Regardless of any political and communal sensitivities, the case for Hamari Boli is primarily motivated by the Utilitarian principle i.e
"Maximum Good for the Maximum Numbers".
Hindi-Urdu is actually one and the same language divided artificially for socio-cultural and politico-religious motivations. But this knowledge is not popular understanding and to this day, the divide plays a major role in communal identification in Indo-Pak. However, linguistics by & large is in agreement over their joint status. We're working to bridge the divide by bringing the whole range of Hindi-Urdu together (as spoken across India, Pakistan, greater South Asia and the 50Million+ Desi Diaspora) using roman script and develop & promote a neutral writing style as exemplified by Bollywood and popular media. We're of the opinion that;
The real value and significance of Hindi-Urdu is in its being the Lingua Franca of the South Asian Subcontinent which is home to 1.7 Billion Desis, speaking 400+ languages, using 20+ distinct writing systems -- It is grave injustice and gross disservice to limit Hamari Boli's role, scope, status and appeal with communal/national contaminations.
Per established Linguistic Standard, "Hindi-Urdu" (taken as one word) is the standard modern term for the erstwhile Hindustani, which was the official language and lingua francaof the British India. Hindi-Urdu(Hindustani) has 4 standardized registers (i.e. subsets);
- Standard Hindi (Shuddha/Manak/Nagari Hindi - The Official Language of India. Written in Devanagari. Heavily sanscritized and purged of all Persian, Turkic, Arabic heritage)
- Standard Urdu (Saaf/Salees Urdu - The Official Language of Pakistan. Written in Nastaliq. Heavily Persianized -and being actively Arabized these days- and purged of most Sanskrit and Prakrit heritage)
- Dakhini (spoken in and around the Deccan plateue. written in Devanagari and Nastaliq both, called Hindi/Urdu respectively)
Before 1947, Hindi / Urdu / Hindustani all were used synonymously to refer to one and the same language which was written in Nastaliq(predominantly) & Devanagari both. This is called "Digraphia" where a language is written in more than one script (a recognized socio-linguistic affliction) for reasons other than linguistic (cultural, political, religious, ethnic etc). Today, despite all government efforts, "Hindi-Urdu" (NOT Shudh Hindi or Saaf Urdu) is the everyday speech of native speakers, popular media and the Lingua Franca of Indo-Pak and all of South Asia indeed. called Urdu or Hindi respectively when written in Nastaliq or Devanagari. In addition to Digraphia, Hindi-Urdu also suffers from Diglossia which is yet another major sociolinguistic affliction resulting from linguistic elitism. It refers to situations where two varieties of one language are used by a single language community. In addition to the community's everyday or vernacular language variety (labeled "L" or "low" variety), a second, highly codified variety (labeled "H" or "high") is used in certain situations such as literature, government communication (documents, state media), or other specific settings, but not used for everyday conversation, mass education and mass media.
In case of 'Hindi-Urdu';
- In Pakistan -- 'Standard(Saaf) Urdu' is the "High" variety, whereas 'Hindi-Urdu' is the "Low" variety used by the masses (called Urdu, written in Nastaliq and increasingly in Roman).
- In India, both 'Standard(Shudh) Hindi' and 'Standard(Saaf) Urdu' are the "H" varieties (written in devanagari & Nastaliq respectively), whereas 'Hindi-Urdu' is the "L" variety used by the masses and written in both Devanagari and Nastaliq (and called Hindi or Urdu resectively) as well as in Roman (electronic comm).
Hindi-Urdu diglossia can be best contrasted with the Arabic situation where Modern Standard Arabic is the Official Language (the "H" variety) in all Arabic speaking countriesin West Asia & North Africa but the regional mass vernacular is one or the other dialect (various 'L' varieties). in fact, linguists argue that the different 'Varieties of Arabic' show far greater variation than 'Hindi-Urdu' (even to the point of mutual unintelligibility). But still, all these varieties are classified and recognized as dialects of Arabic. Similarly, Standard Hindi and Standard Urdu should be treated as two "High" varieties of 'Hindi-Urdu' and thus not suited for use in media intended for mass consumption by people from 400+ speech subgroups (using 20+ distinct writing systems). for example, Hindi Cinema will lose 99% of its viewership if it were to use Shudh Hindi.
