First of all I want to make clear that this article is not just an emotional statement rather it is a factual course of arguments based on scientific knowledge of linguistics.
It is general human attitude that when an entity is made sacred or more worthy. All of a sudden people start claiming it. They do not need any valid argument, they just claim it as there own entity. Exactly, same happened with Hindustani (Urdu/Hindi). The UP/CP leaders of British India along with East India company successfully linked religion with the languages. It was such an absurd idea at that time and it is still believed by many that Urdu is Muslim and Hindi is Hindu. This false dogma and in fact myopic approach nullified the established fact of linguistics that languages are linked with regions and the communities living in those regions. The Urdu Hindi controversy 1867 further aggravated the situation. Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan and his Aligarh institute convinced the Indian Muslims that Hindustani when written in Persian script becomes a perfectly Muslim language and all other languages of British India are those of infidels. Muslims not only accepted Urdu whole heatedly but also started claiming it as there own. Even the books were written to prove the claims with references from classical poetry and other writings. On the other hand, the fact is, if you search on internet the word “khari boli” and play any video of that language, you would be surprised that it is same as Urdu. The khari boli is a native language which is spoken in the areas of UP/CP. In spoken form the khari boli, Hindustani, Urdu and Hindi are different names of same language. but when we write the Hindustani in Devanagari script it is called Hindi, the language of Hindu community of British India and when we write the Hindustani in Persian script, it becomes the only representative language of Indo Pak Muslims. Of course, with the passage of time, the Hindi language has been stuffed with many Sanskrit words and Urdu with Persian and Arabic words, but, this is limited mainly to academics. In common day to day dialogue, it is very difficult to differentiate whether a person is speaking Urdu or Hindi. The reason is languages are not classified on the basis of vocabulary as vocabulary keeps changing. The benchmark is the syntax and structure of sentences, which is exactly same in case of Urdu and Hindi.
Anyhow I was talking about how Muslims from all over India started claiming that Urdu is their language. Hafiz Mahmoud Sherani was also one of them. He wrote a book “Punjan mein urdu”. You can download the book at following link.
He said that Urdu was developed form of Punjabi so actually Urdu was the language of Punjab region with Punjabi as its its mother language.
The arguments he gave are funny as well as disappointing. You can read the book yourselves, I am discussing few of them.
He said Punjabi and Urdu share sixty percent vocabulary.
What about Punjabi and Sindhi? In fact all the languages of Indo Aryan family share the vocabulary. As I mentioned earlier, vocabulary does not create a new language.
Further, her picked the verses from classical poetry and tried to compare it with Urdu language. It is still based on the assumption of vocabulary.
His references to some writings in Urdu or Urdu like language have nothing to do with the false claim that Urdu is the refined or developed form of Punjabi. Take any classical poet of Punjab, you will find the Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit and many other language’s vocabulary. Another argument, he puts forward in favor of his false claim is that Punjab was ruled by many Persian Arabic or Afghani rulers so Urdu was born here. He thinks that languages are born in royal courts and by the writers of royal courts. The fact is opposite. He used top down approach. Whereas the languages are born in fields, villages far from the capital city. There are many examples that some Hindu poets of Lahore used to write Persian poetry when Persian was the language of the rulers. Can we assume on that basis that Persian was born in Punjab and Persian is the representative language of whole Hindu community?
In a nutshell all his claims are based on references from classical writers and vocabulary. It is same as if we say, that Iqbal’s poetry has so many Persian words and he has also written poetry in Persian so the Persian is the modern and developed form of Punjabi as Iqbal was born in Punjab
The universal law of development is the improvement. If the new product is not better, we can not call it development. The law of survival of the fittest as suggested by the Darwin applies in every field. Take any language, the more mature, the more expressive. As a language evolves, it becomes more and more expressive with less and less use of words. And another notable thing is, when a language evolves, it never returns back to less expressive or less mature state. But some so called writers in Punjab are asking new generation to revert back to less developed state i,e to replace Urdu/Hindi with Punjabi.
Here are some examples which scientifically prove that Punjabi is the refined and developed form of Hindustani(Urdu/Hindi).
