A few years ago, Godrej Culture Lab Leadership Programme not only made fun of Hindi but ridiculed Hindi to establish Urdu in Hindi film industry which is already under its vice. This was done under the pretext of “examining the role and relevance of Urdu in contemporary culture”. Here I have undertaken the same exercise. The sentences in italics are from the Godrej Culture Lab Leadership Programme.
Tu vastu badi hai anandmayi anandmayi… no one will write such a line in Hindi because Hindi/Sanskrit is Dev Bhasha/God’s Language; it will never degenerate women. But in Urdu, one can write Tu cheez badi hai mast mast. The way Urdu abuses women is unprecedented. And there is a reason for it. In Urdu, the word for women is Aurat and it is practically the only way to say ‘woman’ in Urdu.
The word aurat comes from the Arabic word awrah, which means ‘defectiveness, pudendum, genitals’. As a technical term in Islamic law, the extended sense of ‘pudendum’ has been defined to mean the part of the body that must be covered for the sake of basic decency. For men, from the navel to the knees, and for women, the whole body except for the face, hands, and the feet. Some Muslim jurists extended the definition of woman’s awrah to mean the entire woman, with nothing exempted, i.e. the whole of women is genital, defective and hence to be covered and called as aurat.
The language one uses the way she/he perceives reality and the Hindi film industry is no different. This status of women, which is aurat, i.e. defected/ deformed/ genital, is reflected in Hindi movies. The objectification of women increased in Hindi movies with the increasing use of Urdu. We can understand it through the quality of songs spread over time.
Ghar ki rani hun ji mai ghar ki rani hun ji
Sham kahu mai mangal tara
Bhor suhani hun ji mai ghar ki rani hun ji
With sprinkling of Urdu
Piya Ka Ghar Hai
Ye Rani Hu Mai
Rani Hu Ghar Ki (Piya Ka Ghar, 1972)
With full Urdu
Too chiz badi hai mast mast tu chiz badi hai mast
Nahin tujhako koi hosh hosh usapar joban ka josh
josh Nahin teraa nahin teraa koi dosh dosh
Madahosh hai too har vakt vakt
In Hindi or among Hindus, a married woman can think of being a queen, but in the Muslim Kingdom, there was a concept of Harem. No woman can think of being a queen. Even in normal households, chances are that she will be one among four; she cannot think of being a queen. She can be an object of lust only, and it is clearly reflected in the above-mentioned song.
Here is another song,
Bichhoo mere naina badi zehereeli ankh maare
Kamsin kamariya saali ik thumke se lakh maare
Note hazaaron ke, khulle chhutta karaane aayi
Husn ki teeli se beedi chillam jalaane aayi Aayi chikni chameli chhup ke akeli pawwa chadha ke aayi (Agneepath 2012)
The same movie, which is named after the name of a Hindi poem by Harivanshray Bachhan, and is part of the movie, demonstrates the difference between class and power of Urdu and Hindi. Following is the poem
वृक्ष हों भले खड़े,
हों घने, हों बड़े,
एक पत्र छाँह भी
मांग मत! मांग मत! मांग मत!
अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ!
तू न थकेगा कभी,
तू न थमेगा कभी,
तू न मुड़ेगा कभी,
कर शपथ! कर शपथ! कर शपथ!
अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ!
यह महान दृश्य है,
चल रहा मनुष्य है,
अश्रु, स्वेद, रक्त से
लथ-पथ, लथ-पथ, लथ-पथ,
अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ!
One can never find such a poem, such feeling in Urdu unless Persian or Hindi complements it. Urdu is all about Sharab, Shwab and Kawab. In earlier times, it has always been identified as the language of tawaif (prostitutes). Apparently, Bharatendu Harischandra went on to say, “when sons of rich Hindus get in touch with prostitutes, they start speaking “Urdu”. One can agree or disagree with the above two statements, but there is no denying the fact that Urdu is the language of slaves. In Mughal courts, Persian was used. Urdu was the language of those who were forcefully converted, hence never respected. The harem was the place for women folks of concurred, and so was kotha. That’s why the word Aurat for females and association of Sharab, Shwab and Kawab.
Urdu is dispensable, at least from the film industry. Let’s look at some of the examples:
‘Dil Diya Hai Jaan Bhi Denge Aye Watan Tere Liye’
It would have been equally effective if said
“Hriday Diya Hai Pran Bhi Denge Aye Desh Tere Liye”
In fact, it would have been more powerful if it had been said as
‘Hriday Diya Hai Pran Bhi Denge Aye Matrubhoomi Tere Liye’
Similarly, the song
‘Dost dost na rah, pyar pyar na rah,
Jeevan humein tera aitbaar na raha’
It would have been equally effective if sung as ‘Mitr Mitr na rah, prem prem na rah, Jeevan humein tera viswas na raha’
But again, snatching a friend’s wife has been a Mughal tradition. In Indian tradition, ‘Bhabhi’ has always been a mother. The above-mentioned lines or words can never originate in someone’s mind who thinks only in Hindi or in any Indian language.
Today the Hindi film industry is in the grip of Urdu, and it is not at all surprising that the hottest star of this industry is a porn star, and nudity is the norm. All this effect of Urdu in the objectification of women is camouflaged as feminism, liberalism and freedom of expression.
In fact, Urdu’s contribution to the Hindi film industry, even otherwise, i.e. beyond songs, is not significant.
Let’s look at some of the dialogues, Mogambo Khush Hua. This will be equally or more effective when said “Mogambo Prasann Hua”. Or for that matter, ‘Kitne aadmi the’ would have been equally or more effective when said ‘Kitne vyakti the’.
Yes, the dialogue “Rishte main to hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai Shahenshah” may not have been as effective or less effective if said “sambandho se tumhare hum pita lagte hain, naam hai Samraat”.
But it brings another important point into attention, i.e. origin of slang in the Indian language. Sanskrit or any Indian language has no place for slang because all Indian languages are Dev Bhasha (Language of the God). The origin of slang lies in Urdu and English. The word “Gali” or “Slang” has no Hindi equivalent. “Apshabd” in Hindi was coined by joining “Ap” and “Shabd” to represent “Gali” or “Slang” in Hindi.
Today, the Bhajans are no more part of Hindi movies, and Sufi prayers have become the anthem of the Hindi film industry. It is not surprising that the Hindi film industry today represents Pakistan more than India.
No one questions if Urdu was so impactful, why the Pakistani film industry is almost dead, why their actors and singers want to come to India at the first given opportunity.
Left-liberal media cabal has marketed and promoted Urdu in all spheres of life in secularism and painted it wrongly as a civilised language. In the process, it has damaged the Indian culture, which was pious.
The idea of the argument is not to discard Urdu but understand its limitations and impact and use it accordingly.