The Case for HamariBoli ('Hindi-Urdu') is partly inspired by Modern Simplified Chinese(Standard Mandarin) where Classical Chinese (the "H" variety) was successfully replaced with vernacular Mandarin during the New Culture Movement . Today, Standard Mandarin has become a fully developed lingua franca of mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore, most spoken language in the world and is also one of only 6 official UN languages.
- Main article: Hindi-Urdu's Open Dilemma
Being the Desi Lingua franca, Hamari Boli (natural Hindi-Urdu in Roman) is the only option to reach all Desis equally. However, the crippling Devanagari-Nastaliq Digraphia renders any kind of Opensource collaboration IMPOSSIBLE among Devanagari/Nastaliq/Roman writers unless each collaborator knows all three scripts. Hamari Boli resolves the dilemma by using neutral Roman script to create equally accessible opensource content and thus, for the first time, enables 'Open Collaboration' among the whole spectrum of Devanagari-Nastaliq-Roman readers & writers.
Besides resolving the Devanagari-Nastaliq dilemma, Hamari Boli Initiative is also meant to define and create frameworks, platforms and pronounced impetus for open-source development in Hamari Boli (Text, Media, Software)
Opensource and Internet in general is an invaluable blessing in the acute scarcity of non-partisan and propaganda free information. Uncontaminated Objective Truth is 'Key' to dissolving propaganda induced prejudices and thus Opensource needs to be leveraged to the fullest to create lasting regional peace & harmony in South Asia. Since all traditional info and education channels are choked with fabricated myths, half-truths and exclusivist hyperbole, Internet as 'The Medium' and Opensource as 'The Method' is 'The Solution' to all the misinformation and educational challenges facing all South Asian nations.
Internet penetration is growing at breakneck speed and the region already boasts 160Million+ internet users (150M in Indo-Pak alone) and the numbers are expected to at least triple by 2015 as smartphones are becoming evercommon! However, The Opensource opportunity is almost entirely neglected in Indo-Pak. Free, open-source textbooks like FlexBooks, content like Wikipedia, Instructional Media & evalutation tech like the Khan Academy are most promising approaches to ensure same quality education to everyone, everywhere at a fraction of cost and hassle than what the traditional system requires.
We believe that the digital age has presented us Desis with an unprecedented opportunity in the form of "Instructional Media + Educational Technology + Open-Source Content Production & Delivery Model" which is inherently immune to establishment bias and most suitable for filtering status-quo lies with dispassionate, non-partisan scholarly analysis. Uncontaminated Objective Truth is 'Key' to dissolving propaganda induced prejudices and thus we must leverage Open-Source to the fullest to create lasting regional peace & harmony in South Asia. We're keenly working towards creating a framework and pronounced impetus for open-content in Hamari Boli, which in turn will also hopefully inspire similar initiatives in other Desi languages. One loftiest long-term goal of the HB Initiative is a Hamari Boli Wikipedia :)
Indo-Pak conflict is the most explosive nuclear threat today. A major problem in bilateral relations is extremely negative sentiments among common-folk, largely due to establishment propaganda & lack of popular interaction. Cross border travel is a nightmare, due to state policies. Nonpolitical cross border P-to-P platforms are vital to enable maximum people interact freely. The Open-Source approach will also enable large-scale People-to-People Communication and Collaboration. Better public acquaintance will result in reduced negative sentiments & reduced support for militarism.
Serving as the platform, the larger Hamari Boli Initiative will set the stage for Opensource Curricula and Textbooks in Hamari Boli. Most significantly, a Hamari Boli translation of English Wikipedia will be an invaluable source of neutral and objective scholarly info on any topic. Will arouse great competition –and thus communication-- from all sides which will ultimately result in premium quality encyclopedic content in Hamari Boli, replicated in other regional languages as well.
