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Last Updated : Apr 03, 2018 11:53 AM IST | Source: PTI

Urdu symbol of 'Ganga-Jamuni' culture, need to work together for it: Manmohan Singh

The former prime minister, known for his brevity in speech, made a short address but his mix of trenchant Urdu poetry drew loud applause from the audience.


Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday turned poet to extol the beauty and appeal of Urdu language, as he underlined that it symbolised the syncretic culture of India and all citizens should do something to ensure that it flourishes.

He was addressing a gathering at the launch of senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar's book 'Ehsas-o-Izhar' at an event here, which was attended by a galaxy of eminent people from various walks of life.

"It is a symbol of 'Ganga-Jamni tehzeeb' (syncretic culture)... The presence of such eminent people in such large numbers is a proof that Urdu is living langauge. We all must do something for it," Singh said.

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The former prime minister, known for his brevity in speech, made a short address but his mix of trenchant Urdu poetry drew loud applause from the audience.

"'Hazaron jawabon se achhi hai khamoshi meri, na jaane kitne jawabon ki aabru rakh li (My silence is better than a thousand answers, it has saved the honour of many questions)," the 85-year-old leader said.

Former vice president Hamid Ansari launched the book and presented the first copy to Singh in the presence of ex-chief justice of India T S Thakur.

Thakur, who spoke in chaste Urdu at the function, equated its cultural richness with Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar, while lamenting that the language perhaps did not get the support it needed.

"Urdu language is very profound. Even those people who cannot read or fully understand it, hanker to hear it as it gives us joy. Urdu is our language. It took birth here on this soil. It is our heritage. Just like Taj Mahal, and Qutub Minar and Jama Masjid is ours," he said.

"But, perhaps, it did not get the support it needed from governments ('Shayad hukumaton se jitna milna chahiya tha...')," he said.

Thakur, in his speech also said that he understood Urdu and suggested to the author that if the book was written in Urdu rather than Devanagri script, "The effects would have been far more".

"But, this book, I must say is a gift for those people, who yearn to enjoy the beauty of Urdu, but cannot understand it," he added.

Singh also said had the book been written in Urdu, it would have been far better.

Among those who attended the events included, senior politicians Natwar Singh, Shivraj Patil, Kamal Nath, BJP veterans L K Advani and M M Joshi, various former chief ministers, including Farooq Abdullah, Sheila Dikshit, Ashok Gehlot, B S Hooda, lyricist Javed Akhtar, actor Shabana Azmi and filmmaker Madhur Bahndarkar.

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First Published on Apr 3, 2018 11:50 am
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