Urdu: Muhaajir مهاجر

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by UrduMedium, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    As many of you probably know people who migrated from what is India now to Pakistan around the time of the partition of Subcontinent, are either called Muhaajir (immigrants), or "Urdu-speaking". Both terms are problematic. Muhaajir is inaccurate after the first generation, plus the term naturally alienates people from the land where they live. Many people who are called Muhaajir do not like the term for these reasons. On the other hand, "Urdu-speaking", while accurate in meaning, is not an Urdu word/term. I wonder if we can come up with a more representative and elegant-sounding Urdu name for the demographic. Even just for the sake of brainstorming. Here's a few candidates:
    • Urdugo (not sure what the plural will be, urdugoyan?)
    • Urduwan (on the pattern of Farsiwan used in Afghanistan to refer to Farsi-speakers).
    • Urdumand

  2. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Interesting question! There is also the term (not sure if it is considered derogatory) bhaiye....?
    I would partially disagree! While the term has come to mean "person/people who speak Urdu as their native/mother tongue/language", couldn't it be used for any person who speaks Urdu or any other language for that matter? Maybe, I'm thinking too critically about the English words...:confused:
    Similarly (as stated above for the English term), couldn't anyone (Balochi, Pathaan, Sindhi, Punjabi, Saraiki, etc.) be labeled as an Urdugo...?
    The above could definitely work (and seem to be even used sometimes) if the phrase "Urdu-speaking" is considered to mean "native Urdu speaker"....but is there an equivalent for "native" in Urdu that could be used...?

    Maybe: paidaishi Urdugo....? (probably doesn't make sense):confused:
  3. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Thanks for your comments, Alfaaz saahib/a. Yes bhayyie is derogatory. A "term" (not word) typically specifies a name for a group, without blocking it off from others. Like a dhobi is a term reserved for someone who has the profession of washing clothes. Now one could argue that anyone who washes clothes also qualifies as a dhobi. The latter fact does not take anything away from the term dhobi being a professional identity. Ethnic identities are similar.

    Paidaishi Urdugo is too long, in my humble view. For a term to take off it should be easy to say, meaningful, and expandable (urdumand to Urdumandana, e.g.).
  4. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Thanks for the clarification!
    I agree...maybe I was being too nitpicky....good example!:)

    Edit: This probably won't make sense either, but could Ahl/Ahliyaan-e-Urdu work (like Ahl-e-Kitaab, People of the Book)?

    Interesting and creative! (so Urdumandana would be an adjective...?)
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  5. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    "Elegant" is quite subjective and I imagine that any other choice would come with many similar problems. Is there a need to distinguish between the descendants of those who migrated from India and are Urdu speaking from those who families did not migrate but now choose to speak Urdu? And what of the others who might count as "muhaajir" in the displacement sense of the word but are Punjabi speaking and, therefore, "blend-in" with other Punjabi speakers?

    I've always found "ahl-e-zabaan" the best. For me, it refers to particular kind of Urdu and community that was uprooted from the subcontinent at Partition. Just my two cents.
  6. Alfaaz Senior Member

    PG, that doesn't seem to be the issue and/or motive....rather what would Urdu speakers in general (whether from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, or anywhere else in the world) be called....

    (This might lead to comments/debate about the difference between language and ethnicity, but)

    For all the others, we seem to have words describing the speakers: PanjaabiyoN, SindhiyoN, BalochiyoN, PakhtoonoN, SaraikiyoN, BengaliyoN....but Urdu (probably) doesn't have such a term......UrduooN....or maybe UrdiyoN.....?

    Even for Hindi, there seems to be a similar problem: HinduooN---:warning: but that now generally describes those who follow the religion.

    Could this perhaps be because Urdu speakers weren't/haven't been considered an (separate) "ethnic group" (as others have).....? Or maybe could it be due to the "universality" (in terms of South East Asia) of Urdu and it kind of "belonging" to "everyone"......?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  7. BP. Senior Member

    ahl of which zabaan? Everybody's got a zabaan!

  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    Basit SaaHib, your question is interesting, thought provoking and at the same time of great importance. I have often thought about this very issue and I am glad you have started a thread on the subject.

    Having read other friends' responses it is obvious that clearly defined parameters are necessary in order to formulate the most suitable term that is accurate and acceptable for the community in question. Let us look at some of the issues at hand.

