roman and Devnagri scripts. The origin of the word would invariably be mentioned as Persian or Arabic. It was clear the word belonged to the Urdu language. But why no mention of Urdu? I asked the administrator of the page if, alongside the Roman and Devngari scripts, the word could be written in Persian script, so that people know it’s Urdu. The administrator, a Lucknow-based Muslim, said he had a “space problem” and “nobody understands Urdu”. It’s when other followers of the page, mostly non-Muslim, started demanding that they would like to read the word in Persian script, that the administrator agreed to my suggestion.

At the launch of an Urdu daily in the capital about two years ago, prominent Muslim businessman Sirajuddin Qureshi had said that he had started an Urdu newspaper some time back but no Muslim family he knew subscribed to it and so he had to shut it down. Also, when the Census was being conducted sometime in 1999-2000, some of our Muslim neighbours had said their native language was Hindi, even though they spoke Urdu at home. Their explanation: “Who cares about Urdu now”.

Such uninterested, defeatist “Urdu-is-dead-who-cares” attitude among Muslims will ensure the language continues to be denied the credit it deserves. In such times, it is good news that social media, and Pakistani serials are doing their bit for the Urdu cause. But here too, it would be great to see if praise for Urdu is not limited to just its poetry, but also extends to its simple, humble words that we use in our everyday lives. Ummeed hai hamari khwahish poori ho.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dakkani Urdu Humor by Gautam Pemmaraju

Auron par hasney ka anjaam jo hoga so hoga;
Lekin voh qaum nahin miththi jo apney aap par hansti hai.
The consequences of laughing at others will be what they are.

But the people who laugh at themselves will never be erased.

Ghouse Khamakah Last week, at a screening of my documentary film (a work in progress) on the humour-satire performance poetry traditions of Dakhani, the spoken vernacular Urdu of the Deccan region, one of the first to arrive was the eighty-six year old bright-eyed, warm and charming Ghouse Mohiuddin 'Khamakha'. The above couplet of his has remained with me over the years, and its current relevance is but obvious as we see the unfolding of several disturbing things.

As fleeting relief I offer some fine examples of Dakhani Mizahiya Shayri (humour-satire poetry) here. The richness of the vernacular, drawing largely from folk traditions and situated as it is further down the interrupted path of the glorious rise of the language till 1700 CE, is expressed amply in the humour-satire poetry in the Deccan. Stricken though it may be by the vicissitudes of time, the triumph of conquests, and the contempt of the elite, the tongue still remains spoken today across the Deccan plateau.

Firstly, here's something from Mohammad Himayatullah, another senior poet and the true inheritor of the legacy.

Sawaal apna bhi poora hoinga?
Kya hai ki, kya nai ki.

Yeh bandey ku kabhi sukh hoinga?
Kya hai ki, kya nai ki.

Arre Allah, tu mashuka ku duniya mey chuda daala.
Marey baad hooran deyinga?
Kya hai ki, kya nai ki.

Will my question be answered ever?
What it is, what it's not, who knows.
Will I find some contentment ever?
What it is, what it's not, who knows.

Hey Allah, you've filled the world with beautiful maidens.
And after death, virgin angels forever?
What it is, what it's not, who knows.

The first big name in Dakhani humour-satire poetry is Nazeer Ahmed 'Dahqani' originally from Jangaon village in Nalgonda, Telangana. His nephew, Khwaja Qutbuddin, who is at the Bahadur Yar Jung Academy in Karachi, recited this pithy gem for us—the folksy desperate prayer of a man in need.

Allah izzat bahut dey.
Allah shoharat bahut dey.
Allah daulat bahut dey.
Nai deta to maut dey.

Allah, great respect, grant me.
Allah, great fame, grant me.
Allah, great wealth, grant me.
If not, then death, grant me.

Another early name is Ali Saheb Miyan. When I first met Ghouse 'Khamakha' a few years ago, he recited this; a chavva (quatrain) expressing the wry, deadpan cynicism of a rural labourer.

Haddiyaan tutey talak yettiyaan karate rahey.
Gando ki baat ayi to phirkiyaan phiratey rahey.
Umar tamaam yuich kati Ali Saheb ki.
Amma ka khaye, mamu key bakriyaan charatey rahey.

They made me labour till every bone broke.
But at payday, they spun me around like a joke.
Life passed this way for Ali Saheb Miyan.
Living off his mother; tending his uncle's goat.

This sense of wretchedness and desperation, tinged with a lush satirical colour, is found widely in this kind of Dakhani poetry. Wealth, leisure and creature comforts allow for other sorts of concerns and reflections; here though it is to do with the immediate environment.

