Does Language Know Boundaries?

Posted by Shubhra Mathur
February 11, 2017

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In the pre Colonial period , India was a country where its citizens spoke hindavi which was a mix of both  Hindi and Urdu.

Both languages coexisted peacefully in the country before the advent of the colonisers.

Hindi and Urdu became two separate languages after the separation of India and Pakistan.  The question arises that what lead to the breakdown of hindavi into Hindi and Urdu.

In the years after partition the two languages, Hindi and Urdu have evolved from what they were 60 years ago and what they are spoken now.  Hindi is more sanskritized and Urdu is more persianized.   Language hinduwee emerged as an exclusive property of the Hindus .

We also notice that the separation between the two languages has got little to do with linguistic factors but more to do with political factors.

Many linguistic scholars like Amrit Rai , Gyan Chand argued that hindi and Urdu are not different but politically, the constitution of the two countries state the two languages completely separate.

Gyan Chand argued that the difference of script cannot make two languages out of one language. It is not surprising to see  that the Englishmen like W.Yates  contradict indian scholars and say that the two languages are different.  This is where language politics begin.

One of the reasons for the separation of the languages is the extraneous divisive force in the British policy of divide and rule.

Not only are we to blame the Englishmen for this division but also the citizens of the two countries who have been in both social and political conflicts after the partition.


It is difficult to conceive how two languages closely akin have drifted so far apart in their modern standard.

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