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Hindi’s century-long struggle to be recognised over a more powerful Urdu

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In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Urdu was the predominant language in those areas of the subcontinent that are today called the ‘Hindi belt’.

In the years immediately following the Independence of India, the literary genius Sadaat Hasan Manto wrote a short fiction commenting on the strange language dispute that had been simmering since the earliest days of the freedom struggle. The Hindi vs Urdu debate appeared odd to Manto. He compared it to an imaginary debate over lemon-soda and lemon water. “Why are Hindus wasting their time supporting Hindi, and why are Muslims so beside themselves over the preservation of Urdu? A language is not made, it makes itself. And no amount of human effort can ever kill a language,” he noted in his story titled ‘Hindi aur Urdu’.

Why has a Delhi court asked Amazon to stop selling Rooh Afza made in Pakistan?

The current issue is about the rights over ‘Hamdard’, a name associated in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh with rooh afza, having common origins.

Delhi High Court has directed Amazon to remove the listing of a drink manufactured by a Pakistani company under the name “Rooh Afza” from its platform in India.The order, passed on September 7, came on a plea filed by the Indian social welfare NGO Hamdard National Foundation saying some of the “Rooh Afza” listed on the e-commerce site in India are not manufactured by Hamdard Laboratories (India), but by Pakistani companies whose details are not mentioned on the packaging. The Rooh Afza sherbet concentrate, a Unani formulation containing ingredients that are believed to have cooling properties, has long been popular in North India during summer. It is said to have been invented in Delhi in the first decade of the 20th century as a cure for the summer heat. The court said: “‘Rooh Afza’ is a product which has been consumed by the Indian public for more than a century now, and its quality standards have to comply with the applicable regulations prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards Act and Legal Metrology Act. It is surprising that an imported product is being sold on Amazon without complete details of the manufacturer being disclosed.” One of the manufacturers whose product was being sold on Amazon was Hamdard Laboratory (Waqf), Pakistan. The manufacturer says on its website that Hamdard Pakistan was founded in Karachi “in a two-room rented clinic of Tibb-e-Unani in 1948” by Hakim Mohammed Said, under whose leadership “Hamdard soon became a success story with its respected and well-liked products, especially Rooh Afza syrup and effective herbal medicines”.

The origin of Rooh Afza

Rooh afza is a deep pink-coloured, sweet, concentrated syrup made of fruits, roses, and herbs that is typically added to chilled water or milk, or used to flavour desserts such as phirni and falooda. Its consumption is often associated with Eid gatherings in the subcontinent, where the iftar meal for breaking the fast includes a variety of dishes and often, Rooh Afza.

Goa: 8 Congress MLAs set to defect to BJP, reach Assembly complex

The defection of these MLAs would leave three MLAs in Congress and seven in Opposition parties.

Eight of the 11 MLAs from the Congress in Goa Wednesday reached the Legislative Assembly complex and are set to resign from the party after keeping the defection pot simmering for about two months. Congress MLAs, including former chief minister Digambar Kamat, leader of Opposition Micheal Lobo, his wife Delilah Lobo, and five other MLAs were set to “merge” the Congress legislature party with the BJP, said political sources. The other Congress MLAs, who reached the Goa Assembly, are Kedar Naik, Rudolfo Fernandes, former Goa power minister Aleixo Sequeira, Rajesh Phal Dessai, and Sankalp Amonkar. In 2019, 10 Congress MLAs and two legislators from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) had similarly merged their legislature parties with the BJP. With the “merger” of the Congress’s legislature party with the BJP, the ruling party in the coastal state would then have 33 of 40 MLAs—including 20 who won the assembly election from the BJP, two from MGP and three Independents who extended support to it to form the government in March.

11 killed, 25 injured as bus falls into gorge in Jammu and Kashmir

At least 11 people were killed and 25 were injured after a bus they were travelling in met with an accident in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch, ANI reported. The bus reportedly skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge. Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha announced ₹5 lakh each for the family members of the deceased.

Medical student helps pregnant woman deliver baby on Duronto Express

A 28-year-old pregnant woman went into labour while travelling on Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Duronto Express on Tuesday. A final year student of Visakhapatnam’s GITAM medical college, K Swathi Reddy, who was also on board the train, helped the woman deliver the baby. Reddy said she was worried as it was the first delivery that she performed on her own.

I’d have picked Shami, Umran and Shubman for 2022 T20 WC: Vengsarkar

Ex-Team India chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has said he would have picked Mohammad Shami, Umran Malik and Shubman Gill for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. “The express pace of Shami is missing. If you see Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, they’re not express. The only bowler who has got that pace is Jasprit Bumrah,” added Vengsarkar.

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