Maharaj Krishen Raina

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'Mubarak' or 'Poushta'

By Maharaj Krishen Raina

For quite some time now, there has been a debate on the internet whether we need to say ‘Mubarak’ or ‘Poushta’ while greeting on Herat, Navreh etc. Some enthusiasts, particularly from our younger generation, strongly advocate removal of word ‘Mubarak’ from the Kashmiri vocabulary on the plea that it is a Persian word thrusted upon us during the Afghan rule, while, according to their views Poushta is the original word which we need to put to use instead. While persuading people to use words like ‘Poushta’wherever suited, can not be termed as wrong, discontinuation of use of words like ‘Mubarak’ can only be detrimental to the Kashmiri language. It is ‘Mubarak’ today, itcan be another word tomorrow. Do we need to cleanse our language of all the words which we think are Persian or Arabic in nature, hence alien.

In today’s world, there is freedom of speech. Any body and every body is entitled to put forth his or her views on any subject and invite people to listen to him or her. However, the freedom of speech does not mean one should enforce one’s views without conviction. In the first place, we need to understand the evolution of Kashmiri language.

Vedic Sanskrit is the original source of our language because it is said to have been the language people of Kashmir spoke about six thousand years back. Some people argue that Kashmiri has nothing to do with Sanskrit. In their opinion, main source of the Kashmiri language is Dardi and many of its words have come from Shina. Again a section believes that F Kashmiri has also been influenced by Ibrani spoken by Jews, who lived in Kashmir long back. European scholar Buhler even suggests that Kashmiri is more akin to Sindhi than to Sanskrit.

In a research article, Late Ramchand Kaul states that Kashmiri language went through many changes and adopted words from Chinese, Tibetan, Russian, Persian, Arabic, Punjabi etc. to reach the present state. Another European Scholar G.T.Vane has come to this conclusion that Kashmiri language is comprised of 50 % Sanskrit, 10 % Persian, 5 % Hindi and 2 % Arabic words, rest of the words are Tibetan, Dardi and Dogri. So, will it be worthwhile to free our language of all Persian and Arabic words? I am sure, not. Even Mahamahopadhyaya Mukund Ram Shastri and Sir George Grierson have not been able to do so while compiling the Dictionary of Kashmiri Language.

In one of the e-mails addressed to our young generation, Shri T.N.Dhar Kundan, our Consulting Editor and a well known scholar has rightly said that a language grows by adopting and assimilating words from other languages. Once this is stopped there will be stagnation. Taking cue from Kundan Sahib, I would like to ask if we can have replacement for the words directly borrowed from Persian and Arabic like etc. which we so vehemently use in our daily life.

Source: Milchar



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