- Main article: English / Vernacular Medium Apartheid in South Asia ,
- Main article: Open Desi Initiative
Worst victim of the unholy divide is the public education system, particularly in North India & Pakistan, where on one hand, the ruling elite have deliberately kept Hindi and Urdu -and all other regional languages- fossilized in the name of faux nationalism and on the other, created 'several' parallel English-medium schooling systems that ensure that the best positions always go to the elite, middle order to middle-class and only lower level to Hindi/Urdu medium masses..
Any attempts at reform and modernization are always frowned upon, with zealots going as far as denouncing any efforts as anti-national and thus Hindi and Urdu are condemned to remain forever stunted and identified with social and economic backwardness. The hegemony is so pervasive that even private initiatives, where there can be no establishment influence are marred by linguistic chauvinism of Hindi and Urdu zealots. Hindi and Urdu Wikipedias are live evidence of what is being done with Hindi and Urdu, both use some alien language that nobody speaks! being a voluntary undertaking, Wikipedia relies on the good sense of the language community. in case of Hindi and Urdu, the conditioning has been so effective that the very people that should be changing things have self-appointed themselves as defenders of status-quo. What good is an encyclopedia if no one can understand it? The same thing that happened to our text books is now happening to open-source, both Hindi and Urdu Wikipedias are largely advertising the 'Official Story' instead of dispassionate objective truth that is the Wiki standard. This is like an absolute mockery of the open-knowledge idea!
We are of the opinion that the politically motivated division of The Hindustani Language as Hindi & Urdu was an epic injustice and disservice to the language and 1Billion+ speakers.The deliberate disseverance of literary canon, forced sanskritization and persianization, super-enforced with extreme digraphia has on one hand resulted in depriving the speakers of almost half of their very own linguistic heritage and on the other excerbated anti Hindi-Urdu sentiments in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan! Reuniting and rebranding Hindi-Urdu as Hamari Boli will also help assert its neutral, shared & inclusive lingua franca status and will hopefully lead to reducing the anti Hindi-Urdu sentiment.
We believe that the artificial Hindi-Urdu divide is detrimental to greater South Asian interest as it severely limits the reach and accessibility of the language. The peculiar brands of Hindi and Urdu (the so-called 'Standard') manufactured as national languages in India and Pakistan since partition are patently un-natural as they do not represent the language as it is held by the people but are solely based on the establishments' ideal of the national language. The interest of the people will be far better served if the efforts and money being wasted on addressing either of the two scripts are invested in creating and promoting content accessible to all Hindi-Urdu speakers alike. Testimony to the argument is the fact that both 'Official Hindi' and 'Official Urdu' can only be found in text books and official speeches. Popular Hindi-Urdu is essentially the same (except for the script) across India & Pakistan (and among the worldwide Desi diaspora) and that is what we call Hamari Boli, the lingua franca of the Desi People!
South Asia is home to 1.7Billion Desis and 400+ regional languages, written using 16+ distinct writing systems. Just like Mandarin, Hamari Boli is the most widely spoken and used language in the Indo-Pak subcontinent and With 1Billion+ speakers worldwide, ranks only 2nd to Mandarin. Just as Arabic is the language of the Arab World, Hamari Boli is the lingua franca of the Desi World. Not just Indo-Pak but entire South Asia indeed i.e. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Srilanka, Afghanistan and the 50Mn+ Desi Diaspora worldwide. The very name "Hamari Boli" (Our Langauge) is neither Shudh Hindi nor Saaf Urdu and brings an air of familiarity for all desis and reinforces the idea of it being "The Desi Lingua Franca".
In light of the above, Hamari Boli undeniably deserves being adopted as the 7th Official UN Language. We're petitioning the UN in this regard, undertaking and offering full assistance in terms of funds and all the many project needs.