    1) muhaajir

    As has been made clear by your good self and others, this is far from being a suitable term. It has negative connotations and it is not accurate because one can not be a "muhaajir" on a permanent basis. "muhaajirs" have been Punjabi and Bengali and others. So, it is ambiguous. It is unfortunate that a section of people from the Urdu speaking community chose to include this word in the name of their political organisation but this is history now. However the term has got stuck whether we like it or not. And I detest it.

    2) Urdu-Speaking (Urdu-go)

    Once again the question is this. What do we mean by Urdu-go(yaan)? People who speak Urdu and this would of course include people whose mother-tongue is not Urdu. Even if your mother tongue is Urdu, you can be of different ethnicities. Josh Maleehabadi was a pathan in ethnic terms. Ziya Muhyiddin is a Punjab born Urdu speaker (I know he hails from Layallpur, now Faisalabad in Pakistan but I am not 100% certain if he was born of an Urdu speaking family). So are we talking about people whose mother tongue is Urdu whatever their ethnicity or a people originating in a particular geographical location?

    3) ahl-i-zabaan

    This term is/was the usual literary term for Urdu speaking people. But, as BP has indicated, everyone is an ahl-i-zabaan. It is just the "zabaan" that is different. This term, as far as I know, was linked to mother tongue Persian poets who had migrated to Mughal India to escape religious persecution during the Safavid reign. They saw themselves superior to the Indian "faarsii-daan"s and there was a lot of prejudice and anti "Indian Persian" feeling emanating from them. Unfortunately, even our Mirza Ghalib aligned himself with this thought process considering that he was not a "native Persian" speaker notwithstanding his great love and knowledge of the language.

    magar aanaan kih Paarsii daanand
    ham bariiN 3ahd-o-paimaanand

    kih zih ahl-i-zabaan nabuud Qatiil*
    hargiz az Isfahan nabuud Qatiil*

    * Qatiil was a well known Indian poet writing in Persian.

    Here is a translation from the late Professor A. Bausani.

    "Those who really know Persian all agree in saying that Qatiil is not a native speaker of that language (ahl-i-zabaan); he certainly is not from Isfahan, and therefore one can not rely on him or follow his example. This language is the specific tongue of the Iranians, difficult for us but easy and natural for them: Dehli and Lucknow are not in Persia..."

    Needless to say, one does detect this kind of prejudice from some "native" speakers even on this forum but it has to be said that this is not a phenomenon restricted to a particular language. It is just part of human nature I suppose.

    Please take a look at this thread/post too.


    4) Geographical Distribution/Ethnicity

    Do Urdu speakers have one ethnicity? Of course not. Urdu speakers come from a very wide geographical area, for example, Rajasthan (Tonk, Jaipur, Ajmer), UP (United Provinces/Uttar Pradesh), Bihar, CP (Central Provinces..Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra), Andra Pradesh and Gujarat. This list is not comprehensive.

    In short, please define your parameters a bit more carefully and we shall do our best to come up with something that is befitting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2012
  9. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    As I said, any such term cannot be exclusionary. Meaning if someone wants to call someone Urdu-speaking today, who can object to it? More, the merrier. Same is true for the term Muhaajir. Afghan Muhaajirs of the 1980s were indeed called just that. So no one has an exclusive hold on the term. For example, the term Kurd refers to ethnic Kurd population of the Middle East. Arguably, an Arab, Turk, or Iranian who speaks Kurdish, can claim to be Kurd too. But in reality why would he when he already has a strong ethnic identity of his own. But if some Arab insists on being called a Kurd, who are we to stop them. So the point is that these are practical situations not academic. Hope that clarifies my rationale.
  10. BP. Senior Member

    For the percentage that might have come from me, I apologize.

    I understand that that saying "WE such in such manner" can be seen, as has been once on this forum if I remember, as invalidating the other, but we can't really do without this kind of description. The trick for the reader could be not try to imagine what isn't being said.

