Asia

Pakistan Literature

In the current Pakistani territory, apart from English, there are five literary languages: urdū, panjābī, paštū, sindhī and balūčī. L ‘ Urdu is the official language of the country and it is understood and spoken by virtually all its residents. The others are the regional languages ​​of the Pakistani provinces: the panjābī of Panjab, the paštū of the North-West Frontier province, the sindhī of Sind and the balūčī of the Balūčistān. All use the characters of the Arab-Persian alphabet for writing with the addition of some letters to make the sounds characteristic of the Indian subcontinent. From the glottological point of view they belong to the Indo-European family of languages. L ‘ Urdu, the Punjabi and Sindhi derive historically from various types of prakriti, close relatives of the classical Sanskrit. The paštū and the balūčī are representatives of the great Indo-Iranian family.

According to a2zdirectory, the Urdu was born probably in the Panjab the 11th century by a Hindu lingua franca of northern India, mixed with Panjabi, on which you inserted the Arab-Persian elements. The language long preceded its name, which is attested for the first time in a linguistic sense in a document dated 1782.

The first works in urdū, in the deccana variant, are of a religious nature, due to ṣ ūfī wishing to divulge his own doctrines. At the courts of Golconda and Bijapur, between the 16th and 18th centuries, an elegant and lively poetry flourished, combining classical Persian style and local Indian element. The first example of urdū prose, written in Golconda by Mullā Waǧhī around 1630, is an allegorical fable based on a Persian original similar in theme to the Roman de la Rose. The father of Urdū poetry proper, Walī (1688-1744), a native of the Deccan, moved to the imperial capital, Delhi, becoming the link between Deccan literature and the Delhi school. Urdū literature, which became an expressive tool of muġal culture, reached very high heights in the 18th century with poets such as Dard (1720-1784), Sawdā ‘(1713-1781), and Mīr (1733-1810). But the troubled political events of the imperial capital led most of the writers to move to Lucknow, in the quieter kingdom of Awadh. Here arose another school of poetry, and the dramatic genre was born in the 19th century, with Amānat ‘s Indar Sabhā (1815-1858). The last phase of the Lucknow school reached its heights with the poets Anis (1802-1874) and Dabīr (1803-1875), who excelled in the martyrological epic. The Delhi school returned to shine with a galaxy of poets, among which Ġālib (1796-1869), considered the greatest Urdū poet, stands out. and, with his letters, the initiator of modern prose.

The British rule brought about Western influences that can be found in both poetry and prose, which was completely revolutionized by the writings of the modernist Sayyid Aḥmad H̱ān (1817-1898). From then on, the production of essays, including theological ones, was extremely extensive, as well as that of novels and short stories. The most important poet of the modern period is undoubtedly Muḥammad Iqbāl (1875-1938), who influenced the whole subsequent production, in which the work of the contemporary Fayẓ Aḥmad Fayẓ stands out.

The Panjabi, already mentioned in the 11th century, it became in the 16th literary language thanks to the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. Sikh literature soon diverged from Muslim literature, also differentiated in writing. The earliest panjābī literary documents date back to the 17th century and include theological and legal treatises in rhymed prose and love-themed poems. The greatest panjābī poet, Wāriṯ Šāh, of the 18th century, is the author of a beautiful version of the love legend of Hīr and Ranǧha. In his time, panjābī literature begins to accept Urdū influences, which will intensify in the following centuries. Limited to mystical and amorous themes, the literary production is affected by the attitude of the residents of the Panjab, who do not consider Panjābī a cultured language and prefer Urdū.

The Sindhi, spoken and written language as a popular, has close historical ties with the Persian. Folk songs, epic poems and stories of tribal rivalry have existed since the 11th century, and religious verses also appear from the 15th century. Essentially mystical is the production of the 16th and 17th centuries. The 18th century is the golden age of Sindhi literature, which expresses its greatest poet, Šāh ‘Abd al-Laṯ (has no hyphen, but two dots below) īf (1689-1751), an eclectic mystic with a beautiful symbolism. Love poetry and martyrological epic prevail in the period that ends in the mid-nineteenth century with the British conquest. Since then, sindhī has been increasingly influenced by urdū, merging the modern style of this language with its ancient folk tradition.

The paštū, close to the language Pahlavi, began to borrow terms from Arabic in the 9th century, and in subsequent periods made its Persian kinds of panegyric and epic martyrological. The literary production is above all poetic, with a prevalence of epic ballads. There are, however, examples of love themes and works of a religious and mystical nature. The greatest paštū poet, Ḥušḥal H̱ān H̱aṭak (1613-1689), while dealing with the theme of love, excelled in the dramatization of war according to the ideals of virility and chivalry. The prose is mainly made up of historical compilations up to the second half of the 19th century, when the short story genre was born. In the 20th century the paštū it opened up to Western influences and a literature with social and political themes was born. Popular literature has always been more lively than learned literature, which finds expression in historical-epic songs, songs, legends and countless love songs.

The Baloch is divided into two dialects: the sulaymānī the north and northeast, and Makrani west and southwest. In both the poetry is only oral, handed down by professional poets-singers. The theme is amorous, sometimes religious and didactic, but above all epic, with heroic ballads focused on tribal history. The prose production is scarce, consisting of works of a religious nature or love stories.

Pakistan Literature