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How the Urdu language and literature slipped into darkness in Bangladesh

bluesky

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Well, I gave you my experience.
There isn't a prospect for any other language in Bangladesh except the Bangladeshi version of Bengali with its dialect accent and vocabulary known as Musholmani Bangla. Not even the chaste West Bengali language with its , clear soft accent, a composite mix of Hindustani and Urdu words is acceptable.
No country in the world has such linguistic chauvinism. Even the Flemish and the Walloons of Belgium pale in comparison.
Talking on the phone in a public place in Urdu provokes a hostile reaction.
A waiter, at the Shonargaon hotel coffee shop, addressed me as he picked up my breakfast tray.
" Bhai, Urdu kotha keno bolchen? Elkhane amra shob Bangabhashi"
(
Trans : Brother, why are you speaking in Urdu? Here we are all Bengali speakers ).

It's not only Urdu, but English is frowned upon as well, At an industrial exhibition of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce I was particularly interested in a compact dry ice manufacturing unit, developed by Bangladesh Oxygen Limited which produced solid Carbon Dioxide, so vital for storing seafood catch on fishing boats.
Our small boat Pakistani sea fisherman would benefit from this technology.
I started talking to the Sales Engineer at the BOL stall in the exhibition, hoping for more information. After a few sentences in English he looked at me and said "Can't you talk in Bangla? " .
I apologized and told him my Bengali was inadequate for a technical discussion. He then got on the phone calling for a colleague to help.
What he roughly said was:
"There is this dumb f.....k Pakistani here who can't speak Bangla. Your English is better. Come over and help with information for this piece of "sh...t "

I walked on...
Please do not get angry with us. Chauvinism or what we have turned ourselves void of education or learning. The standard of education is now much lower than it was before 1971.

And the anti-Urdu feeling has been created and nurtured by BAL people. It is not against only Urdu, but also anything not Bengali. We used to know English, but it is not a discredit that now we tend to forget it gradually.

Our brats want the Englishmen and all other foreigners to study hard to speak our great language, Bengali.
 
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Baibars_1260

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Please do not get angry with us. Chauvinism or what we have turned ourselves void of education or learning. The standard of education is now much lower than it was before 1971.

And the anti-Urdu feeling has been created and nurtured by BAL people. It is not against only Urdu, but also anything not Bengali. We used to know English, but it is not a discredit that now we tend to forget it gradually.

Our brats want the Englishmen and all other foreigners to speak our great language, Bengali.
🙏🏻My deepest apologies. My posts have been entirely one sided, and I have completely neglected my usually pleasant interactions with the common people of Bangladesh. Confining my experience to some university students, and the odd chauvinist is an intellectually dishonest stance.
Here is what I found:
Walking through Sakharipatti I stopped for tea at a rundown chai dukaan . From the calendars and pictures hanging on the wall of the shop depicting Hindu deities I guessed the tea shop owner was a Hindu. Instead of the usual As Salam Alaikum I greeted him with folded hands and said "Nomoshkar" ( a greeting I had learned from my West Bengali friends). The tea shop owner was delighted. He asked me where I was from, and if I was Indian. In my halting broken Bangla I told him I was Pakistani. Surprisingly he was even more delighted. He immediately poured out the tea for me, and placed
two small pieces of sandesh sweets on a plate telling me I didn't need to pay for these. I insisted on paying, but then a remarkable thing happened. As I kept insisting on paying for the sweets and speaking in my broken Bangla, the tea shop owner switched to speaking to me in an Urdu-Hindi mix . He was remarkably fluent, speaking with a slight accent but I could understand him perfectly . I asked him how he spoke the language , so he told me he picked it up while travelling to India on pilgrimage to the dhams ( sacred temples) and he regularly visited Varanasi, Mathura, and of course Calcutta.
Deeply honored , and to make up for the cost of the sandesh, I instead told him these were so good , I that would like buy a half kilogram packet.. He wished me "Khuda Hafez " as I left. The sweets were good ! I took them back to my hotel and ate a couple each day often wondering why a Hindu minority teashop owner of modest means would be so accommodating to a Pakistani.

