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Maximum Urdu books translated in Russian language

New Delhi: A reception in honour of delegates from foreign countries who had taken part in the 3-day international conference on Urdu language held in JNU, New Delhi from 4-6 September was held at Ghalib Aademy, Delhi on 11 September. Among the foreign delegates who participated were Ms (Dr) Ludmila Vastilva of Russia and Prof Tahseen Firaqi from Pakistan. Prof Shamim Hanafi while introducing foreign delegates said about Dr (Ms) Ludmila Vastilva that she was working in Russia’s Institute of Oriental Studies’ Department of Literature and has translated many Russian language books into Urdu and vice versa. She also has done lots of work on Faiz and Hali.

Dr Ludmila, speaking about Urdu in Russia said that the history of Urdu in Russia is more than a hundred years old, though there have been ups and downs in the promotion of Urdu there. She said that Urdu was promoted to the maximum extent during the period of Soviet Union i.e. for about 60-70 years. She said that during this period there were two publication houses in the USSR which used to publish only Urdu books, which are however closed down now. During the Soviet period a lot of work was done on translations into and from Urdu and the number of readers of Urdu literature was very large and time for Urdu broadcasts also was very significant but most of these were closed down after the disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR). However, she said promotion of Urdu was being revived now and in three universities of Moscow and Petersberg Urdu is taught as a foreign language and students pay attention to Urdu education and Urdu broadcasts on FM will be started soon. She said that in no other language there have been as much translations of Urdu literature as in Russian language:

Prof Tahseen Firaq from Lahore while speaking about Urdu in Pakistan said among other known facts that Majlis Taraqqi-e Adab, an institution for the promotion of Urdu literature, was constituted in 1950 which has got about one lakh pages of foreign languages literature translated into Urdu including a great part of Arabic literature into Urdu. He said that special attention is paid to Allama Iqbal and all his works and other memorabilia are being preserved and all his manuscripts will soon be made public.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2013 on page no. 14

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