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Maulana Azad chair created at IIT-Gandhinagar to "promote" Urdu

By Our Representative
A Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Chair at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar, has been created in order to encourage Urdu in Gujarat, where not even a single Urdu daily is published. This has been made possible, says Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) because of efforts by Prof Hamida Banu Chopra of the Berkeley University, California, and Prof Sudhir K Jain, director, IIT Gandhinagar.
Ahmed, speaking on the occasion, said that, even today, Urdu happens to be the language of the heart firmly cementing the bonds of culture among people from all cultures and backgrounds. He added, Azad was the symbol of interfaith bonding between all the communities fighting for freedom from the clutches of the British.
Prof Akhtar-ul-Wasey, an Urdu celebrity, said, ironically, the language has been kept alive by Hindi cinema, FM radio, madrassas and the occasional recitation of couplets from Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz in the Parliament. A language does not prosper through such methods alone but through people who love it with sincerity that's rather more important. He added, all languages are beautiful and have their own charm and distinct persona. Urdu, in particular, is sweet and poetic and at the same time, very adaptable.
Saeeda Hameed, former Planning Commission member and a scholar on Maulana Azad opined that languages become worst, suffer most and die mercilessly when they are politicized. This is because politics create hurdles and problems and destroy the shape, tone and taste of the languages. She cherished the efforts of Prof Jain that he had left no stone unturned to give Urdu a kiss of life at the IIT.
Prof Chopra too recites a ghazal that truly touched the inner chords of the people in the auditorium. Prof Jain lauded the efforts of students and professors who created an ambience of mushaira, where students came up to the stage and recited Urdu poems and ghazals.

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