    Thank you. Many people don't elucidate the distinction.
  11. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
  12. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    As I already said, I have problem with the term too. However, just for the record, this was not the only political party to have an ethnic label as part of their name. Also, they officially dropped it from their name in 1997 replacing Muhaajir with Muttahida (united), and declared their supporters Urdu-speaking Sindhis. Just by way of clarification ... trying to stay away from the political angle as that will distract us from my thread :)

    Let's take it as an exercise in creative istilaah-kari, shall we? :). So far we have


    Did I miss any? I suggest to add the following:

    -Nae Sindhii
    -Ursindhii / Urindhii (contraction of Urdu-speaking Sindhis). Of course these two limits the geo scope to Sindh.
    -Urduwalle (Urduwalla)
    -Urdujan ("native" Urdu speakers)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2012
  13. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I still need some guidance.

    1) Should this term be for "mother tongue" Urdu speakers? In this case supposing one has Punjabi/Paxtuun/Sindhi/Martian parents but they decide to bring up their child speaking Urdu. Would this child come under the title of a "mother tongue" speaker?

    2) Are you looking for a term for Urdu speaking peoples who migrated from various parts of India, irrespective of their ethnic or geographical background?

    3) Do the people need to be differentiated from those Urdu speakers who live in various parts of India, irrespective of their geography or ethnicity?

    4) Are you looking for a term for anyone who happens to speak Urdu as their first language, irrespective of who they are, where they have originated from and where they are destined to?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  14. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    Mine was a subtle hint and your expansion has gone against your declared objective/s. I shall make one small comment and then we shall speak no more on this aspect. "muhaajir" is NOT an ethnicity!
  15. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
  16. Alfaaz Senior Member

    This is the problem I was trying to point out:
    Almost all the other languages have descriptive names due to them being linked to ethnic group...but Urdu seems to be left out (especially in the case of Pakistan, as almost everyone regardless of what their mother tongue is seems to own and love Urdu just as much as they do their mother tongue...as it has been made the quomi zabaan!) But this seems to leave out those who are "pure" Urdu-speaking....

    How about these wild ones:)?
    میں اردون / اردوئی ہوں!
    اردونوں / اردوئوں کی ثقافت!
  17. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Fair criticism. I perhaps "clarified" too long. I have no problem debating the socio-political-cultural aspects of this. Only doing so in this forum and thread. I would imagine we would agree about 95% :) Agreed it is not an ethnicity. Let's just go with demographic if that's more acceptable.
  18. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Just realized from your post I have not been spelling my suggestions phonetically .. Here's an update..

    -Urdii (Alfaaz)
    -Ehle-Urduu (Alfaaz)
    -Urduui (Alfaaz)
    -Urduun (Alfaaz)
    -Nae Sindhii
    -Ursindhii / Urindhii (contraction of Urdu-speaking Sindhis). Of course these two limits the geo scope to Sindh.
    -Urduujan ("native" Urdu speakers, -jan not -jaan)
  19. Alfaaz Senior Member

    If I may suggest, these two may be describing only a certain group/part of Urdu speakers, not Urdu speakers as a whole...Also, Nae Sindhii sounds like they are inhabitants/residents of a new province named Nayaa Sindh; New Yorkers---New York! (if I have read the transliteration "Nae" correctly, that is) :)
  20. BP. Senior Member

    mbasit sahib your cacophony of suggestions must've taken you some effort to come up with, but I don't think they can be commented on till we have some consensus on the basic questions post 13 poses. At least I don't have good answers.
  21. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thank you BP SaaHib for pointing out to the post #13 - I am sure no lingustic exercise can go further without the clarification what the OP in reality is asking for.
  22. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Tough crowd here. I'm thinking I would have gotten much better mileage by just asking for translations of the term "Urdu-speaking" :) I have failed to explain a simple idea. :(

    PS: BTW, post #15 answered post #13
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2012
  23. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    How the folks identified as 'Urdu-speaking' call themselves? What they feel?
  24. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Basit SaaHib, I have given and am continuing to give considerable thought to this matter. As has been suggested by marrish SaaHib, it is important to see how the Urdu speaking communities themselves perceive their community at large. So, what I am about to write is a sincere and humble effort. Please do not be offended in any way if it sounds ridiculous to anyone on the forum. I do believe that whatever term anyone of us here comes up with, within the forum or outside it, needs to be a dignified term befitting the people for which it is coined for.

    Now, generally we have "-ii" ending words which reflect ethnic communities but this is not always the case..

