Category: English


K.Gajendra Singh


1. The term Hindustan has been used consciously so as to include Pakistan in it, by which name

the Sub-continent was known before its partition in 1947. This paper concentrates mainly on

languages as spoken by the masses, with their natural variations and not so much the written and

the literary forms. We will consider the two major languages, Hindi and Urdu, which are widely

spoken in Hindustan , although claims have been made that Urdu evolved out of Hindi and that

Hindi is only Urdu written in Devanagari script. But the fact of the matter is that both Urdu and

Hindi have evolved from the same colloquial base of Hindustani which was the lingua franca of

Hindustan till its partition. As the well- known scholar and outspoken historian Khushwant

Singh says, since then the Indians have made Hindi more Sanskritised and Pakistanis Urdu more

Persianised, with the result that it is difficult for a common man to understand either Hindi or

Urdu, specially their Radio and TV broadcasts. However, in spite of politically motivated and

necessary corrective measures which new ruling elites usher in to change the complexion of the

official language, if not the language itself, as has happened both in India as well as in Pakistan ,

the lingua-franca spoken by the common man in Hindustan , specially those who are illiterate or

semi-literate has not changed that much since 1947. The best proof of this is the language

employed in Hindustani films made in Bombay ( India ) which really represents the spoken

language of the masses in most of India , and which also remains equally popular in Pakistan .

Whenever the film language became too Sanskritised, the films have not been very popular. At

the same time, when a film on ‘Razia’ (a Turkish Queen of Delhi ) utilised too Persianised Urdu,

its lack of popularity could in some ways be attributed to the difficulty of the masses in

understanding it. Hindustani with its vast vocabulary, form and literary variety provides the lyric

and dialogue writer all the richness, elegance and nuances to express himself. Incidentally,

according to Encyclopedia Britannica (1990 Edition), more than 35 million Indians declared

Urdu as their mother-tongue while in Pakistan the number was less than one- fifth i.e. 6.7

million. (The compilation is old and estimates conservative.) Various forms of Hindustani are

spoken or understood by over 70% of Indian population. The Bombay films have played a major

role in spreading Hindustani in non-Hindi/Urdu speaking areas of South India and North-East.


2. The name Hindustani written as Hindoostanee was coined by an Englishman, Mr. J. B.

Gilchrist (1759-1841), who was the first President of the Fort Christian College , Calcutta which

trained British Civil Servants for service in India . Mr. Gilchrist also wrote a dictionary of

Hindustani and its grammar. As mentioned earlier, from Hindustani have emerged two literary

languages, Hindi in Devanagari script with literary and vocabulary borrowings from Sanskrit

and Urdu in modified Arabic script with borrowings from Persian. Hindustani is much older

form than Hindi or Urdu and many times it referred rather to the region and not so much to the

race or religion. As a matter of fact before the advent of Muslims and others in India , the

languages spoken in Hindustan were known as various Bhashas or Bakhas. Hindustani evolved

out of a score of dialects which are inter-related among themselves and to it. Some of these

dialects and languages are Hindwi, Khariboli, Brij Bhasha, Awadhi, Bagheli, Chhatisgari,

Bundeli, Kanauji, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Gujari, Rajsthani and when it was spoken in South it was

known as Deccani That these languages are dialects of Hindi as claimed by some is not strictly

true. Brij Bhasha was an important literary medium in 15th to 17th century. Both Brij Bhasha

and many other dialects are genetically of different Prakritic origin than Khariboli. All earlier

Hindi literature is in dialects other than Khariboli which became standardised and popular by

the end of the 17th century and language of literature only in 19th century. Brij Bhasha continued

as a medium of poetry till late 19th century. Thus, strictly speaking, the language of modern

Hindi literature is different from that employed in earlier period. The same can be said about the

Urdu which came to be written in the present form from 19th century onwards, although Urdu

poerty flourished much earlier.


3. Turkish language was under the influence of Persian language for centuries  One of the earlier writers of Hindustani was Amir Khusarao (1253 – 1325) a remarkable scholar of Persian and Arabic but of Turkish origin. He is claimed both by the Hindi as well as

Urdu protagonists. His dictionary, Khaliq-bari, in verse, of, Persian, Arabic and Hindi words

helped spread Persian and Arabic words and development of Hindustani. In recent times,

writers like Premchand have been claimed both by Hindi protagonists as well as Urdu

spokesmen. The only difference was that the same writer wrote some times in modified Arabic

(Persian) script and some times in Devanagari script. In this paper we would use the word

Hindustani to include Hindi, Urdu and the other forms like Khariboli, Hindvi, etc.


4. The general perception is that Hindustani and its earlier forms evolved out of interaction,

since 11th century AD, between persian  speaking Muslim invaders, rulers, traders and religious men and others

who had come and settled in Hindustan from the north-west and the local Indian population.

Persian was then the language brought by sophisticated Muslim ruling elite from abroad, which

was used for administration, courtly intercourse, etc.

یکی از زرّین‌ترین برگ‌های فتوحاتِ نادرشاه اَفشار

Nader Shah Iranin turkic ruler  in Indian war

Thus the main interaction was between Persian and the Apbhramsa variation of Prakrit in North and West India , in particular the

Suraseni variety spoken around Delhi and later with the Dravidian languages in Deccan , out of

which Hindustani evolved and developed slowly and unevenly. Many of the books on the

evolution and development of Hindustani were written by the Englishmen in 18th/ 19th century,

who learnt and used it for administration as officers of the East India Company and the British

Empire. It is doubtful if any of them knew Turkish as by the time they arrived on the scene, the

pre-ponderence of Persian during the latter stages of Mughal empire was well established,

although some Turkish was still taught in some Medrasas and households. Persian and Arabic

continued to be taught at universities and schools during the British rule.

Shimla In5Jul2013  (43)

Therefore, no credit at all except for some vocabulary is given to Turkish languages in the history of development of

Urdu, Hindi or Hindustani. It is, of course, conceded that the word Urdu (Ordu in Turkish) itself

is of Turkish origin and it means army or military establishment, which was inducted into

Persian by Il -Khanid historians and accepted in India by Sayyed ruler Khizr Khan for use by

his army and the Court, under the Timurid influence. By 17th century, during the Mughal rule, the

term, Urdu was generally applied to the imperial camp. The language Urdu/Lashkar

Bhasha/Hindustani perhaps started developing seriously as a means of communication from

end-12th century AD between the incoming Muslim rulers, soldiers, traders etc. and local

population, for use in administration, for trading with native shop-keepers, in harems, where

women and attendants were mostly of Hindustani origin. While Turks yielded to Persian words

in matters of administration, poetry and social intercourse, they retained many Turkish words for

military titles, weapons, military commands and organisations. Turkish derivations also exist in

the hunt and hunting, also in terms expressing relationships and conduct in court among the ruling

classes. We must not overlook the role played by Sufi saints in spreading Islam among the

masses by using the new evolving Hindustani. Even today, tombs of Sufi saints are revered

equally among Hindus. The objective of the paper is to advance the view that the Turkic

languages apart from vocabulary, have contributed much more than is acknowledged, both in the

basic structure as well as in the development of Hindustani languages.


