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Gandhi called opposing Urdu ‘bad manners of Pak’

London, June 29
In a letter written 19 days before his death, Mahatma Gandhi had admonished those who were opposing Urdu, asking them not to copy "the bad manners of Pakistan with a vengeance" while advocating that it should be jointly recognised with Devanagari as national scripts.

In the letter, a rare manuscript that will go under hammer at Christie's in London on July 3, Gandhi said opposing Urdu will "put a wanton affront" on the Muslims, who "in the eyes of Hindus have become aliens in their own land".

Writing in his journal 'Harijan' on January 11, 1948, Gandhi, who appeared disturbed with the dwindling circulation of its Urdu edition, said in the letter that it is likely to be stopped.

Praising Urdu, which he said "is set free from bondage of orthodoxy", he asserted that those who learn it will "lose nothing but gain". At the same time he urged Muslims to learn Devanagari to "enrich their intellectual" capital and subscribe to his journal. — PTI

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