KOCHI: Urdu teacher K P Shamsuddin Tirurkad has devoted his life to pursue the language. His passion goes beyond his profession. The 47-year-old teacher at Tirurkad A M Higher Secondary School who is also pursuing his Phd on Urdu language in Kerala, is now trying to create awareness of the language among the public.The Malappuram-based scholar’s tryst with the language began during his years in Mumbai. “I was the youngest in my family. So when my father relocated to Mumbai, then Bombay, for work, I went with my parents while my brothers and sisters studied here,” he said. As Urdu was commonly spoken there, he became very fluent in the language, just like he did with Marathi.
After working for sometime in an Urdu newspaper in Mumbai, Shamsuddin returned to his hometown. However, he realised, he brought his love for the language with him too. “I was notified of a vacancy for an Urdu teacher at the school where I am working. I became more curious to know the roots of the language in the state as the language seemed to be non-existent here. It has been five years since I began my Ph.d on Urdu Language from Mysore University though distance education.” The scholar has now asked for an extension of the same.
While many people opt Phd for a career growth, here is a man who wants to share the knowledge of the language among the public. “Urdu is a very ancient language which is closely related to Indian culture. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception among the general public that it is the language of the muslims. In fact a number of non-Muslims in North India speak Urdu.
Even in Kerala, Urdu existed during the 40’s. However the language and the organisations promoting the language faded away into obscurity after the partition, when Pakistan declared Urdu as their national language. Due to this, any existence of Urdu in the state was seen with suspicion and it was only after 1972 that Urdu was again officially taught in schools here,” he said.
The Urdu scholar has written around 36 research papers and articles on the language and have presented a few of them at the national-level seminars in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Bombay University at Maharashtra and so on. He has also received a number of awards for his contributions in creating awareness about the language, including the Sahrudaya Award(2011), Tamil Nadu Urdu Akademi Award(2009) and Moulavi Abdul Haq award instituted by the Delhi Urdu Development Organisation (2015). He has also been invited to an upcoming UAE Urdu Conference at Abu Dhabi, which is being organised for the first time by Keralites, says the scholar.
Shamsuddin aims to continue with his research work and come out with books on the same. “Two of the scholars known worldwide for their works in Urdu are Gopi Chand Narang and Shamsur Rahman Faruqi. One is a muslim while the other is a Hindu.
Another example is Raghupati Sahay who got the Jnanpith award for his Urdu works. I wish to create awareness among the general public on the importance of Urdu- that it is an ancient language which was spoken by and learnt by our ancestors. If you look at the history, you will understand that it is not related to any religion, apart from the fact that Muslims use the language for most of their religious studies,” he said.