5. The vast stretch of area comprising Central Asia , Iran , Afghanistan , north-west Hindustan ,

Anatolian Turkey, Northern Iraq etc. has seen intermingling of various races, cultures and

languages throughout history. At least since the days of Mauryan Empire in India (4th century

BC) many rulers with their capital in Hindustan had Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia in

their domains. Therefore, the language of these rulers and their religion spread into Afghanistan ,

Central Asia and Eastern Iran . Mauryan Emperor Ashoka and others sent Buddhist preachers up

to Central Asia and many of the tribes there became Buddhists. Turkic tribes like Sakas,

Kushanas, when they settled on India ‘s borders and inside it also adopted languages and

religions of Hindustan . They also adopted Indian scripts which were also transferred to Central

Asia, specially Eastern Turkistan . The way for exchanges was well-known, through the valley of

Kabul river, Peshawar , Jalalabad and through well known routes to Tarim basin. As a matter of

fact this area provided links for commercial, cultural and political exchanges between China on

one hand and India , Central Asia and Western Asia on the other, where intermingling of people

with diverse culture, race, ethnicity, religion such as Indians, Turks and others took place. In this

area, Budhist stupas and shrines, a large number of Bhudhist writings in Prakrit and writings in

Sanskrit as well as in local languages of Central Asia , in Indian scripts like Brahmi and

Devanagari have been discovered, apart from a large number of secular documents, written on

wooden tablets, leather, paper and silk. There are also translations from Sanskrit in Kharosti

script. Translations include astronomical and medicinal subjects. Documents discovered in 10th

& 11th century from Turfan region which can be seen in Berlin cover subjects like medicines &

calendar based on Indian sources. Of course, the Turkish in these documents is quite different

from the present day Turkic languages (Uighur and Cagtai group) spoken in Eastern Turkistan i.e

Kazakhstan, Kyrghystan , Uzbekistan and the Sinkiang region of China . As many philosophical,

spiritual and religious terms of Bhudhism and even Hinduism did not exist, they were inducted

from Pali & Sanskrit into Turkish. Thus Turkish acquired many words of Pali and Sanskrit

origin, some of which have even gone into other languages; Ratan becoming Ardhani is an

example. An example how words change is illustrated from the Budhist word Dhyan

(meditation), which became Jhan in Chinese and Zen in Japanese.


6. Although the influence of the Turkic languages on Indian languages began in all seriousness

from 11th century AD onwards to which we will come to later, various Turkic tribes began their

interaction with Hindustan much earlier than that. After the collapse of Mauryan Empire in 3rd

century BC, a number of Central Asian Turkic tribes, and others like Sakas in India and Scythians in

West, came to Hindustan and settled down there. Sakas were actually forced towards Hindustan

by Central Asian tribes, Yueh-chih, who also later entered Hindustan . Sakas ruled from Mathura

(South East of Delhi) and their well-known Kings in 1st century BC were Rajuvala and Sodasa.

They then shifted west to Rajasthan and Malwa. Yueh-chih’s chief, Kujula-kara Kadphises

conquered North India in 1st century AD. He was succeeded by his son Vima, after whom came

famous Kanishka. Kanishka’s tribe is known as Khushanas in Indian history. Their kingdom

based with Peshawar as capital extended as far as Sanchi in Central India and Varanasi in East

and also included large parts of Central Asia . Not surprisingly, administrative and political

terms from north and west India influenced similar terms in Central Asia . Kushanas became

Budhists and Kanishka spread this religion in Central Asia and elsewhere.


Other major tribe which entered later in 6th Century AD were Huns, a branch of Hephthalis or white Huns, whose first king came to be known as Toramana in early 6th century and whose son Mihirakula was a patron of Shavism, a branch of Hinduism. It has been said that these and other tribes which had

come earlier moved into Western and Central India i.e. in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Western

Madhya Pradesh, especially after the break-up of the Gupta Empire. Many historians claim that

by virtue of their valour and other qualities, these tribes were able to get themselves

incorporated into the hierarchy of the Hindu caste system i.e. Khatriyas and are known as

Rajputs (sons of Kings). It is no wonder that the Mongols and other Turkic speaking people

were able to form relationships with Rajputs so very easily.

Persian poem in Delhi mosque


It is possible that some words of Turkic languages might have been then absorbed in dialects or languages spoken in Rajasthan,

Gujarat and Central India , where these tribes settled. A common word is ‘kara’ which in Turkish

means ‘black’ and used for the same colour in West India and as ‘Kala’ in the rest of the country.

It is a moot point whether the word ‘bai’ which is written in Turkish as ‘baci’ and pronounced as

‘baji’ which means sister or elder woman has persisted from those days. But it was in areas of

Rajasthan and nearby, closer to Delhi where the seeds for the development of Hindustani

languages were sown.


7. After the expansion of Islam into Iran this religion soon spread to Central Asia . The Turks as

they advanced towards Anatolia and Hindustan via Iran and Afghanistan were also Islamised.

Being a simple but hardy people from the Eurasian steppes, where life was austere and without

frills, once the Turks acquired kingdoms, they also acquired along with it symbols and ways of

culture and civilisation, including the use of more sophisticated Persian (and Arabic), the

language of the people they conquered. (To begin with Omayands had also taken over Byzantine

system lock stock and barrel in Damascus ). It is noteworthy that except in Central Asia , which

remains the home of Turks and Anatolia i.e. Republic of Turkey (and Azeri areas), in most of the

other areas they ruled, the Turks adopted the language of the ruled, albeit they introduced some

of their own vocabulary and influenced the grammar of the language of their subjects.