If you analyze Punjabi in perspective of individual words. You would observe that Punjabi tried to remove the unnecessary sounds. Wherever possible, Punjabi removed extra vowels. Please look at the following examples
Urdu —> Punjabi
naak —> nak
aankh —-> akh
kaan —-> kan
saanp —-> Sap
bhaag —-> bhaj, naTh
There are thousands of words which are shortened form of Urdu words. So less characters, more meanings.
In addition to the economy of letters, or the minimum possible use of characters, Punjabi also gives you the ease of pronunciation. Punjabi language gave special treatment to h letter in general and aspiration h in particular. The h letter involves the exhaling thus requiring more energy to pronounce. Punjabi language found a work around for exhaling and that work around was the wonderful tonal behavior. Punjabi is the only language in Indo-Aryan family which is tonal.
In Punjabi, following letters are called voiceless stops
Since these are voiceless , the addition of aspiration h does not make them much difficult to pronounce. so Punjabi maintains aspiration h followed by voiceless tops as
Urdu —-> Punjab
phool —-> phul
Thaakar —-> Thaakar
khaana —> khaaNa
But unlike Urdu/Hindi/Khari Boli, Punjabi (except few dialects) does not add aspiration h after voiced stops. The reason is, voiced stops already involve exhaling and adding h to them would add even more difficulty to pronounce involving more energy. So Punjabi introduces the concept of tone. When we remove the aspiration h. In start of a word, it is replaced with low tonc. Here are few examples. [Note: I use \ for low tone and / for high tone]
Urdu —–> Punjabi
bhaee —-> bhaee (pronounced as paa\ee)
dhobee —> dhobee (pronounced as to\bee)
Dhol —->Dhol (pronounced as To\l)
ghoRa —> ghoRa (pronounced as ko\Ra)
And removing the aspiration h at the end of the word introduces high tone. for example
Urdu —–> Punjabi
maagh —-> maagh (pronounced as maa/g)
saadh —> saadh (pronounced as saa/d)
There are also other examples where the general h letter (not just the aspiration) is also replaced with high tones. For examples
Urdu —-> Punjabi
chaah —-> chaah (pronounced as chaa/)
shaihar —-> shaihar (pronounced as shai/r)
There are countless words where simple change of tone changes the meaning of the word. For instance look at these words.
chaa = fervor in Urdu/Hindi chaao
chaa/ = tea in Urdu/Hindi chaaye
chaa\ = peep in Urdu/Hindi jhaaat.
Punjabi not only shortened the individual words but also shortened the sentences by grafting technique. The grafting technique means combining two words by removing some letters from in between. Let’s take an Urdu sentence, wo gaee huee hai. She is gone. In Urdu we make it is shortened as gaee huee hai. We removed the pronoun as it is being communicated in the rest of the sentence as well. But that is it. No more brevity. But Punjabi goes way more beyond. In Punjabi the original form of sentence would be o gaee huee ai. Even in primitive form, this sentence is shorter than that of Urdu as we removed w from wo and just wrote o and h from hai and just wrote ai. After removing pronoun, it becomes, gaee huee ai. It is further shortened by removing the h of huee and appending the ee of gaee at the end of uee as gaueeee ai. To make it even more short, we remove u as well with following resultant expression.
gaeeee ai. Amazing it is! Here is an other example of shortening by grafting
Urdu —-> Punjabi
doodh me’n paani dalte hain —-> du/d vich paani paunde ne
here vich is grafted with previous word by removing v as du/d’ch paani paunde ne
In addition to brevity, Punjabi language also has the power and beauty of expression. Few days back, I was talking to a kid while walking with him. I asked him “chhoot vat ja” he was unable to understand. I said “duRki laa jaa”. Again he could not get it. I said,”naTh”, he was still confused. I said, “bhajj”. Still, he gave no response. Finally I said. “bhaag”. Now he understood my intentions that I wanted him to run. He was surprised to know that for simple word “bhaag”, there are so many expressions in Punjabi. Although his parents were native Punjabi yet he was quite unfamiliar with Punjabi language.
So the conclusion is: Don’t take the power of expression from your kids. Teach them Punjabi as Punjabi is the modern and developed form of Urdu/Hind/KhaRi boli.