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home to the feelings and the understanding of the highest and the lowest. They possess a living power, universality and force of expression, which can never belong to the Arabic and Persian platitudes that are thrust in their place."
Now all this is very good and very eloquent, but it rests on false assumptions. It assumes that what is true of some classes of the population is true of the whole. It puts aside entirely all the rank and education of the country—it puts the peasant on a pedestal, and requests us to accept the barbarous and antiquated jargon that falls from his lips as the model of our speech, and as the vehicle for the expression of intricate philosophical argument, close legal reasoning, delicate and refined discussion on art, science and polities.
A second erroneous assumption is, that we have to thank our law courts for the abundance of Persian and Arabic terms in use in Hindustani. The fact, however is, that our native clerks use nine-tenths of these words, simply because they have been used for five centuries past as legal terms, and use has conferred on them a conventional meaning, which no other words possess. The native press, in discussing matters of a purely unofficial character, uses the same phraseology. The style of Abul Fazl and the Sih Nasr-i Zahiiri is the model of all native composition. And this arises not from pedantry or affectation; the reasons of it are to be sought, first, in the circumstances in which the early Musulman invaders found themselves; and, secondly, in the constitution of native society from those times to this.
Who, then, were the founders of the Urdu language? They were a mass of Turks, Tartars, Persians, Arabs, and Syrians; with whom were amalgamated many of the middle and lower classes of Hindus; principally, perhaps, the adventurous trader, who goes anywhere to gain money, and the idle scum who are always attracted by an army. If we further ask what were the materials from which this heterogeneous mass could compound a lingua franca, we find, of indigenous dialects, Sanskrit and Hindi; of extraneous ones, Arabic and Persian, and various Turkish dialects. They had to introduce a new religion, a new government; systems of policy and organization new to India; rules of etiquette; the social habits and refinements of a town life; new articles of clothing, furniture and luxury; philosophical terms; terms to express new processes in the mechanical arts. To what source should they turn for words to express these ideas? The Brahmin and the Rajput stood aloof from the casteless 6trangers. Sanskrit therefore was probably very little heard in the camps of the Ghori or the Khilji, and still less in those of Tiraur or Baber.
Words of Sanskrit origin, but more or less mutilated, were heard from the lips of the lower classes, who also used a vast number of Hindi words, t. e. words either of Sanskrit origin or not, but so far altered from their original as to become new words.*
Let us now go through some of the words which we may suppose offered themselves to the invaders as native terms to express their new ideas, and I think it will be seen that none of these words were really available.
In the first place the new religion was Islam. To express the religious duties of that pugnacious creed in anything but Arabic was profanation not to be thought of. Hence the introduction of masjid, namdz, rozd, kitdb, id, and the words of this class were unavailable, for even putting aside the profanation, words of Sanskrit origin could not express, because they did not contain, the requisite ideas. If any one doubts this, let him think how far the Sanskrit and Hindi words written below represent the Arabic or Persian.
deeply tinctured with the hues of the Brahmiuical creed, would at once have been fatal to the genius of Mahomedanism. These Sanskrit words therefore retained their place in the language with reference to
* An example will make the distinction clearer: Rdjd I should call a Sanskrit word, because it retains its form unaltered ; bilmhiind I call a Hindi word because its connection with tho Sanskrit avilamba is, though undoubted, yet not at hrgt sight apparent.
the belief of the Hindu, while for the new Muslim population, the purely Muslim words were retained; and as nothing was displaced to make way for theui, they were a clear gain to the language, enabling it to keep pace with the new religious development of the nation at large. Secondly, words relating to the government of the country. The mass of little kingdoms each headed by its petty rdjd, a puppet whose strings were pulled by his Brahmin ministers, was to give way to the rule of one supreme "father-king," padshdh ;* who should parcel out his dominions into satrapies or subds; and these powerful satraps again would divide their provinces into districts; and the rulers of districts would portion them out into counties, and so on. Divisions of caste were to be ignored, all men were free and equal, on condition of paying their taxes duly. The sovereign acknowledged himself to be under no obligation towards his subjects. He was an absolute despot whose business was to rule, as his people's was to obey. He was, however, expected to be accessible to the meanest of his subjects at certain times, and on the whole to do justice, though after a somewhat random fashion. How utterly inapplicable to such a system and to such a ruler would be the Sanskrit title of rdjd; what a crowd of ideas and memories of another order of things would such a title bring with it. Would it not lower the great "fatherking" to the level of the petty knights he had just destroyed? But the word rdjd, though inapplicable to the sovereign, was not discarded; it remained as the title of a high order of nobility, as it is to this day, and the Persian terms indicative of sovereignty are therefore positive additions to the language.
