Urdu and Hindustani

Samar Abbas abbas at IOPB.RES.IN
Sat Dec 5 11:43:54 EST 1998


On Fri, 4 Dec 1998, Bal Prasad wrote:

> -- Samar Abbas enscribed thusly --
> > Sanskrit was created in 500 BC by Panini et al and did not exist before that.
>
> Foot in the mouth???

The modern view is that the Vedic and `Classical' Sanskrit languages are
different languages. It may sound strange, but the word `Sanskrit' is not
found in the Vedas, it is found in much later texts of the Mahabharata and
Ramayana. So it is perhaps wrong to call the language of the Vedas as
`Sanskrit', as was done some time back, but as `Vedic'. Sanskrit is
derived from the Vedic language. Features found in the Prakrits can also
be traced to the Vedic language, but are not found in Sanskrit.
So the family tree is:

                  Vedic (Old Indo-Aryan)
                  /                    \
            Sanskrit                Prakrits

 Also, Vedic is close to the language spoken by the early Aryans (referred
to as Old Indo-Aryan); while Sanskrit was never the language of the
masses, and the elite that used Sanskrit used it as a second language.
This is the standard view; I personally feel that Vedic was actually
spoken by the `average Aryan'.

 Moreover, the language of the Vedas was `pure' Vedic; while Sanskrit has
a large fraction of non-Aryan vocabulary (some say more than 50 %).  This
has given rise to the `Dravidian origin of Sanskrit' theory. So since
Panini codified Classical Sanskrit, I simply stated that he `created
Sanskrit'. With people claiming that Sanskrit is derived from Tamil
(Indians and no `foreigners'), why should they get so upset when I say
Panini created Sanskrit ? What I am saying is not eccentric, as some
persons on this list would have us believe, but can be found in standard
text books. Only thing is, I am saying it in a much clearer fashion than
it ordinarily is; and I state things that most people knew intuitively.
I admit the statement may be construed controversial, but I invite anybody
to prove my statment wrong: `Panini created Sanskrit', and `The Vedas are
in the Vedic Language'.

 Read my posts, I have never `insulted' the Vedic language in any way.

>
> Later when writing about the muslim invaders of India, he claims ...
> > Thus they were in a sense liberators.
>
> In the same sense that Nazis were 'liberators' of Jews???
> Methinks a rather bigoted slip is showing.

In my previous postings I had discussed the short-comings of the
post-Gupta period; I would like to state that the lot of the average Hindu
under the Islamic Empire was better than that before. Don't misunderstand
me; I am comparing it to the post-Gupta `dark age', and not with
Ram-rajya. The Islamic Empire was much larger than those that existed
immediately preceding it, and there was an upsurge in trade and economic
development. Alexander the Great may have conquered, but the lot of the
`conquered races' was better during the Hellenistic empires than
immediately preceding it (due to the growth in trade); and similarly
Mahmud of Ghazni may have conquered, but the standard of living in India
improved due to economic development (this is my opinion, and not accepted
by many people).

Samar



More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list