    Punjabi, MaraaThii etc but Paxtuun/PaThaan etc as well. So, in this post, I shall suggest both types.

    The construction "buud-o-baash" means "residence/existence/(someone's) society..". So, I am going to take the "baash" from here and give the wider Urdu speaking community as "Urdu-baashii"

    "Urdu-baashii" is therefore that community that owes its existence to Urdu, lives and breathes Urdu etc. It is an easy term. One could link it to "baashindah" as well.

    We also have a tribe called "qizil-baash" or "qazal-baash" which means "Red-Head/Cap". So, "Urdu-baash" could be considered as a "united tribe" of all Urdu speaking communities.

    More to come..watch this space!
  25. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    samaaj-e-urduu ? <-- my humble attempt
  26. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    On a lighter tone, Hindi speakers would use ''urduu-bhaashii'' - correct me if I'm wrong!
  27. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Interesting. samaaj means society.
    As a side note, I wouldn't have used the izaafat here.
  28. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    By all accounts (and leaving aside Professor Sherani's monumental research), the "gaRh" of Urdu was the Delhi area and its environs where khaRii-bolii was the regional language. In its polished and refined state it became to be known as "zabaan-i-Urdu-i-mu3alaa" or more simply "The Language of the Exalted Court" (and its environs of course), the court being the one in the "Red Fort" at Shahjahanabad (puraanii Dillii). Gradually the language started to be called "Urdu" when in reality "Urdu" was the place name.

    People of "Nazareth" are "Nazarites" and in Urdu they are called "Nasraanii". By this place association and in the case of Urdu "place of birth" association, I propose the community of people who speak Urdu as their language to be known henceforth as "Urdaanii".

    So, after (possibly thumbs down for Urdu-baash/Urdu-baashii), my second attempt is "Urdaanii".

    Edit: I forgot to mention that this word connects the community with both India (Urd-) and Pakistaan (-aanii).
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  29. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Thank you, QP saahib. Good to see your and others' creative juices going on this. I actually think both Urdu-baash and Urdaanii are excellent suggestions. The are representative (meaningful, not picked out of a hat), easy to utter, and linguistically malleable (in taking various grammatical forms). And I love the way you have given the justification/etymological rationale. Much of it can go straight to a dictionary [with credits to you], once one of these names gains currency!! (OK I'm pipe dreaming!! :).
  30. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Thank you Tony Saahib. I agree with marrish saahib that use of izafat here may not be a good idea. From my observation, it can significantly reduce the 'malleability' of the word. Furthermore, Samaaj sounds more like an identity of a society, like Aryaa Samaaj, which becomes problematic when applied to an individual. Also, it may connote that somehow, people belonging to this group may belong to a society different from the one now they live in. Just my quick reaction. Thanks for your valuable input.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
  31. BP. Senior Member

    Once again you've shown your smarts by using 'communities' instead of 'community', and as I see it exactly therein lies the reason why they/we won't be able to unite on one appellation.
  32. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    BP SaaHib, I would be interested to hear your and Faylasoof SaaHib's views. I am just thinking out aloud of course as part of an academic exercise. I do think, even with the best and the sincerest original intentions, "muhaajir" is not an accurate description since it can be and has been applied to other communities. "Urdi" sounded good but there is the month of "Urdibehisht" which is shortened to "Urdi".

    I have n't given up yet. I might still unite all the Urdu speaking communities under one manner. You can then make me an "honourary" member even if I am disqualified for other reasons!:)
  33. BP. Senior Member

    Your inclusion would be subject to the answer to your question 1 and to an extent 4:

    and ultimately mine is too! The question is, how far back do we have to go to qualify for this set of people?

    I don't have an answer.
  34. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    The answers to these questions in my view (as shared in post #15) are 1) Yes/Yes, and 2) Yes.
  35. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    The difficult part here is that these ethnic proper names didn't originate from a language but from a region or tribe, so it seems to me. Besides, maraaThii (people) were earlier maraaThaa. Subsequently the proper name denoting the ethnicity came to be the same as the name of the language. Following this suite, I would propose urduvii as one of the possibilities.
  36. BP. Senior Member

    I'd just consider anybody a native speaker if they do themselves.

