The exhibition of Islamic Calligraphic Art is being organized by the Siasat Art Gallery during Jashn-e-Rekhta in New Delhi. Works of master calligraphers from Hyderabad are being put on display. Jashn-e-Rekhta celebrated with much fanfare at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium close to India Gate. The fourth edition of Jashn-e-Rekhta festival, a celebration of Urdu in the capital shows that a language that was nearly declared dead has come back from the brink.
15 to 20 years ago people were quite worried about the future of Urdu. They felt that Urdu could be saved from breathing its last, by making it second official language. Some were of the opinion that if Urdu Academies are formed Urdu would get promoted. Many believed that if central government forms an Anjuman it will preserve Urdu while some felt that Urdu will be preserved if we all buy and read Urdu newspaper. But no one had the least idea that a group of people will come forward to save Urdu, who would neither belong to the government nor to any religious institution. They will be non-Muslims but will beat Muslims in serving Urdu language. These people know that Urdu is not just a language but a culture in itself. It has created its own niche in their heart due to its soft accent.
Munshi Naval Kishore, Hargopal Tafta, Pundit Brij Narayan Chakbast and Ratan Kishore, they all contributed in developing the Urdu language. But one can argue that was all before independence when there was no line of prejudice between drawn Urdu and Hindi. Those were good old days. That was the time when Pandit Nehru launched a newspaper and named it ‘Quami Aawaz’.
But how can one forget that after independence Raghupati Sahay Firaq, Kunwar Mohinder Singh Bedi, Jagan Nath Azad, Naresh Kumar Shaad, Sampooran Singh Kalra Gulzar, Krishn Bihari ‘Noor’, Sheen Kaaf Nizam and Pandit Gulzar Zutshi have also watered the plant of Urdu and today also, God knows how many youth like Ranjeet Chauhan are serving the language. What do you say about them?
Again one may argue they are writers and poets so they fascinated towards the language. But ever wondered, why ETV owner Ramoji started Urdu channel? Why Ambani is running an Urdu channel? Why Zee TV has started Zee Salam? Why owners of Sahara brought out an Urdu newspaper on national level? Why they launched an Urdu Channel? Why Jagran Group gave more focus to Inquilab when they bought Midday group? Why the largest website of Urdu was launched by an industrialist Sanjiv Saraf? Why he preserved the poetry of thousands of poets on internet pages? Why he started converting Urdu books into PDF files? Why he shifted the Urdu programmes from old city lanes to Dhyan Chand National Stadium near India Gate?
But more important is the question, why at a time when a lobby is spitting venom against Urdu, a large majority of the people who attended the Jashn were non-Muslims? English daily Times of India had put the headline on Sunday morning, ‘Urdu dying?’ Then it added ‘Festival shows it’s not just zinda but rocking.’
The best part of it is that upliftment of Urdu is done by those who don’t have any economical or business reasons associated to it. They are attached to Urdu with their heart and soul.