Dr Ansari in a conversation with Vinod Dua, the consulting editor of the Wire, said that it would be great injustice to 85 million speakers of Urdu if the language was dismissed as just a language of Muslims. 'Urdu was born in Deccan, developed in Delhi and was refined in Lucknow,' Dr Ansari said. He said the language had played a great role in the Freedom struggle, pointing out that during he British rule, the intelligence department kept a special eye on Urdu poems because of their deep impact on those fighting for the freedom of the country.
Replying to question on the future of Urdu, the former vice-president said that 20 to 25 years back his answer would have been in the negative, but today the language had miraculously got a fresh lease of life . While agreeing with the questioner that one of the disadvantages of Urdu was that its acquisition was not helpful in earning a living, Dr Ansari said that this should not be the ground for neglecting a beautiful language.
He also said there should be no confrontation between languages as each of them had their own identity and beauty. On his role as diplomat, vice-chancellor, vice-president and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, he said he had enjoyed each of these experiences. He, however, refused to be driven into making a comment on the recent attack on him by the ruling BJP over his remarks about unease among minorities over the current state of affairs in the country.
Earlier, Mr Vardharajan in his welcome remarks said the Wire was a venture of the Foundation for Independent Journalism, which had been set up for creating a new relationship of trust between the masses and the media, a need which arose because of the way media was going in the country. He said that after launching the Wire in English, they started it in Hindi, and now it was Urdu and the plan was to launch it more Indian languages.
On the why of going for Urdu, he said the founding editors, who included M K Venu and Siddharth Bhatia, wanted that the language spoken by so many millions of people and which had given voice to the freedom movement, should regain its place in the media, especially on the digital platform. 'After today’s overwhelming response to the launch of the Wire Urdu, we are wondering why we did not do it earlier,' he said. Mr Vardharajan stressed theirs was a no profit no loss venture and sought public support for it. He said he was overwhelmed by today’s response to the Wire Urdu. The event was attended by a large number of distinguished writers, journalists, artistes and social and cultural activists. (UNI)