8. In the medieval history of Hindustan , the Turkic tribes played a major role among the Muslim

conquers and rulers who came and made India their home. The Turkic raids began in the first

half of 11th century starting with Sabuktgin and the process of establishment of their kingdoms in

North & West of Hindustan started from late 12th century. Although Sindh was conquered by the

Arabs, soon after the establishment of the Abbassid Khalifate in 8th Century AD, this played

directly only a marginal role in influencing the culture and civilisation of Hindustan . It is

interesting that in Malayalam (language of Kerala), Hindustani is known as Tuluk Bhasha and the

word Tulukan used for Muslims and Tulukachi for Muslim woman. The languages spoken by the

people of Turkey is called Tuluk Bhasha. This is interesting because the relations between the

Kerala coast and the Arab world predate Islam and there has been constant interaction between

the Malabar coast of Kerala and the Arab world but still the word for a Muslim is Tulukan.


9. The impact and embedding of Islam and Islamic and Turkish culture into Hindustan took place

during the Turco-Afghan period of India ‘s history from end-12th century to early l6th century

(and continued during the Mughal period). Even if some of the Sultans and rulers claimed

Arabic or Afghan descent, the majority of the elite consisted of people of Turkic & Turanian

origins ( not many of these tribes and individuals came from the Rumi Seljuk or Ottoman

territories.) Many of them came as simple soldiers and some period chieftains. From the very

early days of the Islamic history (second half of Abbassid period), many non-Turkish kings and

Sultans maintained Turkish households of slaves brought over from Central Asia which

provided them loyal soldiers and military leaders. Many of them rose by hard work and merit

and reached the top ranks of the ruling elite and King makers. Some even became Sultans.


10. Some of the prominent names of Turkish rulers in Hindustan are Mahmud of Ghazni,

Muhammad Gori, Kutubuddin Aybak, Iltutmish, Balban, and of course, Khiljis (known as

Halach, in Turkish kh becomes h) and Tughlaks. According to some estimates, the Turks

comprised up to 60% or more of the ruling elite during the medieval period of Indian history. It

should also be noted that Timurid King, Babar, founder of the Mughal dynasty, was a Cagtai

Turk and wrote his Babarname in Cagtai and not in Persian. So did his sons Humayun and

Kamran write poetry in Turkish. However, by the time of Akbar’s reign the percentage of Turkish

chieftains in the ruling elite had been reduced to one-fourth. It was a conscious political

decision, as Turks and specially Mongols, nomad by life style, are more independent by nature

and believe in equality and freedom. The Turanian/Mongolian concept of ruler ship is vested in

the family and not in an individual. Humayun and Akbar had great trouble in subduing and

disciplining their Turanian/Mongol origin nobles. Preference was given to Persians, Afghans &



11. It has been rightly claimed by many scholars in South India that a considerable process of

development and even preservation of Hindustani took place in Deccan where it came to be

known as Deccani, although the seeds of the birth of the language had been sown in North India

from where it was taken to Deccan by Muslims conquers starting with Turkish Khilji (Halac)

rulers and later Tughlak (again Turkish) rulers; Muhammed Tughlak even shifted his capital to

the South for some time. Later a large number of kingdoms by Turkic tribes, in which they

formed a fairly large proportion of the elite, were established in South India , i.e Bijapur,

Golcunda, etc. When Allaudin Khilji conquered Deccan , the appointed Turks as chiefs for each

villa e to look after its security, safety and administration. Most of them called their relatives to

assist them. Thus both in the beginning of the evolution of Hindustani in the North and later in its

further development in Deccan , a majority of the elite was of Turkic origin who while using

Persian for administration must have used Turkish at inter-personal level and thus helped

continue evolution of Hindustani in its various forms. The Deccani period also saw influx into

Hindustani of not only Dravadian words but also its influence on its grammar and syntax and

vice versa. We might even say that the Deccani period probably saved Hindustani from

becoming totally Persianised as perhaps happened to it at many places in North India ,


12. It has been estimated that Hindustani and Turkish have thousands of words in common,

mostly from Persian and Arabic, Some estimates put them around three to four thousand, with

over five to six hundred words of Turkish origin in Hindustani. The comparison is basically

with the Republic of Turkey ‘s Turkish (of Oguz family), which since 1930s has been purged of

many Arabic and Persian words. Perhaps the number of common words between Hindustani and

Turkish as spoken in East, i.e. Uzbekistan and East (Uighur and Cagtai family) could, perhaps,

be more. Some examples of Turkish(some may be persian) words in Hindustani are: Top, Tamancha, Barood, Nishan,

Chaku, Bahadur, Begum, Bulak, Chadar, Chhatri, Chakachak, chikin (embroidery), Chamcha,

Chechek, Dag, Surma, Bavarchi, Khazanchi, Bakshi (accountant), Coolie, Kanat, Kiyma, Kulcha,

Korma, Kotwal, Daroga, Koka, Kenchi, Naukar, etc. Obviously, the number of Turkigh words in

Hindustani is not as large as that of Persian and Arabic, because, the latter was the language of

the Holy Koran (although Seljuk Turk rulers in Asia Minor and Iran had discouraged use of

Arabic except for religion), which exercised influence over all believers and the former was the

language of administration and aristocracy. 


13. Hindustani has surprising similarity in Grammar and Syntax structure with Turkish, though

origins of both the languages are from different language families. For example, normally both in

Hindustani and in Turkish first comes the subject, then the object etc. and finally tie verb, i.e.

SOV order unless emphasis is to be given, with somewhat similar stem endings. There are

considerable resemblances in the declensions of the verb in Turkish and Hindustani. But,

Turkish has only one gender while Hindustani has two. As I know some Arabic, I can say that

there appears no similarity at all between Hindustani and Arabic syntax and grammar. I know

little Sanskrit or Persian grammar, but both languages belong to the same family of Indo-Iranian

group and my feeling is that their syntax is also closer to Hindustani. While Persian like Turkish

has one gender, Sanskrit has three, i.e. male, female and neuter. Sanskrit also allows more

flexibility in the placing of subject, object, etc. It may be admitted that human beings while

evolving speech patterns did not have much choice in shuffling subject, object, verb, etc. Still

that Sanskrit/Persian syntax is somewhat similar to Turkish, is a somewhat strange coincidence,

the latter belonging to the Ural-Altay group of languages. With Hindustani the similarity is

further accentuated. It may also be noted that the areas from where Turkish and Indo-European

languages emerged in Central Asia were not far from each other. Some similarities with Sanskrit

are: dvihyrdaya (carrying two hearts, pregnant), in Turkish “iki canli” means, the same, two

lives. In Hindi/Sanskrit, we have Chitrakar (painter) , Murtikar  in Persian Negar kar. In Turkish we have “Sanatkar”

(Artist), Curetkar (courageous). Sun in Sanskrit/Hindi is Dinesha, while in Turkish it is

“Gunes.” First segment in both “din” and “gun” means day – perhaps linked with sunrise in cold

climate. We may also note that the syntax of Germanic languages is quite different from Sanskrit

and Persian, which are supposed to belong to the same family of Indo-European languages. We

may now look at more similarities between Hindustani and Turkish. (Please note that in Turkish

C is pronounced as J and C as Ch, G is silent when placed between vowels, which it

accentuates. H: stands for Hindustani and T: for Turkish.)