I had a very similar experience at a kabab shop in the Purana Palton area, where tempted by the smell of the choicest beef kababs I walked in. Of course, I greeted the kabab shop owner with As Salam Alaikum but that is as far as I initially got. From my accented broken Bengali, and the fact that I couldn't read the menu painted on the tin signboard hanging on the wall, the kabab shop owner guessed I was Pakistani, and he immediately switched to passable Urdu,
He told me he had picked up Urdu while working in Dubai. His friendly stance was delightful. Like the tea shop owner in my previous experience, he gave me an extra portion of kababs free of cost, which I insisted on paying for. We argued back and forth in all friendliness, and I ended up buying an extra order of the kababs to take back with me to my hotel. With roti , green chillies,and onions, wrapped in a newspaper, these kababs were one of the finest I have ever eaten.
That is the real Bangladesh that I fondly remember,
 
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bluesky

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🙏🏻My deepest apologies. My posts have been entirely one sided, and I have completely neglected my usually pleasant interactions with the common people of Bangladesh. Confining my experience to some university students, and the odd chauvinist is an intellectually dishonest stance.
Here is what I found:
Walking through Sakharipatti I stopped for tea at a rundown chai dukaan . From the calendars and pictures hanging on the wall of the shop depicting Hindu deities I guessed the tea shop owner was a Hindu. Instead of the usual As Salam Alaikum I greeted him with folded hands and said "Nomoshkar" ( a greeting I had learned from my West Bengali friends). The tea shop owner was delighted. He asked me where I was from, and if I was Indian. In my halting broken Bangla I told him I was Pakistani. Surprisingly he was even more delighted. He immediately poured out the tea for me, and placed
two small pieces of sandesh sweets on a plate telling me I didn't need to pay for these. I insisted on paying, but then a remarkable thing happened. As I kept insisting on paying for the sweets and speaking in my broken Bangla, the tea shop owner switched to speaking to me in an Urdu-Hindi mix . He was remarkably fluent, speaking with a slight accent but I could understand him perfectly . I asked him how he spoke the language , so he told me he picked it up while travelling to India on pilgrimage to the dhams ( sacred temples) and he regularly visited Varanasi, Mathura, and of course Calcutta.
Deeply honored , and to make up for the cost of the sandesh, I instead told him these were so good , I that would like buy a half kilogram packet.. He wished me "Khuda Hafez " as I left. The sweets were good ! I took them back to my hotel and ate a couple each day often wondering why a Hindu minority teashop owner of modest means would be so accommodating to a Pakistani.

I had a very similar experience at a kabab shop in the Purana Palton area, where tempted by the smell of the choicest beef kababs I walked in. Of course, I greeted the kabab shop owner with As Salam Alaikum but that is as far as I initially got. From my accented broken Bengali, and the fact that I couldn't read the menu painted on the tin signboard hanging on the wall, the kabab shop owner guessed I was Pakistani, and he immediately switched to passable Urdu,
He told me he had picked up Urdu while working in Dubai. His friendly stance was delightful. Like the tea shop owner in my previous experience, he gave me an extra portion of kababs free of cost, which I insisted on paying for. We argued back and forth in all friendliness, and I ended up buying an extra order of the kababs to take back with me to my hotel. With roti , green chillies,and onions, wrapped in a newspaper, these kababs were one of the finest I have ever eaten.
That is the real Bangladesh that I fondly remember,
Thanks for saying many complimentary words for the people of Bangladesh you met on your short stay there. Not all are evil.
 

Baibars_1260

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Thank you, truly enjoyed reading your contribution,
makes the whole period of our short history even sadder, all the drama, when there was a shared linguistic past.
It's not as bad you think. I may have unintentionally misled people here with my anecdotes.Here is another amazingly impressive feature about Bangladesh. See my response to @bluesky below.
And the anti-Urdu feeling has been created and nurtured by BAL people. It is not against only Urdu, but also anything not Bengali. We used to know English, but it is not a discredit that now we tend to forget it gradually.
Actually, I will not go so far. The situation is not so bleak as we think. I may be going slightly off topic here, and yes religion does play a part in bonding us even if remotely.
( Note: Mods, please excuse this post, as it is in context only)

Bengali as a language of Islam.

Over the last two centuries Urdu scholars translated 90% of the Islamic information from Arabic
to Urdu ( notably the translations of the Quran, hadith, Fiq, and the works of Arab, Egyptian and Moorish scholars). The centers such as Dar-ul-Uloom, Nadwatul-Uloom, Dar-ul-Rashad, did such stellar work in translations, that along with Turkish Urdu became the second most important language for information on Islam after Arabic ( Farsi being a close third, though this would likely be disputed by Farsi lovers). In anycase if we club , Turkish, Urdu, Farsi together these languages cover a pretty large section of the global Muslim population with the notable exceptions of Bangladesh and Indonesia ( and Malaysia).
That was until recently.

