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Influence of Nineteenth-Century on Urdu Literature

Updated on February 13, 2020

Urdu Criticism

Creation in literature is always free from the confines of time and place, in spite of this important aspect of determining its explanation and importance cannot be ignored. The purpose of the Literature Review is to know about the topics, attitudes and trends regarding the literature that has appeared in a particular place at a particular time, and to examine its impact on literature to be created in future. In this context, the period of the twenty-first century is of great importance in history and literature. The impact of this centennial period on Urdu literature is nothing short of miraculous, especially in the context of personalities. Nineteenth century was such a revolution in the history Urdu literature, which is reflected in its all genres.

The sub-continent has witnessed major stages of challenges and Urdu literature has withstood all these trials. On May 4, 1799, a very important event took place in the history of the subcontinent which changed the history of Muslim India. The day when Tipu Sultan, a valiant warrior, whom thinkers like Dr. Allama Iqbal tribute and called him the last Muslims in India. After a year of British conquest, Fort William College was founded on May 4, 1800, under the supervision of John Gilchrist. Regardless of the purpose for which the college was intended the college has played a vital role in the revolution of Urdu literature.

As a result, a lot of that much literature was created both inside and outside the college. Much literature was written on the rules of language, fictional literature and Indian literature as well as art. By the 1800s, prose tales were a masterpiece of research, not of Arabic, but of Persian-Arabic translation. Urdu prose is at the heart of Fort William College. There is another belief that Urdu is capable of not only the language of poetry but also of prosaic expression.

In addition to this, the process of printing began in 1803, which is the same literary movement. It created a literary atmosphere in which the bright minds like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan breathed. It is also the honor of the century. The scholarly movement of Sir Syed was refreshed and appeared in India as the brightest of the country, Illuminated by knowledge and literature.

In this century literature was not merely a source of entertainment but also a prophetic work. Purpose was coupled with literature. Mir Aman is a great name with reference to the publication of "Bagh o Bihar" at Fort William. About Aman Sir Syed Ahmad Shah said that the reputation enjoyed by Mir Taqi Mir in poetry is enjoyed by Aman in prose. Apart from these, there are many names which have enriched Urdu literature. Status enjoyed by Mir Taqi Mir in poetry is enjoyed by Aman among them are Haider Bakhsh Haidari, Sher Ali Afsoos, Mir Bahadur Ali Hussaini, Khalil Ali Khan Ashak, etc. To enable Urdu as simple, fluent and practised language. Fort William College has a big hand in giving. Sir Syed's literary movement is the result of the efforts of those who gave birth to a number of schools of thought.

When so many intelligent people of a given era adopt a shared style, style, style of thinking so that the times to come are affected that is a school of thought. The followers of some school of thoughts shaped by the continuity of language are seen in every age. Sir Syed inspired simple way of expressions in Urdu prose. So many writers gathered around Sir Syed. Sir Syed is the first man to practice the genres of science history and biography etc. Mehdi Afadi wrote an article in 1913 titled 'Five senses of Urdu Literature' which gives a bird’s eye view look at the period of Sir Syed. According to him “if the History of literature is written in the time to come, the later part of the nineteenth century will be written as Modern Renaissance. In that scenario a wayward language, having undergone the evolutionary phases reached a stage of distinct stage where the greatest languages of the world get themselves applauded. The regional discourse or utterances came into vogue in which Urdu's salient literary content has become a bit familiar. Sir Syed, Azad Shabali, Nazir Ahmed and Altaf Husain Hali deserve our applause and under whose shade of pen, the philosophy of Urdu, a young lass will be as tolerant as classics are considered praiseworthy today. There will be the time when most of their literature will be considered worthy of worship and illegal. "

At the after Sir Syed, the poets, the writers, the publishers of high caliber, able prose writers along with critics and sense making persons possess a great skill. Another personality in this century is Maulana Shabli Nomani, who dipped philosophy in history. Wise revelations and criticisms made it a permanent art. Hali’s Muqama Sher o Shaeri which is called “Poetics in Urdu” is an authentic reference. At the same time, Azad is also a writer of such a great quality that later writers had to bow down before him because he has a distinct style. Biography of Hazrat Muhammad PBUH is also major contribution of 19th century. According to Mahdi Afadi says “English learning and civilization also influenced our literature very much and the positive trend that it brings is expansion of the literary sphere that is also the impressions of 19th century. In addition to Sir Syed, another name in the evolution of Urdu literature, which is a honor for this century, is rarely shared by anyone else is Asadullah Khan the towering literary figure in the world. Great names like Mir Anis, Dabir, Majrooh, Shefta, Shah Naseer, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Sahbai, Arif and Ehsan are the distinguished features of this century.

These poets highlight introvert feelings once again in Urdu and turned the barren land of Delhi into a fertile one. Revived the specific traditions. The period of the Ghalib and Momin remained confined for the first half of the nineteenth century. Urdu literature was enlightened by the light of a dazzling star in the sky of literature name of Ghalabiyat and made it enviable for centuries to come. It became the creator of a new world of “Iqbaliat” who was born in the last decades of the century. There no exaggeration in saying that the men of the universe are aware of themselves and this world of knowledge and literature, wherever they are, is the result of the efforts of the nineteenth century.

Great names like Ghalib, Iqbal and Sir Syed are not only the names of the people but they are the names of the movements. The scenario of literature in 21st-century is the creation of nineteenth century writers.

It is this distinction of the century that gave the impression that we were not completely killed in the slaughterhouses of circumstances, and that there still exists something somewhere in the name of conscience.


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    • profile image

      Asim bukhari 

      14 months ago

      MashAllah very informative...

    • profile image

      Muhammad Ehsan Qureshi 

      14 months ago

      Great writeup

    • profile image

      Quratulain Hassan 

      14 months ago

      Excellent work


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