It is unnecessary to go in detail through the long list of words relating to government introduced by the invaders. It is evident that a people's language can have no words for ideas or things which do not exist in the country. Especially was this the case in India. Excluded from all but the scantiest commerce with the outer world, India had long believed herself to contain the whole of the inhabited earth, or at least to be the centre and greatest part of it. Like China in the present day, India thought herself " the central flowery land," and hail but dim notions of certain "outside barbarians" who led a miserable life on the confines of space. When the new era of a vigor* I assumo Padshah to be "pidr-sliah," father-king, like Atabeg or Aliiimlech.
ons civilization and progress dawned on her, she was unprepared to meet it. Her religion, laws, customs and language shrivelled up at once, and slank into holes and corners, and the statues of her gods which had loomed grand and terrible in the twilight of Brahminism, looked poor, feeble scarecrows in the full blaze of el Islam. The conquerors were but little disposed to adopt the language of the conquered race, but even had they been so, that language afforded them no materials in which to clothe their ideas. Necessity stept in to aid inclination, and the result was a language full of imported words.
"But," it may be urged, "no one objects to a certain number of Arabic and Persian words; many of them are necessary, some even indispensable, to the people: all we object to is the indiscriminate introduction of words which are not necessary, and for which the early Hahomedan invaders are not responsible." I might answer this, by asking the Hindi school to tell me how they know at what date any given word first made its appearance in India? On what grounds do they assert that the simpler and shorter Arabic words were introduced first, and the longer and more complicated ones later? There exists no regular Urdu literature by which we can, as in English, mark the exact epoch of the introduction of a word. And this brings me to my second argument, that, namely, derived from the constitution of native society, during all the years in which the Urdu language has been growing, up to the present time.
The conquerors were essentially one nation, though composed of very mixed elements. If they had adopted the language of the conquered, in a few generations they would have become scarcely intelligible to one another. In the present day an inhabitant of the Punjab just manages to make himself intelligible to a man of Patna by virtue of those few words which are now common to all Indian dialects, namely those of Persian origin, and the Hindi verbs and particles which have, thanks to the Mahomcdans, become familiar all over the country. At the time of the first invasions bona was not used over a wider area than bhd, pas than bhtrc, uskA than oker/i or todJcd. As the country was split up into a number of petty kingdoms, so was the language into a mass of dialects. Hindi was not one but many, and so it is to this day. The service which the Mahomcdans rendered to India, consisted in their taking one of these many dialects and making it the vehicle of their Persian and Arabic, and thus distributing it all over India. The Hindustani or Urdu language is therefore, from one point of view, not Persian grafted on Indian, but Indian inserted into Persian. The movement began from above and was imitated by the lower classes.
At an early period of the invasion, large tracts of country were converted to the Muslim faith. All the Punjab west of the Chinab, and a great deal east of that river; all the chief towns in the valley of the Ganges, and many villages in all parts of the country were largely converted; and the conversion went on for centuries, and has not yet ceased. To all these converts Arabic became a sacred tongue, and as such lay and lies as near the hearts of this section of the people as Hindi. Speak to a Mahomedan rustic in Hindi, he understands you and talks to you in the same ; but speak to^him in Urdu, and he will press into his service every word he knows of Arabic and Persian, to show you that though, through accident of birth, he can only speak a few words of those honored and sacred tongues, he is yet not quite without knowledge of them. The rustic father sends his son to school to the village pedagogue, to learn what? not Hindi, but Arabic and Persian. And then we are told that these languages do not lie near the hearts of the people 1 Why, I believe if the votes of the whole Mahomedan population could be taken, an overwhelming majority of them would prefer to abandon Hindustani altogether and make Persian the language of the land.
Among the higher classes in towns, who form the most intelligent and cultivated portion of the population, there can be no question whether Urdu or Hindi is most popular. It is in the towns that we find the stronghold of the Musulman, and consequently of Arabicized Urdu. But on what grounds we are asked to set aside the townspeople and all the Mahomedan rural population, together with all cultivated Hindus who tiy to talk as much Urdu as possible, I do not see. Native society has been for five centuries so thoroughly leavened with the language of the Mogul invader, and the invader has so thoroughly made himself at home in India, and has so successfully maintained the claim of his composite dialect to express the progress and intelligence of the country, that all classes aspire to use it as a sign of good breeding and cultivation.