Once Bangladesh came of its own there was a seismic change.
With Bengali there was an an amazing transition. There were Bengali speaking scholars studying in Darul Uloom, Nadwatul Uloom.
for a very long time.
These Bengali scholars did an amazing job translating the Islamic documents not only directly from Arabic to Bangla but also from Urdu to Bengali. What is more they are continuing to do so.
NOW BENGALI IS THE FOURTH LANGUAGE EQUIVALENT TO URDU FOR ISLAMIC DOCUMENTS.

As of today there are many translations of the Quran in Bangla. So meticulous are the translations that an average Bengali Muslim gets a very good understanding of the faith.
Example: Even the takbeer has been expertly translated into "Allah Sarvashreshth"
So has the dua after the azaan broadcast on Bangladesh TV.

A section of the clergy in Bangladesh continue to study Urdu.
Attempting to talk to an imam after Friday prayers in Gulshan ( I was congratulating him on his taqreer calling for unity which I vaguely understood) , I was pleasantly surprised to see him switch to near flawless Urdu. When we parted he wished me Allah Hafiz in true Pakistani style.
I then wished some of our imams in Karachi had learned enough Bangla to come over and lead a prayer congregation in Dhaka.
 
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Taimoor Khan

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No it was not lingua franca in bengal....

In what is bengal it has always been Bengali from the establishment of the sultanate system onward, after that it was farsi and then english. Urdu was imposed only for the 25 years of united pakistan.

What you bloody mean by IMPOSED??

Urdu is language of the federation. You have your regional lingo, so do the Punjabis, Pathans, Sindhis, Baluchis , Kashmiries, Gilgit Baltistanis, so on and so forth.
 
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Baibars_1260

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Thanks for saying many complimentary words for the people of Bangladesh you met on your short stay there. Not all are evil.
Agree 100%
Of course not ! I won't classify anyone as "evil".
A small minority with very peculiar mindset, both sides (and everywhere ) are highly vocal, giving a peculiar twist to relationships.

Having said that here is where I stand:
1. I respect Bangladeshi identity as it is deeply wedded to their language and culture.

2. The right of self-determination of the Bengali Muslims to their identity and nationhood is sacred. Bangladesh is a nation founded on the aspirations of the Bengali Muslim identity.

3. I respect and in fact love Bengali as a language ( the version I know).
I acknowledge that Bengali as spoken in Bangladesh is different and has a rightful place in the world, with equality and parity with it's West Bengali counterpart. The similarities between two Bengali versions are significant but so are the differences.

As a Pakistani I wish the nation of Bangladesh and it's people the very best for the future.
Pakistan and Bangladesh are separate sovereign, independent nations, each with it's separate future and destiny.

Our relations should be friendly and cordial just as our individual relationships are with Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, and other countries in the region.

Whether Urdu is studied in Bangladesh or whether Bangla is studied in Pakistan will be of little relevance another 50 years from now. The use of languages change with political changes . Iran is not bothered that Farsi has disappeared from the subcontinent.
Who knows we may be all speaking Chinese in the next 50 years.
 

bluesky

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There isn't a prospect for any other language in Bangladesh except the Bangladeshi version of Bengali with its dialect accent and vocabulary known as Musholmani Bangla. Not even the chaste West Bengali language with its , clear soft accent, a composite mix of Hindustani and Urdu words is acceptable.
I think you have some misunderstanding about our Bengali accent. Good sounding standard Bengali that you have heard in west Bengal/Kolkata is the accent native to that part of Bengal. All books are written in that form in both sides of Bengal.

In the case of Bengali in eastern Bengal (read Bangladesh), our native spoken Bengali is quite different from the standard Bengali. So, we study in standard Bengali same as in west Bengal, but speak in the colloquial local Bengali which is very native to this part of Bengal.

Kushtia and partially Jessor people would speak like the Kolkata people speak. Kushtia was initially a part of Nadia District of west Bengal which was divided into two in 1947, and Nadia Bengali is the standard Bengali.

Note that our girl students in schools and colleges make efforts to speak a better accent Bengali comparing to our boys. I believe, our radio and TV programs should focus on the matter and the national govt should also try to spread the Kushtia accent throughout the country. But, it will be difficult.
 

Baibars_1260

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I think you have some misunderstanding about our Bengali accent. Good sounding standard Bengali that you have heard in west Bengal/Kolkata is the accent native to that part of Bengal. All books are written in that form in both sides of Bengal.

