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The Language of Secular IslamUrdu Nationalism and Colonial India$
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Kavita Datla

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836092

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836092.001.0001

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Secular Projects and Student Politics

Secular Projects and Student Politics

“Vande Mataram” in Hyderabad

(p.138) Chapter 5 Secular Projects and Student Politics
The Language of Secular Islam

Kavita Saraswathi Datla

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the Urdu language's position in relation to other vernacular languages by focusing on the first large-scale student protest at Osmania University that took place in 1938. It also considers how the claims of Urdu to national status in Hyderabad came increasingly to be questioned not by Hindi speakers but by the speakers of South Indian vernaculars, Telugu, Marathi, and Kannada. It asks whether the student protest, which began with students singing the “Vande Mataram” song and then reciting the “Vande Mataram” prayer on the campus of Osmania University, points to a failure of the language movement at the university; whether it was a Hindu protest aimed at a Muslim sovereign, or, alternatively, the beginnings of a secular movement toward independence. The chapter relates the student protest to these two common ways of understanding the “Vande Mataram” movement that emerged at Osmania University. It shows that the student protest was linked to the activities of national organizations such as the Hindu Mahasabha and the Arya Samaj.

Keywords:   student protest, Urdu language, Osmania University, Hyderabad, vernacular language, Vande Mataram movement, Hindu Mahasabha, Arya Samaj

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