Urdu Poetry, The Soviet Union And India’s Right-Wing Government

Gargi Binju at 3:AM Magazine:

As real border walls were being put up, so were metaphorical borders. The Urdu writers had been published freely in both countries until this point. There were hardly any Urdu literary journals at the time in India because Indian Urdu writers had published in Pakistan where the readership was larger; Urdu being Pakistan’s national language. The war changed that. New Urdu journals arose in India, most notably Shabkhoon launched by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi in Allahabad. Writers, Urdu or not, wanted to address the crisis of the war. They criticized the Progressives because their answers were old and dated. Marxists and Socialists were under attack in both Pakistan and India. In Pakistan, there was a call of national cultural unity, with Urdu at its center. Before this year, Bhasha Poetry, which freely took words from Indian languages other than Urdu was popular in Pakistan. After, the form quietly died.

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