    A new question would be what to do with someone who doesn't consider themselves native speakers but are better at the language than one? Their input does help the language evolve, and they should be historically acknowledged.
  37. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Since we are not conferring an honor, no need for historical anything. But if you like, I have no issue.

    BP Saahib- Respectfully, I am copying my original answers (from post #15) below for your convenience. Nothing new from my side or anoyone else (including you, sir) has been added to these. I was hoping we got beyond this needless repetition ...

  38. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Some assistence from "Urdu-daans" please.

    One can say that there are/were four main centres where Urdu grew and prospered.

    1) In the heartlands of Delhi [Shahjahanabad being the nucleus and the last dynasty being muGhal/Shahjahani

    2) From the north it went southwards into the Deccan (Bijapur and Golconda).. 3aadil-shaahii sultaanii dynasty

    3) In the state of Hyderabad, the 'aasaf-jaahii nizaamii dynasty

    4) In Awadh/Bihar, the dynasty being "

    Now, if someone could put the highlighted words in a bag and say abracadabra, we might get an all embracing name worthy of all Urdu speaking communities. What do you think?

    On the same sort of pattern as "Punjabi/Sindhi/Bengali", we could have..

    The Shah-jaahii people

    The Jaah-shaahii people

    The Shah-navaabii people

    The Shah-nizaamii people

    The Shahnavaanii people...
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  39. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Interesting thought and suggestion, QP saahib. You intention is laudable. However, I feel whatever comes out from the faloodah of the four identities is likely to sound so artificial that few people may relate to it. Plus an average Urdu-speaking person in the street (in our generation) probably cannot even name these four pedigrees, let alone feel part of them. Just my humble feedback.

    The names we have so far sound pretty good to me. I wrote earlier to Jang Group with our proposals on Load Shedding and other recent translations. Let's see if anyone bothers to read and respond from there. If there's interest we can ask them to look at this thread as well.

    At least in Pakistan, no one controls the language like the media, and within the media, no one like Jang group with their print and TV powerhouses. If they latch on to something new, the people are likely to follow. That's the nature of the Big Media in the modern world!
  40. BP. Senior Member

    muzhdah baad, we finally found our word!

    In case ^ isn't too well accepted, we could try ibn ul pakistan, on the pattern of ibnus sabiil and ibnul waqt.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2012
  41. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Just to remind you that if you point out that Urdu was centred around Shahjahanbad, Old Delhi, in western UP then equally you need to modify your point no. 4 and say that it was Lucknow that became the centre of Urdu in the eastern region. This is a fact whether anyone likes it or not. The two schools of Urdu that have come to be recognised in the north were dabistaan-e-dehlii and dabistaan-e-lakhnau. There were never was such terms as nawaabii Urdu!

    On a general note, while I too would like to commend valiant efforts to come up with a label for Urdugoyaan who migrated to Pakistan, the terms listed above are, IMHO, not meaningful! Urdu was never restricted to either a single geographical region or an ethnic or communal group. So to start to assign it to a particular group would be a mistake. Having said this, many in Pakistan do refer to these people as "muhaajir" / "Urdu speaking" (in English) / "urduu bolne waale" or "urduu goyaan" (in Urdu). The implication being that Urdu is their mother tongue and the fact that they happen to constitute only about 10 % of the population of that country. The rest of the 90% learn the language (in whatever form in school) but have as an identity their own mother tongue as represented by the four major provinces, and the fifth if you include Kashmir, which also has its own language though many there too speak Urdu.

    Besides, as we are talking about an event (i.e. inqisaam / baTwaaraa / partition) that happened not that long ago, these Urdu speaking migrants are also referred in Pakistan by some as "UP waale". I've heard this too.
  42. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Faylasoof SaaHib, as far as I have been able to understand, the purpose of this "exercise" is to come up with a name for Urdu speaking peoples of the Subcontinent that is both dignified and appropriate. It is not to promote one speech community over another nor to look down on any one section of the community.

