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Dedh Ishqiya: Triumph of Urdu

“Cinema is the best medium to popularise a language.” I agree in toto with the master auteur Mrinal Sen. In recent times, Hindi films contributed to spoiling the language of the masses. Munnabhai MBBS (2005) spread the horrible lingo of Bombay and coined words that are spontaneously used by the masses as well as classes.

In this dismal scenario of absolute linguistic degeneration, Dedh Ishqiya comes as a whiff of fresh breeze. Though all the actors, Madhuri Dixit, Nasiruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Huma Qureishi and Vijay Raj, don't have the command over Urdu like that of an ahle-zubaan (native speaker), they've enunciated the difficult Urdu words quite convincingly. The words don't grate on ears.

It's worthwhile to mention that the veteran actor Nasiruddin Shah cannot read or write Urdu but he can speak it with a fair degree of ease and fluency. Arshad Warsi and Huma Qureishi also don't know Urdu that well, yet their 'sheen', 'qaaf' and 'ghain' are tolerable to Urdu-speaking people, who constitute a minuscule of the populace. Madhuri tried her best to pronounce Urdu words and she succeeded to some extent. I'll be immensely happy if Dedh Ishqiya can resuscitate this dying language and evoke true admiration for it in the hearts of the people, especially today's youngsters who speak gutter language that insults the refined sensibilities of urbane people.

Films like Dedh Ishqiya can stem the rot in our collective linguistic decline and also highlight the adab, tahzeeb and tamaddun, so inextricably bound up with Urdu and its associated culture.
 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 February 2014 on page no. 2

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