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The Treatment of Urdu Language During the Reign Of Mughals

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Urdu is now an established and renowned language of the world. However, the case was not so in the initial days of the language and it did not enjoy the treatment from people in general and rulers in particular of that time as it does now.

Like all the other languages that are established and renowned at present like English, Urdu was also considered a vernacular and base language in its early days. Moreover, it did not receive a good treatment from the Mughal rulers of the subcontinent, however, whilst all this Urdu still managed to grow and expand and now has become an established language of the subcontinent and world. The lines below discuss the kind of treatment Urdu received during the Mughal reign and how it found its way through to becoming a language of masses.

Establishment and improvement in Urdu language during Mughal ages

Mughals were basically Persians therefore, it was quite natural that when they started ruling the subcontinent they endorsed Persian as a language of communication. Mughals made Persian the language of court and the official language of subcontinent, thus whatever was presented to Mughals and all the official documentation was done in Persian. However, whilst that was happening at the higher level, there was another development that was taking place at the more rustic level.

Mughals united the subcontinent, as a result of this unity people from different linguistic backgrounds came close to each other and outside the court they started communicating with each other in whatever little they knew of the language of the other person by adding their own language to the sentence. Thus, as a result of this amalgam the language ‘Urdu’ was formed and due to its spoken by the people outside nobility and access to court, it was regarded as a base language and people who spoke it were considered degenerates and ill cultured.

There were different states under the Mughal reign the rulers of which allowed the people and their court members to use Urdu language. When Mughals got word of that, they detested such rulers and regarded them as degenerates and the ones who were not able to maintain their dignity and aristocratic honor. However, one ruler after the other allowed Urdu into their courts, as it was becoming popular among masses and because of its amalgamated nature it had an additional aesthetic appeal as well.

Thus, seeing the popularity of Urdu and its acceptance in different states, the writers then started writing books and also started translating works from Persian to Urdu. So, the language took the form of a rebellion where the masses started accepting it as their spoken language, whereas the aristocracy started refusing it and accepting its popularity.

Urdu continued on evolving in the same way until the British started ruling subcontinent and they replaced Persian as an official language with English and then allowed the vernacular languages of subcontinent to be used at an unofficial language.

Thus, despite all the suppressing by Mughals Urdu found its way through time and became the language of masses and after the partition of subcontinent, it became the official language of the country and is known for it all across the globe.

Recommended Readings:

A Glimpse of the History of Development and Establishment of Urdu | Learn How to Speak Urdu Language


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