Wednesday , 25 January 2023

Urdu Language and Literature – Facts and Figures

Urdu language originated in Indian Sub-continent. That area was inhabited by people from different nationalities and ethnic groups. The intermingle and social interaction resulted in development of a new language called Urdu. No single language can be considered as the source of Urdu language. Urdu contains words from many languages. The speaking style and many words of Urdu are close to Sanskrit. Similarly, Punjabi is also regarded as a great contributor of Urdu. Words of Persian, Arabic and English are frequently found in Urdu. Reason is the obvious one that invaders and travelers from Arab, Persia and England came to Indo-Pak subcontinent. A large community of Urdu speakers can be found in present world. Urdu is also the national language of Pakistan. The literary progress in Urdu also started right from its formation. Most of the literature of Urdu language was developed before partition of Sub-continent.

Pioneers in Urdu Language and Literature

This post contains some facts and figures about Urdu Language. The contributions of writers, artists and poets in Urdu are highlighted. The pioneers of different fields of literature in Urdu language are mentioned below.

Amir Khusro is considered as the first Urdu Poet. He wrote ghazals in Urdu.

Short stories started written in Urdu from the beginning of 20th Century. Sajjad Haider Yaldram was the first Afsana Nigar (Short Story writer) of Urdu Language. The first Short Story writer of English language was Edgar Allan poe.

Long stories were written before short stories. Start of Novels writing is attributed to Deputy Nazir Ahmad. He was the first Novel writer of Urdu. The first Novel of Urdu language was named “Mirat ul Uroos”.

Urdu language and literature

Biographies were written in the early form in 19th century. The art of writing Biographies in Urdu flourished from Aligarh. Molana Altaf Hussain Hali is the first biographer of Urdu. He wrote three biographies. First biography of Urdu is Hayat e Saadi written in 1883. Other two included “Hayat e Javaid” and “Yadgar e Ghalib”.
Along with Molana Hali, Allama Shibli Nomani is also considered among the earliest biographers of Urdu. Lists of books written by him can be read in the post.

Altaf Hussain Hali is also the first critic and reviewer of Urdu language. He is called as the first “Naqqad” and “Maqala Nigar”.

Journalism started in Indian Sub-continent due to the efforts of Maulvi Mohammad Baqir. Maulvi Mohammad Baqir is the first Urdu Journalist.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the first Essay writer of Urdu language. He published many of his Urdu essays in “Risala Tehzeeb ul Ikhlaq”. Essays were written on variety of Topics.

Pioneer of Drama writing in Urdu is Wajid Ali Shah. He wrote first drama named “Radha Kanhiya ka Qissa” (1843). Among earliest dramas, the drama “Indar Sabha” by Hassan Amanat Lakhnawi was very popular. Indar Sabha was written in 1851 and was presented on stage in 1854. “Ali Baba Chalis Chor” was published in 1852. It was the first prose drama and the first to be published.

Mirza Ghalib is the founder of Anshapardazi. Sir Syed took this form of literature and prose writing to its peak.

Travel literature (Safarnama) also flourished in Urdu language. Mehmood Nizami is the first Travel literature writer of Urdu language. His Safarnama named “Nazar Nama” is the first in Urdu.

Khaka Nigari (Character writing) developed with the passage of time. Mirza Farhat ullah Baig is the first Khaka Nigar of Urdu language.

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