14. There are no articles or declensions in Turkish or Hindustani; the relationship of the words

are expressed through ‘case endings’ as well as post-positions. (It would be interesting to study

if Turkish helped speedy change-over from declensions to post-positions from Apbhramsh to

Hindustani). The infinite noun functions as nominative and as indefinite. The accusative has thus

two forms: the definite (with accusative ending) and the indefinite (the same as the nominative).

Thus, “call a girl” – H: “ek larki bulao” T: “bir kiz çagir” but “call my servant”, H: “mere naukar

ko bulao”- T: “Benim hizmetciyi çagir”. The word order in Turkish and Hindustani is same

(This is also so in the following examples).


15. The genitive comes before the agent e.g. ‘the son of the teacher’ T: ‘ustanin oglu’ H: ‘ustad ka

beta’. The genitive also expresses possession: ‘whose house is this?’ T. “Bu ev kimindir?”, H:

‘Woh ghar kiska hai?’. If a noun is in present, it goes into the genitive. It must therefore be

constructed as: ‘the man(he) has a house’, T: “Adamin bir evi var”, H: “Adami ka ek ghar hai”.

Also ‘to have’ as incidental possession is similarly expressed: “I have a book”, T: ‘Ben de bir

kitab var’, H: ‘mere pas ek kitab hai’. The ablative is also used to express the comparative case:

‘the elephant is larger than the horse’ T: ‘Fil attan buyuktur’, H: ‘Hathi ghore se bara hai’. For

emphasis both languages use the Arabic adverb ‘ziada’ – for more. ‘In addition it can be rendered

as in T: ‘daha’ or in H: ‘bhi’. The adjective is before the active or passive voice and does not

change except in the case of (in H) adjectives ending with a. “The/a good girl, T: “iyi kiz”, H:

Achhi lardki”. The adjective can be strengthened in both languages through simple repetition as

well as through the adverb “very much ” T:( pek çok); H:( bahut).In H:’ Ahista ahista’ (slowly),

T:’ yavas yavas’. Quickly becomes, T: “çabuk çabuk”, H: ‘Jaldi Jaldi'( not used in Arabic and

Sanskrit perhaps). Sometimes alliteration is used, for example, H: ‘ulta multa’ mixed up. The

alliterations are found especially in the passive or active voice (substantive) e.g.;. H: “kitab

mitab” – books and suchlike and “bartan wartan”- dishes and suchlike, “Hara bhara”(Green),

“Chota mota”(small). In Turkish, ‘kötu mötu’ (so-so), ‘çocuk mocuk'(children etc), ‘tabak mabak’,

(plates and suchlike). Popular in both languages are doubled substantives: Turn by turn or “again

and again”, becomes in T: “dizi dizi” and in H: ‘ bari bari ‘.


16. Distributive are also thus expressed: “each man”, T: “bir bir (or tek tek) adam,” H: “ek ek

adami”, the interrogative further contains the meaning of the indefinite: “whoever”, T: “kim kim”,

H: “jo jo”. With number it is, T: “iki defa” H: “do dafa” (twice); 40 doors, in H: “Chalis

darwaza”, T: kirk kapi. In both languages numbers are preferably expressed without ‘and/or’ e.g.

‘five or ten’, H: panch das, T: bes on. Post positions are characteristic in both languages; ‘for the

dog’in H: ‘kutte ke vaste’, T: ‘köpek için’; and towards the house’, H: ‘ghar ke taraf’, T: ‘evin

tarafina’. As mentioned earlier, the verb is always found at the end of the sentence. The normal

sentence structure SOV is illustrated as follows: ‘I give this thick book with pleasure to that

good child’, T: ben sevincle, o iyi çocuga bu kalin kitabi veriyorum, H: ‘main khushi se us achhe

bacche ko yeh moti kitab deta hun’. In Turkish, verbs are often used with a Substantive or

Participle e.g. ‘etmek’ to make and ‘olmak’ to be, in H: ‘karna’- to do, and ‘hona’ -being. For

‘search’ T: ‘telaÿ etmek’, H: ‘talas karna’. Or ‘be present’, T: ‘dahil olmak’ H: ‘dakhil hona’.

Factual verbs are also similarly constructed. H: ‘bana’ (made), ‘banana’ (make), ‘banwana’ ( have

it made); in T: ‘Yapmak’ (make), ‘yaptirmak'( have it made), ;yapilmak'(to bo made); H:

‘Badalna'(to change oneself), ‘badlana'(changing), badalwana (to have it changed) becomes in T:

‘degismek’ (to change onself), ‘degistirmek’ (to change) and ‘degistirtmek (to have it changed).


17. Indirect speech is made direct ‘tell him to come here’, H: ‘Idhar ao usko bolo’, T: ‘buraya

gelsin diye ona söyleyin’. The verb root ending – ip in Turkish and the simple verb root in

Hindustani attached to the principal verb show the order of occurrence of an event. For example,

‘they saw the thief and held him fast’, H: ‘chor ko dekh umon ne usko pakra’, T: ‘Hirsizi görup

yakaladilar’. The constructed verbal form (in Turkish)- arak and (Hindustani)-kar, -arke serves

in the rendering of Subordinate or dependant clauses – ‘in which, during’ e.g. ‘taking a vessel, he

went to the well’ H: ‘bartan lekar kuan par gaya , T: ‘Canak alarak kuyuya gitti’. Also common

adverbial expressions such as ‘he came running’, T: ‘Kosarak geldi’, H: ‘daurkar aya’. As in

Turkish the twice repeated verb root plus e shows repeated or continuous action, as does the

twice repeated verb of the present participle, H: ‘main tairte tairte thak gaya ‘, T: ‘Yuze yuze

yoruldum’. Both languages have a number of vowel compositions, (in Hindustani) as when the

root as well as the (in Turkish) root plus a are set together with the declenated infinitive e.g. ‘to

be able to speak’ T: ‘konusabilmek’, H:’bol sakna’, ‘he began to say’ H: ‘woh bolne laga’, T:

‘Söylemege basladi’. Some similarities in idiomatic expressions are: the showing of suffering is

pointed out through the expression of ‘eating’- e.g. H: ‘lakri or mar khana’; T: ‘Sopa yemek’ – to

eat the stick – to get a beating. Endure suffering or to grieve, becomes in T: ‘Gam yemek’, H:

‘gham khana’. (Note: Many of the above mentioned examples have been taken from a 1955

article by Otto Spies on the subject – the only paper on the subject I have come across since I

published my earlier paper on 1.6.1994.)


