Who Created URDU?
Language is one thing which is never invented or created**. A new language comes into existence when people of different languages interact each other over a very long time. There is no doubt that Urdu is one such recent language. When we look at this process of creation for Urdu language, it is created not only in long period of time, but also over a vast area of geography, from Hind Kush mountains to malabar. We cannot give credit of creating Urdu to any particular region or people of any particular time frame.

While we can say the process started in western parts of India with the settlement of Mahmud Ghaznavi’s forces, Urdu was adopted for literary purposes in deccan which produced Urdu Literature’s first work (Sab Ras) and first Urdu Poet Quli Qutub Shah(who compiled urdu poetry in a book) among other early champions of urdu like Sufi Saints and Islamic scholars. It was the poets of Delhi and later lucknow who matured urdu poetry and took urdu to its current zenith.

Different flavours of same language
As the process of creation of Urdu started in different parts simultaneously, there are different effects of local languages and culture on Urdu in that part of Indian subcontinent. I can relate two major effects on Urdu, one is of Aryan languages of North India and of Dravidian languages of South India. As a result, there are several words and slangs particular to each area which are not found in another. And so are different accents and pronunciations.

There is no such thing as Pure Urdu
There are many a times when we get into argument of “what is Pure Urdu?”. Same word is used in different forms in different areas, for example, “jaraha hun” and “Jaraun”, “mujhe” & “manjhe”, “kahan” “kaan”. Which one would we say is pure and which one is not? Fact is, they are all Urdu.

Similarly, there are some words unique to southern India, like “aldana” meaning ‘shouting’ which is not found in northern India, whereas people of Luckhnow use “Hum” in singular form to refer to themselves which is used in plural form in other places. So it is a baseless argument to say which word is pure Urdu and which is not. Fact is that Urdu is such a rich language that it has all these different forms.

Opening dictionary to search and validate such words is the foolish most act. Dictionary is created from the language we speak, not the other way. And the process of creating dictionary can never be said completed for any language. New words keep forming and new languages are always in making.

**Except in recent fictional languages, such as one created in Hollywood movie Avatar. Such a waste of time and money.

Brief History of Urdu

Urdu is one of the recent language of which inception began with the migration of Persian, Turkish and Arabic speaking Muslims into Indian subcontinent beginning 12th Century. Until then the native language of northern and north western India was Prakrit and its variants, classic Sanskrit was the literary language of elite Brahmins which was used mainly for the religious purposes and official records. While Persian was used as the court & administrative language by the recently migrated Muslims wherever they formed a government, Turkish (& Persian) was the mother tongue of various tribes which were parts of ruling elite, military, businessmen, artisans, religious scholars and Sufi saints. Arabic being the language of Quran, it was widely understood and used for religious purposes by the migrating Muslims.

With the merger of people of these various language groups, a new language was formed over several centuries which was referred with different names by different people in different times. This new language was referred as Hindustani, Hindivi, Dehlivi, Hindi, Reqta, Khari Bolo, Deccani or Urdu. Word “Urdu” itself is derived from Turkish word “Ordo” which means “army” denoting the language of the army camps. For couple of centuries since the beginning of migration, A Persian use to identify his native language as Persian and Turkish as Turkish and Arabian as Arabic but all these people along with the local communities were speaking a different language when they were interacting with each other, that was the language Urdu.

Over following centuries this new language with Prakrit as its base and heavily influenced vocabulary from Sanskrit, Persian, Turkish and Arabic evolved, until the poets of behmani sultanate(Gulbarga) and later Golconda (Hyderabad) Sultanate of Qutub Shahi Dynasti & Sufi Saints across the Indian subcontinent adopted this new language for literary purpose. Poets like Quli Qutub Shah, Mulla Wajhi, Ghawasi & Wali aurangabadi etc. Still Urdu was not recognized as a literary language across the subcontinent. The entire Subcontinent was speaking various variants of this Urdu/hindi/deccani/khariboli as their native language but were still sticked to Persian for Administrative & literary purposes and Sanskrit/Arabic for religious purposes. And by the 17th century, with the capture of Deccan by Aurangzeb (Mughal Kingdom of Delhi), the literary work of Deccan in Urdu reached Delhi Courts, which sparked an interest in Mughal Kingdom (Northern India) to use Urdu for literary purposes which created many such poets like Sauda, Mir, Dard etc.

Urdu can be said to have reached its maturity during the Aurangzeb era of Mughal kingdom when a large number of poets and laureates started adopting Urdu as a language for their works.

Urdu-Hindi Schism
By the arrival of Britishers into Indian subcontinent, Urdu was so popular amongst the masses that Britishers adopted Urdu for administrative purposes and started learning this native language. It was this time that, need to document grammar was felt to learn the local language. Britishers created the “Fort William College” for this purpose and various scholars were hired to document the grammar of native languages & also to impart the local culture and language training to arriving British officials. This was the time when Britishers distinguished (or rather divided) Urdu and Hindi as two different languages (Of course there were voices by a section of Hindu society to give a Hindu/Muslim identity to language). Until then Urdu/Hindi was recognized as a single language spoken (still being spoken) by the entire Indian community irrespective of their religion.