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Urdu Literature

The Decline Of Urdu In UP's Literary World

Along with Lucknowi mushaira and Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, Urdu literature is in decline. And the current socio-political atmosphere can't escape its share of the blame

Photograph: Shutterstock

Several aspects of the literary landscape of Uttar Pradesh have changed in the last few decades, while there are still others that continue to be in the vortex of cha­nge. One way of looking at it is that the first half of every century has seen tremendous changes in the arts and literature. For instance, if you look at literary history of the 20th century, you notice how every sphere has been influenced by the Progressive Writers’ Movement. It is thanks to this movement that writers like Rahi Mas­oom Raza, Ali Sardar Jafri and Kaifi Azmi are still spoken about with reverence.

After the Progressives, there was a brief per­iod in which Urdu writers found themselves inclined towards Modernism. However, it could not benefit the literature it spawned so much. Besides the fact that it could not become popular, it also increased the gap between the reader and the writer. Once they drifted apart, there was a time when writers did some soul-searching on who they were writing for.

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