18. The examples quoted above on the similarities of syntax, vocabulary, etc. Between Turkish

and Hindustani are based on comparison with the Ottoman and the present- day Turkish i.e. Oguz

branch as spoken in the Republic of Turkey . Syntax etc. of Turkish is quite similar to Eastern

Turkish i.e. Uighur branch although there are variations. But certainly the Eastern Turkish must

be closer to Hindustani as most of the Turkic tribes who came to Hindustan belonged to that

area. It may also be mentioned that of the common words in Turkish and Hindustani, whether of

Turkish origin or otherwise, 20% have quite different meanings and nuances when used in

Hindustani. This, of course is, true of even languages which have developed and evolved in

separate regions and are influenced by the environment and other factors and become quite

different from the original. Even in Turkic countries, the same words have different meaning e.g.

in Turkey or say in Sinkiang , Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan . It is for this reason that the Turkic

governments have set up Commissions consisting of scholars from Turkic speaking countries of

Central Asia, Turkey and Azerbaijan to prepare a comparative dictionary and grammar. (last

such attempt was made by Mahmud AI Kashghari in the 11th century AD.) The newly

independent countries in Central Asia feel that they must harmonise the syntax, grammar and

vocabulary of their languages. This has been the objective of many get togethers of Turkic

people, scholars and academicians, which have started taking place. Perhaps some Sanskirt,

Hindustani and Persian scholars could also join and discover further resemblance between

Turkish and Hindustani languages.


19. We will leave it to linguists and philologists to work out how Hindustani languages evolved

and developed but to a layman it is clear that people learn or try to learn the ruler’s language or

of a dominating power. It is for this reason that we see the dominance of English and French in

their former colonies and the lasting influence of these languages on the languages of the latter.

And it is for this reason alone that English continues to dominate international communications,

earlier because of the British influence and now on account of ths USA . I believe that even

whene languages were imposed, it is not as such the movement of races, as claimed, but only of

the powerful elites; military, political or economic. There were Copts and Berbers in North

Africa when the Arabs came and Byzantine Christians when Turks entered Asia Minor . Turkey

sent over 1.5 million Christians to Greece in 1920s out of a population of over 11 million, in

exchange for Muslim Turks; this was after 6 centuries of Islamisation and Turkification.

(Ironically, these included many thousand Christian Turks, who had come to Asia Minor earlier

than the Muslim Turks and had remained Christians.) Moldova ‘s Turks called Gagaoz are

Christians. Thus the languages and religions of the ruled do not change quickly and continue to

interact and affect each other. So was the case in Hindustan and elsewhere.


20. According to linguists the evolution of Hindustani or any other language is a result of contact

situation in which more than two languages interact on the basis of belonging to the ruler and the

ruled. The socio-linguistic forces give power and prestige to the languages of the ruler with the

result that it begins to exercise linguistic influence on the language of the ruled. First in the field

of vocabulary and later on in some vulnerable areas of syntax. But linguistic resemblance, apart

from common parentage, can also be based on geographical and physical proximity. Essentially

different but geographically and physically proximate languages are often known to exhibit

shared linguistic features. This probably explains similarities in Sanskrit and Turkish as these

languages originated around Central Asia . This also explains the similarities between

Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages or Persian, Turkish and Hindustani. This feature was

studied in detail by Mr. Emeneau, which led him to develop the concept of linguistic areas.

perhaps Central Asia , Anatolia , lran, Afghanistan and North Hindustan could be said to belong

to overlapping linguistic areas, where languages belonging to different families have acquired

common traits following interaction, as a result of which, this vast area shows shared linguistic

features like word-order, reduplication, inter-relations, negations, compound words etc. This

also explains similarities between Deccani Hindi and Telgu in certain areas of syntax.


21. It is noteworthy that except for some inscriptions near Orhon river, which are in Turkish

Rhunic script, which itself was derived from Aramaic (a fact contested by many experts), the

mother script of Semitic languages, Turkish has been mostly written in the script of the ruled

people. Brahmi, Kharoshti and Devanagri scripts, though not of the ruled, are perhaps the

earliest of scripts used for writing Turkish as spoken by Uighur Turks in Eastern Turkistan . They

were used in spite of many difficulties in expressing the Turkish vowels (not easier to write in

Persian or Arabic script either) which do not exist in Hindustani languages. Brahmi script is of

Indian origin; it might have been inspired by the Aramaic script, but is not related to it and was

used widely in Hindustan even before the Budhist era and was used by Mauryan King Ashoka

for inscriptions in India and elsewhere. It was taken to Central Asia and other neighbouring

countries. Out of Brahmi have evolved most other North Indian scripts like Devanagari, Bengali,

Gujarati etc. Apart from the modified Arabic script, the other scripts used for writing Turkish

are Cyrillic, introduced by the Russians in what are now Central Asian Republics , although at

one time it was written in the Latin script. This change-over to Cyrillic perhaps took place both

because the Turkish Republic had adopted it in early 1930s and for reasons of state, i.e.

maintaining a scriptal cohesiveness. The Russians wanted its citizens in Central Asia to use the

same script as of the dominant Russian language for easy switch over. It has been alleged that

during the Soviet days, differences in meanings of Turkish words in different republics were

encouraged. Thus Turkic languages have evolved differently in Eastern Turkistan , i.e.

Uzbekistan, Kyrghystan Kazakhstan etc . Sinkiang Turkish with reduced contacts has perhaps

developed peculiarities of its own. To remedy the situation, the Government of Turkey has

granted tens of thousands of scholarships to students and teachers from Turkic Republics . A

large number of Turkish teachers have also gone to teach at schools and universities in these

countries. Students coming from Uzbekistan , Kazakhstan , Kyrghystan, etc. take a few months

before they can fully master the Turkish as spoken in the Turkish Republic . The Turkic

Republics have considered the question of change over from the Cyrillic to the Latin script.

Azerbaijan has already done so after adding three more alphabets to the script used by Turkey .