    I have indeed used the term "navaabii" in this thread and once before (in inverted commas "nawaabii Urdu") in another thread. There the implication was not that there is a language known as "nawaabii Urdu" but merely to suggest the highest quality of Urdu that one would expect a "Nawab" of Lukhnau to speak. On this occasion I have used "navaabii" to contrast with "nizaamii", "Sultaanii" and "muGhal/Shahjahani" on the one hand and terms like "shaah" and "jaah" on the other. My suggestion was to use these terms as the building blocks of a word that would be comprehensive and all-embracing so that no community would be excluded. So, the fact that I have mentioned four main geographical areas in itself should indicate that I am not assigning Urdu to one area or one community. As to the matter "liking or not liking" one "dabistaan", the concept is totally irrelevant for the purposes of this exercise. This does not mean that I do not see the very important part "dabistaan-i-Lakhnau" has played in the development of Urdu.

    I am well aware of the term "UP vaale" (and "CP vaale") but UP/CP are English terms and we are looking for something befitting in Urdu. Besides, this term only covers one community and leaves out everybody else.

    Anyway, to use the old phrase.."Back to the drawing board".

    For a speech community, one normally thinks of a land/state/country/province, then people in that region and finally the language these people speak.

    Saudi Arabia/Arab/Arabic

    In terms of Urdu, as I have been clear in my post, we do not have a single piece of territory which one can assign to the language. So, I am going to "invent" this concept. We have such terms like "Iran-zamiin", so..

    Urdu-zamiin (the land where Urdu is spoken, be it areas of India, Pakistan or Bangladesh)

    Urd-aani (People of whatever ethnic background who see themselves as Urdu speakers)

    Urdu (the Urdu language, in all its manifestations from East to West, and from North to South)

    I think Urdaanii is an easy term. It does not look (so) artificial as we have "3ibraanii, "nasraanii", "insaanii", "nafsaanii" etc already existing in Urdu.

    Whilst Punjabis, maraaThiis, Tamils and the like are associated to their particular regions, Urdaanis are associated with the whole of "Urduzamiin".

    Iqbal's "har mulk mulk-i-maast kih mulk-i-xudaa-i-maast" is quite apt for Urdaaniis!
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  43. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I can understand your logic but the term "navaabii" has both positive and negative meanings, so I'd avoid it! I do disagree with you that dabistaan is irrelevant! This is a standard term used to discuss the different schools of Urdu and there is nothing irrelevant about this! If anything, the terms you have coined have, I'm afraid, no real meaning!

    While the lakhnavii aristocracy did indeed promote the best form of Urdu - and ket us not forget the begamaat-e-lakhnau, some of the best speakers of chaste Urdu - this class alone was not responsible for the growth, expansion, popularity and purity of the language. We had plenty of poets and writers who did thier bit, and while some poets / writers were indeed from the upper class, most were not. One reason why good Urdu permeated to even the lowest class. Not only have I this from my elders who noticed even T-hele waale (street hawkers) speaking fine Urdu then (i.e. over sixty odd years ago) but I met two gentlemen who came to study in Lucknow before partition. Both were from Punjab and they too were suitably impressed by the level of Urdu being spoken by shop keepers, cooks, gardeners etc. leave alone daarooghahs and muSaaHibiin. I don’t think nawaabii urdu is the right term!
    All the above are to do with nations / nation states /ancestral tribes and hence languages of people native to these places. I'm sure we all agree that Urdu-based terms such as these do not satisfy these conditions as there never was any Urdu-speaking nation, state, tribe ( Angles, as you know, is the derived name of a Germanic tribe which gave the English - people and language- its name). Iran zamiin is a very ancient idea that the Persian speaking people have identified with mainly the Pars (Fars in Arabic, borrowed later by both Persophones and Urduphones) province.
    I think we can all say that Urduzamiin has been moving around - and not by plate tectonics - so there is no area as such. Besides, how is " Urdaanii (People of whatever ethnic background who see themselves as Urdu speakers)" different from Urdugoyaan!
  44. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    Faylaoof SaaHib. I respect you for a number of reasons amongst them being your extensive knowledge in a great number of languages and your tireless commitment to people such as me on this forum who are here to learn from experts such as you. But, occasionally you must feel what Ghalib went through when he said..

    yaa rab nah vuh samjhe haiN nah samjheN ge mirii baat
    de aur tuu dil un ko jo nah de mujh ko zabaaN aur!

    And I am going through the same feeling too! The initiator of this thread asked for suggestions for a word that could replace the term "muhaajir/urdu-speaking/urdu bolne vaale" etc. It was merely an experiment to collect various people's ideas and thoughts. No more. If anything suggested appears meaningless or stupid, then so be it. It is not being forced down anyone's throat.