In the case of Bengali in eastern Bengal (read Bangladesh), our native spoken Bengali is quite different from the standard Bengali. So, we study in standard Bengali same as in west Bengal, but speak in the colloquial local Bengali which is very native to this part of Bengal.

Kushtia and partially Jessor people would speak like the Kolkata people speak. Kushtia was initially a part of Nadia District of west Bengal which was divided into two in 1947, and Nadia Bengali is the standard Bengali.

Note that our girl students in schools and colleges make efforts to speak a better accent Bengali comparing to our boys. I believe, our radio and TV programs should focus on the matter and the national govt should also try to spread the Kushtia accent throughout the country. But, it will be difficult.
👍Thanks for educating me.
I never knew that the Kushtia Jessore dialect was so similar.

Accents and dialects can be different. Australians and New Zealanders speak differently from the British, and so do the Scots, Irish, Canadians and Americans. Yet they all study the same English.

I accept the individuality of different forms of the Bengali language and I mentioned this in my post below.

I respect and in fact love Bengali as a language ( the version I know).
I acknowledge that Bengali as spoken in Bangladesh is different and has a rightful place in the world, with equality and parity with it's West Bengali counterpart. The similarities between two Bengali versions are significant but so are the differences
Before I conclude let me congratulate you on your efforts to highlight the shared heritage of Urdu and Bengali in Bangladesh.
A heritage that is fading away never to return. We can't reverse the march of time and the historical process.
I am intrigued by the obstinate refusal of my countrymen to forget the past, accept Bangladesh as it is, and it will transform and move on.
The generation ( a small population) that was once bi-lingual in Bangladesh will soon be dead, and the tiny population of Bengali speakers in Karachi will also soon have assimilated and moved on.

From what I know, the last thing anyone should do is question Bangladesh's identity so closely wedded to their language. Additionally Bangladeshis are a proud, unique people , that are not to be viewed collectively with their Bengali speaking counterparts in India.

Likewise I am deeply puzzled by the efforts of some Bangladeshis to
somehow find some relationship to
the current people of Pakistan based on "Islamic brotherhood".
Then there are others who harp on their victory in the Civil War.

The last thing anyone should do is remind Pakistanis that they lost the Civil War. We are a proud people, now transformed into a unique identity to which we have an equal right to.

We need to let each other be to follow our own destinies. We are separate independent sovereign nations and need to treat each other with the same respect we give to all other nations.

To Conclude:
This will be my very last post on the Bangladesh forum or response to any topic regarding Bangladesh. My views and posts have been deeply offensive to most Bangladeshis here for which I am ashamed and I profusely apologize. If possible do forgive me. You will never see me on this forum again. As time moves on, let's say goodbye with grace...we can always remember the times gone by forever with humility.


For my countrymen let me address them with this couplet:


شیشا ہو کہ موتی جام کہ دُر
جو ٹوُٹ گیا سو چھوٹ گیا
کب اشکوں سے جُڑ سکتا ہے
جو ٹوُٹ گیا سو چھوٹ گیا۔
 
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Cliftonite

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👍Thanks for educating me.
I never knew that the Kushtia Jessore dialect was so similar.

Accents and dialects can be different. Australians and New Zealanders speak differently from the British, and so do the Scots, Irish, Canadians and Americans. Yet they all study the same English.

I accept the individuality of different forms the Bengali language and I mentioned this in my post below.



Before I conclude let me congratulate you on your efforts to highlight the shared heritage of Urdu and Bengali in Bangladesh.
A heritage that is fading away never to return. We can't reverse the march of time and the historical process.
I am intrigued by the obstinate refusal of my countrymen to forget the past, accept Bangladesh as it is, and it will transform and move on.
The generation ( a small population) that was once bi-lingual in Bangladesh will soon be dead, and the tiny population of Bengali speakers in Karachi will also soon have assimilated and moved on.

From what I know, the last thing anyone should do is question Bangladesh's identity so closely wedded to their language. Additionally Bangladeshis are a proud, unique people , that are not to be viewed collectively with their Bengali speaking counterparts in India.

Likewise I am deeply puzzled by the efforts of some Bangladeshis to
somehow find some relationship to
the current people of Pakistan based on Islamic brotherhood.
Then there are others who harp on their victory in the Civil War.

The last thing anyone should do is remind Pakistanis that they lost the Civil War. We are a proud people, now transformed into a unique identity to which we have an equal right to.

We need to let each other be to follow our own destinies. We are separate independent sovereign nations and need to treat each other with the same respect we give to all other nations.