Turkmenistan had decided to switch over to the Latin script with some modifications from 1st

January 1995. Others have not decided yet. The choice is not easy as switch-over to Latin script

while opening a window to Turkey and all that Turkey has done through translations and

assimilation of knowledge from the West, would cut these Republics from their immediate past,

written in the Cyrillic script. Switch over to the Arabic script would be a political decision, as

it will make access to the Persian-Arab Islamic world easier. Those responsible for the

decision for the change-over have to consider political, cultural, religious, economic and other



22. It would appear that the Turkic rulers were much more statesmen-like and liberal in

interaction with those whom they ruled. They did not insist on their language being imposed on

the new subjects, notwithstanding the fact that the languages of some of the ruled were much

more developed than Turkish. (For beautiful, like, love; for example, Turkish has very few

synonymous, unlike say Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic, etc.) It has also been suggested that many

Turkish rulers became Muslim for political and state-reasons. It automatically combined the

powers of the Sultan and the Khalifa, thus making it easier to rule the domains. Of course, as

regards Turkish expansion of Ottoman Empire and into Hindustan , being a Gazi provided great

incentive and booty. Some have even raised doubts whether Ertugrul, father of Osman who

established the Ottoman (Osmanli) dynasty in Asia Minor ( Anatolia ) was Muslim by birth. It has

been suggested that he converted to Islam when he married the daughter of a powerful Islamic

Sheikh to strengthen his position. But there is no conclusive proof for this, notwithstanding the

fact that many Turks like Gagaoz and others have remained Christians. Some suggestions have

been made recently (Prof. Julian Raby of Oxford has done a PhD thesis on this subject) that

Fetih, the Conqueror of Constantinpole, even seriously considered in 1450s embracing Orthodox

Christianity, as Westwards the population was mostly Christian and even in Asia Minor a fairly

large percentage of population might still have been Christian. lt was nearly 15% in as late as

1920s. The generosity of the Turkish rulers and their political wisdom and acumen is proved by

the fact that they allowed people of other religions i.e. Christians, Jews, Armenians to have their

own millets. As long as they paid their taxes, they were allowed to run their own affairs and

even contribute to the economic well-being of the state. As regards Turkey , then known as Asia

Minor, it was part of the Byzantine Empire and the Turkish blood (if one can measure it?) among

the residents of the present day Turkey may not be more than 20%. It may be recalled that the

Ottoman rulers themselves used the slave households system called Devsirme, through which,

for hundreds of years, they recruited young non- muslim Christian boys, mostly from Balkans.

Out of them emerged the Janissary corps and high level military and civilian leaders, including

grand veziers. Only one-third of grand veziers could claim Turkish descent. Barring a few,

mothers of most of the Ottoman Sultans were non-Turkish, a large number of them Christians.

The former were allowed to have their religious entourage and many Ottoman princes were

brought up almost as Christians. These examples have been given to state that Empires did not

change their religious, ethnic or linguistic character suddenly. There were long periods of

interaction between various religions, races, languages and cultures, one affecting the other. No

wonder, in Istanbul , Ankara and elsewhere in Turkey , many resemble the peoples of Balkans

and Yugoslavia who dominated the Ottoman elite. In fact, anthropologists have counted more

than 20 ethnic groups in Turkey .


23. Similarly in India , once the Turks had decided to settle down, they started inter-mingling and

inter-mixing. Allaudin Khilji and his sons married daughters of Hindu Kings and from the

earliest period set an example. Hindus occupied positions of power in his court. The practice of

marriages with families of Hindu Kings, especially in Rajasthan became very common after

Mughal Emperor Akbar. Akbar and his descendents gave full honour and positions to their

in-laws. Many of them were Mughal Commander-in-Chiefs and high officials. Accountants and

many Veziers like Birbal were Hindus. If Mehmet, the Conqueror, thought of embracing

Christianity, Akbar conversed with the sages of all religions, of which his populace consisted of

and even evolved a new religion ‘Din-e-Elahi’. In contrast, Aurangzeb following fanatic policies

virtually destroyed the empire, built up by his forefathers. The inter-mixing and respect for

others’ languages, religions and culture co-existed with some equality and were able to influence

each other.


24. The objective of this paper is to start discussions and further research on the question of

influence of Turkic languages on Hindustani languages, especially on Hindi and Urdu and their

various forms. Except from late 18th century till first half of 20th century there was constant

exchange and interaction between the peoples of Hindustan and Central Asia . 

BBC Persian gulf

By Jon Leyne
BBC News

A Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus Airlines that fail to comply with the ruling will be banned or detained
Iran has warned that airlines will be banned from flying into its
airspace, unless they use the term “Persian Gulf” on their in-flight monitors. The transport minister has threatened to impound planes that fail to comply.
The nation is most insistent that the stretch of water separating it from its southern neighbors should be known as the “Persian Gulf”.
To call it the Gulf, annoys the authorities; to call it the Arabian
Gulf, infuriates them even more.

BBC style is to refer to the body of water between Iran and the
Arabian Peninsula as the Gulf
Iran calls it the Persian Gulf, also the more historically recognised term , Saudi Arabia and most other Arab states insist on calling it the Arabian Gulf
Conferences are held to make the matter quite clear, an ancient map with definitive proof of the correct name was sent on a world tour. And recently a foreign member of the cabin crew working for an Iranian airline was sacked and expelled from Iran when he got it wrong.
Now the Iranian transport minister has given foreign airlines 15 days to change the name to Persian Gulf on their in flight monitors.
If they failed, they would be prevented from entering Iranian
airspace, he warned. And if the offence was repeated, foreign airliners would be grounded and refused permission to leave Iran . Numerous Arab airlines fly into Iran every day, not to mention
Europeans and others, so it remains to be seen how they will respond.
As for the minister, Hamid Behbahani, it may or may not be a
coincidence that he is making a stand on this patriotic matter at A time when he is facing calls for his impeachment for alleged lack of competence.

Is This Iranian Politician ‘Too Pretty’ For Office?

دختری در قزوین از راهیابی به شورای شهر بازماند و مشهور شد.! 

 باورتان می شه  شورای شهر قزوین موفق  شد یک سرگرمی بزرگی برای مطبوعات جهان  درست کنه . تیتر همه روزنامه های تفریحی و سرگرمی این است که یک  دختر ایرانی بخاطر خوشگلی از سیاست منع شد.  خیلی ناز است برای سیاست/ و … خیلی س… است برای سیاست.  اینها تیتز بعضی مجله های سیاسسی و غیر سیاسی است. خبر زیر ایندپندنت نقل شده اما در یوتوب نیز شبکه های تلویزیونی جوکهای زیادی ساخته اند. خبرگزاری ها  تیتر زده اند آیا این دختر خیلی خوشگله؟؟!  که نتونه بره شورای شهر!

