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February 23, 2016
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Unique linguistic art book launched

Islamabad

February 23, 2016

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Islamabad

A unique linguistic-cum-calligraphic art book, ‘Samrup Rachna’ — Calligraphic Expression of Apni Boli [Hindi-Urdu], was launched at the Mother Languages Literature Festival at the Lok Virsa.

An expression of immense love with Hindi and Urdu, called ‘Apni Boli’, by author Dr. Syed Mohammed Anwer, the book contains over 60 visual impressions of words with cultural connotations created out of the Hindi Devanagari script and the Urdu Nastaliq script.

Beautifully presented in hardback form the book is as much a socio-political comment as a coffee table art book. Dr. Anwer learnt the Devanagari script from his mother. The two scripts are essentially “the same language, written differently” as explained by the artist’s mother.

The purpose of the book is to focus on the fact that irrespective of how the language is written, it is still ‘apni boli’, with the caveat that our inability to understand the other half of our own language renders us all half illiterate. 

Another purpose of the book is to highlight the fact that association of any language or its script with any particular religion is a fundamental mistake. Language has no religion. 

The book can also be used as ‘easy-to-learn’ book for the ‘other’ script of ‘Apni Boli’ [Hindi-Urdu] by its speakers. 

With an almost identical spoken language, Samrup Rachna is a critical step to encourage people on both sides of the border to acknowledge the similarities and to take steps to understand both scripts.

The linguistic scriptural divide reflects the schisms between the people. It is fascinating that a language that when spoken is comprehensible to Indians and Pakistanis becomes completely illegible to one group when written in either script.

Dr. Anwer says, “My interest in calligraphy of the scripts of my own language (‘Apni Boli’), initiated in childhood, led to the study of my own culture and society (‘Apna Samaj’), which culminated in an art form after so many decades. It was not a planned work or project, it just happened.

Dr. Anwer is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and is a PhD in law from International Islamic University, Islamabad.

The polymath is also an active member of the civil society and has remained elected President of Islamabad Bar Association. He has also written books on human rights, women’s emancipation and other social issues.

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