We still fight over languages: Top Urdu poet-critic Farooqi
"Nobody owns a language but we still fight over languages in our society. Many native writers don't want their work to be translated by anybody else other than themselves. It is sad that language has become a tool of ownership and hegemony; not the thread that binds people together," said Farooqi.
The novelist was participating in the third edition of 'Samanvay', the Indian Languages Festival, which began at the India Habitat Centre, here on October 24. Farooqi points out that bracketing the 17 dialects of Rajasthan with the Hindi language was a wrong decision.
"It was said that these dialects have no literature and very less number of speakers. Instead of preserving them, we categorise them as vernacular language. Similarly a language like Tulu, spoken in the Indian state of Karnataka is also sidelined on the central stage for its less number of speakers," the literary stalwart said.
Farooqi had recently published "The Mirror of Beauty," a novel based on the life and times of Wazir Khanam, the mother of the famed Urdu poet Daag Dehalvi, set mostly in 19th century Delhi. It is a translation of his 2006 novel originally written in Urdu.
Emphasising on the need to use language as a thread to bind people and ensure that they do not become extinct, the literary critic said, "It is difficult to speak about the connexions that languages forge as we have made our names and languages as a tool to create disconnect."
"I am from the interiors of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and it is one of my greatest disappointments that a language like Bhojpuri associated with my place is never considered a full-fledged language" the author said.
Meanwhile, Sahitya Kala Academy winner Vinod Kumar Shukla was present during the inaugural day of the literature festival. Titled 'Samanvay', meaning 'to synthesise or combine', the festival promises an interesting line up of Padmashri awardees, Sahitya Kala Academy recipients, National Film Award winners and various other popular names from the world of languages.