Gilli Nalgondvi, another late poet, offers much the same:
Aabroo waley chindiyaan mey bhi tan ko dhaaptain.
Behaya ku phatti chaddi rai to kya, nai rai to kya?

Those with honour will if need be cover themselves in tatters.
But for the shameless, does it matter if he has torn shorts or not?

Sarwar Danda was much loved in Hyderabad. His poetry, which he often sung with what people recall as unmatched charm and skill, more often than not speaks for the underdog. He is one of the few to use Telugu words in his poetry. Although he mingled with the progressive writers and Communist Party members (he was a good friend to the revolutionary poet Makhdoom Mohiuddin), Danda remained aloof from all persuasions. He was his own man.

Sadaa mere gavaan po ghurbat ka mausam
?na faaqon se fursat, na dum meich hai dum
?Yaan dhoti bhi gat nai, vaan unku hai resham
?Ide naa mana deesham, Ide naa mana deesham

Always there is here the climate of despair
No relief from starvation; strength is but rare.
Here clothes are all shreds; but velvets shine there.
This nation we share; this nation we share.


The late, great Sulaiman Khateeb was famous for being able to deftly change the tone and mood of the poem being recited. From ‘wah' to ‘aah', as is commonly said. From the comic to the solemn, in one quick move. In these lines of domestic banter, a domineering mother-in-law spars sharply with the devrani (her son's bride), when the latter evokes the great Mirza Ghalib to express her hopelessness.

Kaun Ghalib yeh tera saga hai
Ki kalejey ko thaam leti hai.
Itti deeda-dileri dekho maa!
Ghair mardaan ka naam leti hai!

Who is this Ghalib to you,
that you embrace him so true?!
Such passion with which you take, oh my!
A strange man's name, shame on you!

Digs at wives, much like in stand-up comedy, are quite popular. Most poets have a few up their sleeves. Here ‘Khamakha' transposes general male philandering onto a leader, giving it a ‘political' twist:

Ek leader sey poocha mainey, kya yeh acchi aadat hai?
Har aurat ko taktey ho tum; biwi ki bhi chahat hai.
Leader boley, tum kya jaano, yeh bhi ek siyasat hai.
Aurat meri kamzori hai, biwi meri taaqat hai.

To a leader I once asked; what habit of yours is this?
Every woman you ogle; surely, a wife also there is.
What do you know he said, a kind of politics is also this.
Women are my weakness; my strength though, the wife is.

In today's times apart from the octogenarians—Himayatullah and ‘Khamakha'—there are quite a few poets who routinely perform at regional mushairas. But as is generally observed, many of them use catch phrases, slang words and sounds, or slogans; few really do truly Dakhani poetry. Many of the contemporary poets comment on the events of our times, particularly conflict. Sardar Asar recites this couplet off and on:

Bam key nazdeek jako dekha mai,
Zafrani tha; hara thodiyich hai.
I went close to the bomb and looked at it.
It was saffron in colour; not at all green.

He has previously angered a few by lampooning murshads and sajjadas (a common theme in the poetry).

Thodi chak ko dekho bola Murshad ku
Poori sheshi pey gaya na, ghat bolkey!
I told the Murshad to take just a sip.
He downed the whole bottle in a glug!

A few poets write and sing of drink. The metaphoric taverns and intoxication of mystical poetry is of course quite widespread in both folk traditions and high literature alike. But the regional drink, the sendi, is eulogized here in a charming, if melancholic manner, by Shamsheer Kodangali, a poet who passed a few years back. True to his Telangana roots, he says:

Mera sendi mey padey dam,
dulhey-bhai salaamalaikum.

Roz jeney ki hai khat-khat,
Kab talak jaan ku jhanjhat,

Mar bhi nai jaatey chatachat
Aaj pi lengi ghataghat

Door kar lengey chalo gham
Dulhey-bhai salaamalaikum.

My drink is fierce some
Brother-friend salaamalaikum.

This day-after-day grind
Till when must I mind

A quick death would be kind
Let's drink ourselves blind

Lighten our sorrows some
Brother-friend salaamalaikum.

It would indeed be quite nice to do away with some of our current sorrows. But as always, we remind blind, and whether it is Peshawar or Paris, we are but left woefully inadequate to cope with the countless sorrows, as the fabulous Himayatullah says in the quatrain below. To his gentle wisdom I raise a toast.

Tumay viraan khandaron ku diye to bastiyaan detain.
Jo ghoday ka dua maangta, usey tum hathiyaan detain.
Aji Allah, aankhaan bhi humko bahut dena tha.
Lakhon key gham diye; roney ku sirf do ankhiyaan detain.

