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Urdu not the language of Muslims, Tom Alter 'proves' by The Bible
Saturday January 4, 2014 1:59 PM, ummid.com Staff Reporter

Veteran Actor and renowned theatre artist Tom Alter on Friday rejected the popular notion that the Urdu language belongs to a particular community or religion and quoted the verses from the Bible to prove his point.

Tom Alter

[Photo Caption: Tom Alter addressing the inaugural ceremony of the ten-day All India Urdu book fair organised by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) in Malegaon. (ummid.com/Zaheeruddin)]

Reciting five verses of the Bible in fluent Urdu in front of a huge crowd which gathered for the inaugural ceremony of the ten-day All India Urdu book fair organised by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) in Malegaon, Tom Alter said, "How can Urdu belong to Muslims or any other religion when it describes God's message with such a beauty."

Recalling his childhood, Tom Alter said that he learnt Urdu from his father who was a priest, and there was always a copy of the Urdu translation of the Bible on his table. He said he was mesmerised by the beauty of the translation of the Bible in the language.

The Urdu language is born and grown up in pre-independent India. However, after partition, the language faced discrimination in India, and a section justifies it by portraying Urdu as a language of Muslims.

Tom Alter said that he was not the enemy of Hindi, English or any other language and regarded all languages with equal importance. He also described Hindi as the sister language of Urdu.

"However", he said, "The Urdu language has a special taste and power which other languages are lacking in."

Rejecting the fear that the Urdu language is on decline and there is no future, he urged the people to adopt the language with pride.

"Urdu doesn't need our help for survival. The fact is that it is we who actually need this language', he said amid applaud.

Besides addressing the inaugural function of the ten-day All India Urdu book fair organised by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), Tom Alter will also be staging his popular play- a solo, on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad – one of the tallest figures of Indian freedom struggle and the country's first education minister.

The event is part of the cultural events the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) organises simultaneously with its All India Book Fair.

The one-and-half hour play, which is scripted and directed by Saeed Alam, revolves around the life and ideology of the Maulana and portrays in a very clear term Maulana Azad's opposition to the partition of the country.

Because of some comments critical to Sardar Patel, the Gujarat government led by Narendra Modi, who has been accused of presiding over the 2002 riots, has banned staging of the play in the state.



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