روزنامه تایمز لندن، روزنامه ایندیپندنت، آبزرور، شبکه خبری فرانس 24 و شبکه خبری فاکس نیوز و… تایمز آف ایندیا و …  با بازتاب دادن ردصلاحیت خانم “نینا سیاهکالی مرادی” عضو رد صلاحیت شده علی البدل شورای شهر قزوین، این اقدام را به جذابیت های زنانه و پوسترهای تبلیغاتی این نامزد انتخاباتی نسبت داده اند.


An electoral candidate who won a place on a city council in Iran has reportedly been barred from taking up the seat because she is too attractive.

Iranian Politician Deemed Too Pretty to Hold Office

During the polls in the city of Qazvin,(Caspian) 27-year-old

Nina Siahkali Moradi received 10,000 votes, placing her 14th out of 163 candidates . She was named as an “alternate member of the Council” — in effect, the first reserve. But when one of those ranked above her was selected as mayor and gave up his seat, Moradi was disqualified and prevented from filling the vacancy. A senior official in Qazvin was quoted in the Times to have explained the decision by saying: “We don’t want a catwalk model on the council.”

Moradi is a graduate student of architecture, and with the help of friends ran a visually impressive and high profile election campaign . The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said that the disqualification was apparently because of her “nonobservance of Islamic codes” , and reported suggestions that her election campaign posters were the basis for complaints from conservative rivals.

“Almost 10,000 people voted for me and based on that I should be the first alternate member of the City Council,” Moradi told local media. The electoral review board, comprised of elder conservatives, disagreed.

Seyed Reza Hossaini, Qazvin’s representative in Parliament and a review board member, told the news agency IranWire: “Her votes have been nullified due to her disqualification, as the review board didn’t approve her credentials. We have told her the reason for her disqualification .”

During the polls in the city of Qazvin(Caspian)

Indian ship was detained in the Persian Gulf


Tehran authorities conveyed to India that the ship was polluting  persian gulf  and Iranian waters. according to the report of the Regional Association to Protect Marine Environment (RAPMI)

New Delhi: Iran has detained India’s largest ocean liner Shipping Corporation (SCI)’s vessel carrying crude from Iraq on Tuesday, following which government is engaged in hectic diplomatic parleys with the Iranians to secure release of the tanker.The tanker, MT Desh Shanti, was detained while carrying oil, after which India, through its mission in Tehran, is engaged in hectic negotiations for the past two days, officials said.MT Desh Shanti was detained in the international waters in the Persian Gulf by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), an SCI official told PTI.


The official said the tanker, which was carrying crude oil from Iraq, was not seized and just detained by the IRGC for some inspections amid environmental concerns.

The reason was not accepted by the Indian officials in Delhi because the ship after being detained was taken into Iranian waters.

Iranians have agreed to release the vessel only after securing some undertakings from the captain of the ship, officials said.

The Shipping Ministry was looking into the issue, a senior ministry official said.

The development assumes significance as it comes at a time when India has taken steps to reduce its crude imports from Iran.

BBCPERSIAN GULFOil imports from Iran have been cut, after sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union (EU).India’s crude imports from Iran plunged by more than 26.5 per cent in the 2012-13 financial year (April-March) as US and European sanctions on Tehran combined to make it difficult for Indian refiners to ship Iranian oil.Imports of Iranian crude fell to 13.3 million mt, or close to 267,100 b/d, in 2012-13 from 18.1 million mt, or around 362,500 b/d, in 2011-12.Earlier sources had said Iran had slipped to sixth place among India’s top crude suppliers in the year to March 31 from second place behind OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia in the previous financial year.Imports from Iran were as high as 21.2 million mt, or 425,000 b/d, in 2009-10 before dropping to 18.5 million mt, or 371,520 b/d in 2010-11.

India’s total volume of imported crude, meanwhile, rose to 182.5 million mt, or 3.67 million b/d, in 2012-13 from 171.7 million mt (3.44 million b/d) in 2011-12, 163.4 million mt (3.28 million mt) in 2010-11 and 159.2 million mt (3.2 million b/d) in 2009-10.

NEW DELHI: In a development with serious international r


amifications, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has detained an Indian ship carrying oil in the Persian Gulf. Sources said the ship, named MT Desh Shanti, was on its way to India from Iraq when it was detained by the IRGC.

The ship is owned by the Shipping Corporation of India. The development has stunned authorities here as it was transporting oil from Iraq, a country which has overtaken Iran as the second largest supplier of crude to India after Saudi Arabia.


The government-owned ship was detained in international waters in the Persian Gulf before being coerced into entering Iranian waters. Late Wednesday evening, the ship was on its way to the Bandar Abbas port, guided by the IRGC.

Sources said Iran claimed to have detained the ship because of environmental concerns. Tehran authorities conveyed to India that the ship was polluting Iranian waters, but this is being seen as flimsy reasoning.

The development has shocked the Indian establishment, which on Wednesday evening was still trying to gather information on the incident. Although India has taken steps to reduce its crude imports from Iran, Tehran had never hinted that it could resort to such drastic actions.

India has cut crude imports from Iran, a fallout of sanctions imposed by the US and the EU. The cut, in fact, helped India — along with China and South Korea — win a waiver from the US allowing it to continue to import crude from Iran.

In 2012, India is estimated to have imported crude from Iraq worth more than $15 billion. IOC is the largest importer of crude oil from Iraq. In October 2010, Iraq replaced Iran as the country with the third largest proven reserves of 143.1 billion barrels of oil.

For India, it is not far-fetched to draw the conclusion that Tehran is peeved with India’s rising crude imports from Iraq and that the seizure of the ship may be a way of showing its displeasure. But this doesn’t just have consequences for India-Iran ties but also internationally, as it will raise questions about what Tehran intends to do in the Persian Gulf where it has even threatened use of force in the past to show its influence in the oil trade.

PERSIAN Gulf india

Iranian authorities are known to have recently threatened that Tehran will block the crucialStrait of Hormuz oil trade route in the face of sanctions imposed by western countries. The Strait of Hormuz links the Gulf with the Indian Ocean, facilitating transport of oil from major oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Iran’s vice-president Mohammad Reza Rahimi had warned in 2011 that “not a drop of oil” would be allowed to pass through the Strait of Hormuz if more sanctions were imposed on Iran.


توقیف یک نفتکش هندی در خلیج فارس توسط سپاه پاسداران

سپاه پاسداران یک نفتکش هندی را که از عراق عازم هندوستان بود، در خلیج فارس توقیف کرد.