To lonesome ruins, a bustling hamlet you give.
He who asks for a horse; an elephant to him you give.
Hey Allah, you should have given us many eyes.
Millions of sorrows; to cry only two eyes you give.


- See more at: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2015/01/laughing-at-others.html#sthash.WmzoK4G1.dpuf

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A mera dharam kahan tha? ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था ?

I wrote this poem to make a point - i.e., we the individuals make the mistakes but  we always blame it on religions, particularly other's religion. The is the story of a man who is a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and other ... He is the one who makes the mistakes but we tend to blame his religion.

We have to blame the individual who makes the mistake, and not his spouse, parents, siblings, kids, pundit, imam, rabbi, pastor or shaman. We should not even blame his even his Mayor, nation or religion.

The individual is the criminal, blame him and haul him off.  

If a rapist is running around in the neighborhood, every one becomes apprehensive and frightened, once the guy is caught, there is a relief. Like wise, we need to focus on terrorists and get the guy, like Obama got Bin Laden instead of blaming his religion.

You can punish the guy and restore justice. You cannot punish the religion, it is not a thing which you can kill, kick, hang, beat up, shoot or bury it, then why bark at it? 

This poem expresses those thoughts, this individual cheats on his wife, not because of his religion, it is because of who he is, cheats his friends in business, not because he is Hindu, Musalmaan or Sikh, but because he is who he is. All the evil is packed in this Nazm.

By the way, it is a Nasri-Nazam, a new format of story telling, so, a few lines are longer to make the point. 

Unwaan/Vishay hai

A mera dharam kahan tha?
 ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था ?

My nay chori ki wave-haar may
Dhoka diya doston ko;
A mera apna charitar tha,
a mera dharam kahan tha?

मैंने चोरी की व्यवहार में
धोखा दिया दोस्तों को
यह मेरा अपना चरित्र था
ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था ?

My nay patni say bewafayee ki
aur girl friends say bhi;
A mera apna hi paap tha,
a mera dharam kahan tha?

मैंने पत्नी से बेवफ़ाई की
और गर्ल-फ्रेंड से भी
यह मेरा अपना पाप था
ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था ?

Ganga jal say paap  dhoye,
Hajj say Gunah bhi saaf kiye;
Ji, my waisay ka waisa hi raha
a mera dharam kahan tha?

गंगा जल से पाप धोये
हज से गुनाह भी साफ़ किये
जी, मैं वैसे का वैसा ही रहा
ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था ?

My aatank wadi bhi bana,
Allahu Akbar bhi kaha
A mazhab nay kab sikhaya tha,
a mera dharam kahan tha?

मैं आतंकवादी भी बना
अल्लाह हू अकबर भी कहा
ये मज़हब ने कब सिखाया था

ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था ?

My nay babri masjid ko toda
Raam ka naam bhi liya;
A kisi ka dharam kahan tha,
a mera dharam kahan tha?

मैं ने बाबरी मस्जिद को तोड़ा
राम का नाम भी लिया
ये किस्सी का धर्म कहाँ था
ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था

My nay shiaoon ko, Hinduoon ko/ Ahmadiyon ko,
aur Maseehhon ko takleefien di; ( to make the point)
Mardood my, kalank Sunni pay laga tha,
a mera dharam kahan tha?

मैं ने शियाओं को , हिन्दुओं को , अहमदियों को
और मसींहों को तकलीफें दीं
मरदूद मैं , कलंक सुन्नियों पर था
ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था

Gar ilzaam lagana to lagao mujh per
saza do mujh ko,
a ayeb mera zaati tha,
a mera dharam kahan tha?

गर इलज़ाम लगाना है तो लगाओ मुझ पर
सजा दो मुझ को
ये ऐब मेरा जाती था
ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था ?

Samaj my nyaye ho
to Shanti bhi, pragati bhi;
Chora Chor ko, budnaam dharam tha
a mera dharam kahan tha?

समाज में न्याय हो
तो शांति भी, प्रगति भी
छोड़ा चोर को, बदनाम धर्म को किया था
ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था ?

Thakna mere kaam nahin hai
My unhee samjhata his rahoonga sahir
My nay jo bhi kiya, o mera kiya tha
a mera dharam kahan tha?

थकना मेरा काम नहीं है
मैं उन्हें समझाता ही रहूँगा साहिर
मैं ने जो भी किया था , वो मेरा किया था
ये मेरा धर्म कहाँ था

Site: www.UrduHindi.net
Link: http://urduhindinet.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-mera-dharam-kahan-tha.html

Thank you

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is a staunch defender of human rights and his book standing up for others will be out soon, and a movie "Americans together" is in the making.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links atwww.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.