To Conclude:
This will be my very last post on the Bangladesh forum or response to any topic regarding Bangladesh. My views and posts have been deeply offensive to most Bangladeshis here for which I am ashamed and I profusely apologize. If possible do forgive me. You will never see me on this forum again. As time moves on, let's say goodbye with grace...we can always remember the times gone by forever with humility.


For my countrymen let me address them with this couplet:


شیشا ہو کہ موتی جام کہ دُر
جو ٹوُٹ گیا سو چھوٹ گیا
کب اشکوں سے جُڑ سکتا ہے
جو ٹوُٹ گیا سو چھوٹ گیا۔
The Bangladeshi folks will have to correct me if I'm wrong but my impression is that Bangladeshi are becoming increasingly cognizant in Hindi/Urdu these days.

I see so many comments under Hindi language shows on social media and YouTube by Bangladeshis.
 

bluesky

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The Bangladeshi folks will have to correct me if I'm wrong but my impression is that Bangladeshi are becoming increasingly cognizant in Hindi/Urdu these days.

I see so many comments under Hindi language shows on social media and YouTube by Bangladeshis.
You may be right. However, please note that Urdu along with Persian and Sanskrit was an optional subject here before 1971, but not any more. Today's people learn Hindi/Urdu from watching Indian TV dramas. It is good because this is how we are now able to communicate with people of other two countries.

However, Urdu should come back as a language/subject in the schools so that we can learn grammar and a correct form of this language as it was before 1971.
 

Bilal9

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The Bangladeshi folks will have to correct me if I'm wrong but my impression is that Bangladeshi are becoming increasingly cognizant in Hindi/Urdu these days.

I see so many comments under Hindi language shows on social media and YouTube by Bangladeshis.
You are quite right. 100%
 

nana41

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Is this a joke?
There was mass killings of West Pakistani, murder, rape and torture.
I feel guilty for the part played by West Pakistanis, but it is simply ridiculous to ignore the part played by East Pakistanis and the Indian army.

I really enjoyed reading this, and will comment further, purely on the linguistics, but I felt compelled to highlight the above point.
As MUJI’b ur Rahman the firebrand demagogue says”confront the bastard with a bigger bastard” ,it is obvious there were bastards on both sides, with all a Bhutto and Yahya the bigger bastards on the west and an opportunist little bastard MUJib on the east.
 

peagle

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As MUJI’b ur Rahman the firebrand demagogue says”confront the bastard with a bigger bastard” ,it is obvious there were bastards on both sides, with all a Bhutto and Yahya the bigger bastards on the west and an opportunist little bastard MUJib on the east.
lol interesting perspective,
but, I would have to say they were all b..tards of equal quality, including Indira.

Pakistan could have attacked India in 1962, but didn't,
India didn't return the favour. Full history of Indian backstabbing, going on till today.
 

Michael Corleone

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The Bangladeshi folks will have to correct me if I'm wrong but my impression is that Bangladeshi are becoming increasingly cognizant in Hindi/Urdu these days.

I see so many comments under Hindi language shows on social media and YouTube by Bangladeshis.
bruh our language is closest offspring to sanskrit so it's easy for us to understand hindi...
i personally never had to learn from others... it was like i had a natural understanding of what was being told
as for urdu, it might be a little tricky for bangladeshis as there are some words that i come across every now and then that i didn't know
lol interesting perspective,
but, I would have to say they were all b..tards of equal quality, including Indira.

Pakistan could have attacked India in 1962, but didn't,
India didn't return the favour. Full history of Indian backstabbing, going on till today.
pakistan's best chance was in 62 when india went on war with china... by 65 when they thought india is weak and they could easily reclaim kashmir... india had already replenished their lost strength
As MUJI’b ur Rahman the firebrand demagogue says”confront the bastard with a bigger bastard” ,it is obvious there were bastards on both sides, with all a Bhutto and Yahya the bigger bastards on the west and an opportunist little bastard MUJib on the east.
yahya was a medium bastard... biggest one is bhutto... bitch even said he would rather have the country broke into two than to hand power to east majority govt.. what a piece of turd

and you know what's funny/? pakistanis then going on to elect bastards daughter... all a bunch of thieves
 

nana41

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lol interesting perspective,
but, I would have to say they were all b..tards of equal quality, including Indira.

Pakistan could have attacked India in 1962, but didn't,
India didn't return the favour. Full history of Indian backstabbing, going on till today.
Don’t ever blame your enemies for your defeats,just learn the lesson from them.
 

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