Academic Materials on Hinduism in Urdu: A Thematic Bibliography
Keywords:Hinduism, Academic Sources, Urdu, Bibliography, Indian Subcontinent, Religious Literature, Hindu-Muslim Relations, Identity
Three types of academic sources are crucial for understanding the Hindu tradition in our times: a) scriptures and the classical texts that are available mostly in Sanskrit b) works in the English language produced by orientalists, religious studies scholars, and some modern Hindu religious leaders themselves, and c) writings of colonial/post-colonial Hindu and Muslim scholars on Hinduism in Hindi/Urdu language that is understood by a vast majority of the population in South Asia. Many Hindu authors used to write on their religion in Urdu using the Perso-Arabic script in colonial India. Similarly, some Muslim authors also produced scholarly works on Hinduism in Urdu, which could open up better Hindu-Muslim understanding. However, Urdu ceased to be the medium of such writings when religion and language surfaced as two vital factors in national identity constructions in the changing sociopolitical milieu, a process through which the Urdu language became associated with Muslim culture and religion. As a result, the number of Urdu works on Hinduism decreased sharply after British India's partition along religious lines. Nevertheless, this body of Urdu literature is an essential part of the history of modern Hinduism. Keeping this in view, we have produced a comprehensive thematic bibliography of Urdu works on Hinduism, including books, dissertations, and journal articles, which would help preserve the history of the indigenous study of Hinduism in modern times.