Urdu under Hindutva rule: Dr Rizwan Ahmad says ‘languages are proxy for people’

Hindu nationalists, since the late 19th century, have projected Urdu as a foreign language. This over a century-long political and cultural campaign has led to the marginalization of Urdu in public spaces and educational institutions. It has also created a social stigma against the Urdu language, its script, and its speakers who often live in fear of speaking their mother tongue.

Maktoob speaks to Dr Rizwan Ahmad, Associate Professor of sociolinguistics at Qatar University, to understand the position of Urdu in the Hindutva ideology and its impact on the survival of Urdu in India. Dr Rizwan Ahmad has done extensive research on what it means to speak Urdu in India.

Ahmad’s latest academic paper — Hate HATE, BIGOTRY, AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIMS: Urdu During the Hindutva Rule — was published in a book titled: Disrupting hate in education: Teacher activists, democracy, and global pedagogies of interruption, which extensively look into the vigilante attack on Urdu natives in India.

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