REFT Today's interview conversation of Suniti Garg Special Correspondent and Sub—Editor and Advocate Deeba Salam and help in sharing the story as much as possible. Don't forget to give your valuable comments at the end of the article.
1) Tell about yourself; how did you begin your career. Stating your birthplace, education, and family in detail.
Advocate Deeba Salam: Well, my name is Advocate Deeba Salam. I was born and brought up in Prayagraj, formally known as Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. I have completed my B.Com and Master in Psychology, Human Resource Development and Management from the University of Allahabad. Then I started my journey entering into Law studies and completed my L.L.B. from there itself. My family has a tremendous background of Urdu and my maternal uncle Janab Nizam Siddiqui is a renowned critic and author and is a Sahitya Akademi awardee.
Earlier, I was not interested in knowing Urdu at all, instead was most focussed towards my professional studies only. My mind changed when I started attending quite a number of Sahitya Akademi seminars with my uncle. The turning point of my life came when I heard the speech of Prof. Gopi Chand Narang at Moorti Devi Samman function. There, I realised that Urdu is nothing but, the soul confluence of East and West. So, a drastic change in my thoughts flourished that, why am I staying away from a language in which I have such a rich background? After that I started reading Sahadat Hassan Manto and my passion towards Urdu reached to new heights. Later, my friend ADJ Kanchan Gupta asked me to go for a degree course in Urdu so recently we both completed our M.A. in it.
2) How come you are so passionate about celebrating Urdu day? Is your religion a reason that tends you towards a new fashion?
Advocate Deeba Salam: November 9th. is not just celebrated as World Urdu Day but, is also denoted as the birth anniversary of most famous Urdu writer Allahma Mohammad Iqbal. In India there is no specific date officially declared for Urdu Day celebrations but, some of the institutions usually celebrate it on this day only. So, I thought of coming together with the world. Although in our country there are lot of controversies regarding adopting this date officially in our country, etc.
Religion has nothing to do with Urdu as it is an Aaryan language which originated from Rig-Veda in India . Urdu itself is a Sanskrit—Urdu where, "Ur" means heart and soul and "du" means to know. Urdu imparts it's origins with Hindi, now and then alluded to as a 'sister' language of Urdu and they are firmly related and share similar grammar and phonology. However, Hindi proceeded to be written in ‘Devanagri’, it's vocabulary has more of a Sanskrit influence and Urdu a Persian and Arabic influence.
Urdu always remains in fashion, as it is a pivotal language of bollywood and part and parcel of bollywood songs. Urdu is not the language of Muslims, it belongs to the composite cultures of India where, Hindi and Urdu are supplementary and complementary, they are like sisters strengthening each other. There is a lack of awareness amongst people which has developed as sterio type image of it.
3) What are your contributions to making Urdu a famous language once again?
Advocate Deeba Salam: Urdu is an acclaimed language, we don’t have to make it one. It is becoming a growing fashion day by day as it delights to tune into poetries and music and gives you the passion to learn more which, directly captivates ones heart and soul. Urdu and Hindi are almost the same and sister languages, yet we can see the data of Hindi speaking population in our country has gone up almost by 52% while Urdu was the fourth most spoken language and suddenly we could see a slip to seventh position.
The reason behind it is that, in all adminstrative and legal works Urdu was replaced with Devnagri. Young generation does not find much scope professionally in learning this script and until and unless something is not conjoined with career or profession, till then no one finds any interest into that particular thing. After this program we are planning a new campaign 'Lou Se Lou Jaleyge, Urdu sabko padhna, likhna sikhaege'. In this campaign several Urdu intellects will be teaching this language and script for free to those who are passionate towards it. This must be introduced in all schools and amongst parents to make it a known language within children.
4) Has Urdu lost its charm from the entire world? If no, then at what stage it is showcasing at the world front?
Advocate Deeba Salam: Firstly,Urdu is a language which can never loose it's charm. It is indeed the most lovely, sweet, sophisticated and cultured language used world wide. It is widely spoken in UK, Germany, U.S., Canada, Middle East and in whole of Indian subcontinents. Urdu's usage and scope is rapidly increasing day by day.
Secondly, we as a whole need to unite to break this stereotype about Urdu that this language belongs to a particular religion. It is like English, Hindi, French, German, etc. Urdu has developed from the neighborhood vernaculars spoken around Delhi called Dehalvi, which consolidated words from Turkish, Arabic, and Persian in the 13th. and 14th. centuries. The closest relation of Urdu is Hindi. Communicating in Urdu and Hindi are practically indistinguishable at the everyday utilitarian level, besides from few specific words.
5) Last but not least, what are your plans for the Urdu language to become common in people of other religions?
Advocate Deeba Salam: Social media can be a wellspring of significant change in society as it is the most vital approach to disseminate voices for any objective. It would be helpful for youthful writers to acquire constructive literature in front of the society. It is the blend of endeavours mainstream intrigues created by popular developed by films and ongoing exploration which will ensure that classical Urdu writings will be preserved and promoted. Youthful scholars should be encouraged and enlightened to compose Urdu sonnets. Youths should follow Allama Iqbal, who was one of the most significant Urdu writers in the nation and write extensively.
INTERVIEWED: Advocate Deeba Salam.
INTERVIEW TAKEN BY: Suniti Garg Special Correspondent and Sub—Editor.
PICTURE COURTESY: Advocate Deeba Salam.