Merging streams

A small yet long-lasting effort has been made towards furthering the socio-cultural integration of our society through a mission of linguistic homogeneity by the publication of two sets of bilingual books on Hindi-Urdu lexicography and terminology. The Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, which was the basis of India's composite culture, was sacrificed at the altar of Hindi-Urdu language power politics. Thus history saw a homogenous body divided into two different directions and the ethos of Indian society distorted in a manner that dubiously clubbed Hindi with the Hindus and Urdu with the Muslims. Thus the two societies drifted apart on the lines of this linguistic politics. Instead of merely lamenting or documenting this trend, Professor Naseer Ahmad Khan, former Chairperson of the Centre of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, has put together two books with the objective of helping diminish this rift in the society in a practical manner. The books are "Jadid Hindi-Urdu Shabdakosha", a Hindi-Urdu lexicon, and "English-Hindi-Urdu Terminology in Humanities and Social Sciences".

Bilingual presentation

The writer has tried to establish the relationship between the two languages and the common usages in day-to-day life. Another feature of the work is that it is written in a bilingual fashion. Hindi words, for example, are in Urdu (Perso-Arabic) script, which may be helpful to the clear pronunciation and better affinity of both languages to the readers. The books were launched under the aegis of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, an autonomous body of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports under its cultural promotion programme, at the residence of the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Arjun Singh. The minister expressed appreciation for Naseer's efforts and said, "Language plays the role of both mother as well as vehicle of thought, and Professor Naseer has obviously given a new direction and a new destination by his precious works." Shakeel Ahmad Khan, Director-General of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, also appreciated the works of Naseer and pledged full cooperation towards the promotion of a harmonious and interactive society. "Our organisation is striving to provide motivated and trained youth the opportunity to promote the values of secularism, democracy and mutual respect and the works of Professor Naseer will prove to be a great boon." Said Naseer, "My main motive behind the compilation of these books is to create a common lingua franca not only for our country but for the all SAARC countries in future."

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