    You know that as far as the muGhals are concerned, they were invariably kings or "shaahs". In the province of "Awadh", there were "navaabs" in existence. In Bijapor and Golconda there were the "sultaans". For Hyderabad we have various "nizaams". I thought of using the "dynasties" (shaahii/navaabii/sultaanii/nizaamii) to coin a word. That is all!

    The very notion that Urdu speaking peoples do not form one clearly defined ethnic community is what led me to think of "Urduzamiin". This term is of course fictitious and what else can it be? Because of its vague nature, I believe it can cover any area within the Subcontinent where Urdu speakers dwell.

    "Urdaanii" is different from "Urdu-goyaan" in several respects.

    1) Urdu-goyaan just means Urdu speakers and I don't see how this is in anyway different from Esperanto-goyaan or any other language-goyaan. I don't think it imparts the "feel" for a community.

    2) Whilst "Urdaanii" is artificial, it has "Urd" as its foundation and it does resemble real words such as "Nasraanii" or "3ibraanii". Other examples that come to mind are words such as "ruuHaanii", "nuuraanii". (leaving aside Pakistani and Hindustani of course!:))

    3) It fits in well with other ethnicities of the region..all mainly ending in -ii

    dil ko durraaniyoN ne luuT liyaa
    diin ko afGhaaniyoN ne luuT liyaa
    raat Ghazal sunaa ke Ghaalib kii
    ham ko UrdaaniyoN ne luuT liyaa

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  45. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Thanks once again for your clarification QP SaaHiB! I've already expressed my opinions and not much left to add here. I would however make one correction - a factual one at that - which is that Ghazi-ud-Din Haider declared himself the King of Awadh in 1818 and henceforth the rulers were called shaahaan-e-awadh, not nawwabiin-e-awadh. The term nawwabiin was then reserved for the nawaabs / nawwaabs (great and small) and the rajas [ a term which included Muslims, not just Hindus] who attended his court. Here is more on Ghazi-ud-Din Haider. He even issued coins under his own name!

    The flowering of Urdu literature in Lucknow was therefore during the shaahi period,not nawaabii / nawwaabii period!
  46. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Thinking more about this off an on, I am drawn to an early name that did not get much attention or discussion. And that term is Urduumand. -mand suffix is from Farsi and adds the meaning of possessing, having, be endowed with, belonging to, etc., to the noun. So this way it is a fairly accurate and non-controversial description of the people in question (Urdu-speaking, Muhajir/Mohajir of Pakistan). Another reason I like this name, it uses a well-known suffix that is familiar to the ears of whoever speaks Urdu. Something that many of the other names do not have, due to their newness. Yet another reason is that the -mand suffix is almost always used to convey something positive. Words such as hoshmand, jur'atmand, danishmand, niyazmand, sihatmand, come to mind. So the outward appearance of the name is very positive.

    In summary, it is easy to say, is very malleable (Urduumandaanah, Urduumandi, etc), positive in meaning, familiar sounding, and accurate.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  47. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    This is of course a very personal thing. For me "Urdumand" does not point to a people but to the abstract notion. You are right in saying that the -mand suffix has very positive connotations. Looking through Platts I found only two with a negative sense, "aaz-mand" (covetouus/greedy) and "kasal-mand" (sick/ailing/indisposed...)

    Urdu-niZaad/Urdu-tabaar/Urdu-nasab/Urdu-asiil/Urdu-zaad/Urdu-sirisht...just a few more.-
  48. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Urduuzaad appears to be a very sensible suggestion. It is connected with the idea of being a ''native'' and ''born

    into'' and as such, it could be used to denote a people.
  49. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    I agree Urduuzaad seems to convey the message as well. However, it has two issues. -zaad suffix has a tendency to be associated with gender. So it could lead to confusion whether a woman is Urduuzaad or Urduuzaadii. Secondly, the -zaad suffix is very amenable to be morphed into negative names, like haraam-zaade, nawaab-zaade (sarcastic use), and so on. -mand somehow has managed to remain mostly wholesome, and it is gender-neutral.
  50. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    All of them are artificial, that means not familiar to the addresees. The only good one, which encompasses all the aspects of the ethnos and language is urduu-waale. It is so simple also;.

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