Urdu literature has, since its inception, attracted attention due to its long and vibrant history, that is perpetually tied to the evolution of that very language, Urdu, in which it is penned. While the language tends to be profoundly overshadowed by poetry, the array of expression attained in the copious annals of a few significant verse forms, especially the ghazal and nazm (an Urdu poetic form that is usually scripted in rhymed verse), has led to its continual development and growth into other styles of writing, including that of the short story, or afsana. Urdu literature today commands foremost popularity in the eastern countries of India and Pakistan, also generating interest in far-off lands overseas.
Urdu literature may be said to unearth its time of origin some time around the 14th century in India, within the arena of classy and refined aristocracy of Persian courts. The presence of Muslim aristocracy in a predominating Hindu India, which being clearly manifested, did not so sweepingly dictate the consciousness of the Urdu poet as much as did the persisting traditions of Islam and Persia. The very colour of the Urdu language, with a lexicon virtually uniformly divided between Sanskrit-derived Prakrit and Arabo-Persian words, was a reflection of the inventiveness of cultural incorporation. Yet, there could still be witnessed the doggedness on retaining what was crème de la crème and most beautiful about the lands of Afghanistan and Persia; which significantly had overridden the phenomena of evolvement of Urdu literature.
If looked into closely and in a well-researched manner, Urdu literature indeed had begun its first step from the overshadow of the Persian invasions and their consequent permanent stay-back in India. The Persians had, incidentally, comes into India at such a time, when India was out-and-out dominated by Hinduism, Hindu customs, rituals and Hindutva from every nook and corner. As such, ancient Indian literature was basically restricted and exclusive for the high-classed and religiously zealous men of the Brahmin caste and creed. Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit had dominated the erudite class of Brahmins, which was horrifically shaken to its bone when the Islamic encroached upon India with their fashion of ruling and of course, literature. The Muslim rulers virtually had made Sanskrit walk onto the path of extinction, with the eclipsing replacement of ancient Hindu languages with Urdu literature and language.
After the advent of the series of Muslim rulers and their dynasty of royalties, Urdu literature was gradually given a distinct version with dollops of Persian influence, which gradually was darkened by the Indianised version of the Urdu dialect, all courtesy being accredited to the Mughal Empire. However, evolvement of Urdu literature in India can be divided into three fundamental categories, comprising: Ancient Period in Urdu Literature, Medieval Period in Urdu Literature and, Modern Period in Urdu Literature.
(Last Updated on : 14-02-2013)