Across the divide: Looking for the common ground of Hindustani

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Lunn, David (2018)

This article investigates some of the institutional and poetic practices around the idea of Hindustani in the period 1900–47. It charts the establishment of the Hindustani Academy in 1927, and explores some of its publishing activities as it attempted to make a positive institutional intervention in the Hindi-Urdu debate and cultural field more broadly. It then considers some aspects of poetic production in literary journals, including those associated with the Academy. Ultimately, it is an attempt to explore the grey areas that existed between Hindi/Hindu and Urdu/Muslim in the pre-Independence decades, and to make the case for studying the literature of both traditions simultaneously, along with emphasizing that attempts at compromise—including the perennially contested term ‘Hindustani’ itself—must be taken on their own terms.
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