به گزارش  روزنامه تایمز هندوستان  و خبرگزاری ها ، یک نفتکش هندی به نام دش شانتی که از عراق عازم هندوستان بود در خلیج فارس توسط سپاه پاسداران توقیف شد.

توقیف این کشتی که متعلق به شرکت حمل و نقل هندوستان است باعث سردرگمی مقامات هندی شده است. این نفتکش روز چهارشنبه در آبهای بین المللی خلیج فارس بازداشت شده است و توسط سپاه پاسداران به سمت بندر عباس هدایت شده است.

روزنامه تایمز هندوستان به نقل از منابع خود می گوید که بازداشت این کشتی به دلیل نگرانی های زیست محیطی صورت گرفته است.

مقامات ایران می گویند این نفتکش آبهای ایران را آلوده کرده است اما این روزنامه دلایل تهران را سست و غیر قابل اتکا می داند.

تعجب مقامات هندی تا حدودی از آنجا ناشی می شود که با وجود کاهش واردات نفت خام هند از ایران، تهران هرگز اشاره ای به تمایلش برای انجام چنین اقداماتی بروز نداده بود.

واردات نفت هندوستان از ایران که به دلیل تحریم های ایالات متحده علیه ایران رخ داده به این کشور – در کنار چین و کره جنوبی- کمک کرده است تا از تحریم های آمریکا مستثنی شود.

در اکتبر 2010 عراق با پیشی گرفتن از ایران در جایگاه دوم صادر کنندگان نفت در دنیا قرار گرفت. واردات نفت از عراق به هندوستان در سال 2012 به رقم پانزده میلیارد دلار رسید.

تایمز هندوستان در ادامه با لحنی تهدید آمیز می نویسد: ” برای هند چندان دور از ذهن نیست که اقدام ایران در توقیف کشتی هندی به دلیل نارضایتی اش از کاهش واردات نفت هند از این کشور بوده است اما ایران باید بداند چنین اقداماتی نه تنها روابط بین دو کشور را خدشه دار می کند بلکه عواقب بین المللی برای ایران خواهد داشت. عواقبی که ناشی از توجه به نقش ایران در خلیج فارس به عنوان کنترل کننده عبور و مرور نفت خواهد بود.”

A Letter from Alexander to Aristotle. Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf in the letter of

می دانیم بر اساس کتابهای تاریخی که اسکندر نامه هایی به استادش/ارسطو/ ارستو

نوشته  اما اینکه این متن دقیقا  همان متن اولیه است  ما نمی دانیم.

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is dedicated to making original primary sources available on the Internet. An important aspect of using primary source material is learning how to critique a source. It is quite possible, for example, for a source to be invented, to be edited, or to be mistranslated. Checking into the authenticity and reliability of a source is called source criticism. The text and commentary here present an example of how sources may be invented, and misused, and of the way historians respond.

In September 1998 the Republic of Macedonia website posted the following text on its pages. [See here for the text as on RoM site]. Here various parts are highlighted for later discussion.


        To Aristotle of Stagirus, director of the school at Athens

My great and beloved teacher, dear Aristotle!

It is a very, very long time since I wrote to you; but as you know I have been over-occupied with military matters, and while we were marching through Hyrcania, Drangiana, and Gedrosia, conquering Bactria, and advancing beyond the Indus, I had neither the time nor the inclination to take up my pen. I have now been back in Susa for some months; but I have been so overwhelmed with administrative business, appointing officials, and mopping up all kinds of intrigues and revolts, that I have not had a moment till today to write to you about myself. Of course, you know roughly from the official reports what I have been doing; but both my devotion to you and my confidence in your influence on cultivated Hellenic circles urge me once more to open my heart to you as my revered teacher and spiritual guide.

I remember that years ago (how far away it seems to me now!) I wrote you an absurd and enthusiastic letter on the tomb of Achilles; I was on the threshold of my Persian expedition, and I vowed then that my model for life should be the valiant son of Peleus. I dreamed only of heroism and greatness; I had already won my victory over Thrace, and I thought that I was advancing against Darius at the head of my Macedonians and Hellenes simply to cover myself with laurels worthy of my ancestors. I can say that I did not fall short of my ideal either at Chaeronea or at Granicus; but today I hold a very different view of the political significance of my actions at that time. The sober truth is that our Macedonia was constantly threatened from the north by the Thracian barbarians; they could have attacked us at an unfavorable moment which the Greeks would have used to violate their treaty and break away from Macedonia. It was absolutely necessary to subdue Thrace so that Macedonia should have her flank covered in the event of Greek treachery. It was sheer political necessity, my dear Aristotle; but your pupil did not understand this thoroughly then and gave himself up to dreams of exploits like those of Achilles.

With the conquest of Thrace our situation changed: we controlled the whole of the western coast of the Aegean; but our mastery of the Aegean was threatened by the maritime power of Persia. Fortunately I struck before Darius was ready. I thought I was following in the footsteps of Achilles and should have the glory of conquering a new Ilium for Greece; actually, as I see today, it was absolutely necessary to drive the Persians back from the Aegean Sea; and I drove them back, my dear master, so thoroughly that I occupied the whole of Bithynia, Phrygia, and Cappadocia, laid waste Cilicia, and only stopped at Tarsus. Asia Minor was ours. Not only the old Aegean basin but the whole northern coast of the Mediterranean was in our hands.

You would have said, my dear Aristotle, that my principal political and strategic aim – namely, the final expulsion of Persia from Hellenic waters – was now completely achieved. But with the conquest of Asia Minor a new situation arose: our new shores might be threatened from the south – that is, from Phoenicia or Egypt; Persia might receive reinforcements or material from there for further wars against us. It was thus essential to occupy the Tyrian coasts and control Egypt; in this way we became masters of the entire littoral. But simultaneously a new danger arose: that Darius, relying on his rich Mesopotamia, might fling himself upon Syria and tear our Egyptian dominions from our base in Asia Minor. I therefore had to crush Darius at any cost; I succeeded in doing this at Gaugamela; as you know, Babylon and Susa, Persepolis and Pasargadae, dropped into our lap.

This gave us control of the Persian Gulf;  but so as to protect these new dominions against possible invasions from the north we had to set out northward against the Medes and Hyrcanians.

Now our dominions stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf but lay open to the east; I advanced with my Macedonians to the borders of Area and Drangiana, I laid waste Gedrosia, and gave Arachosia a thrashing, after which I occupied Bactria as a conqueror; and to safeguard these military victories by a lasting union, I took the Bactrian Princess Roxana to wife. It was a simple political necessity; I had conquered so many Eastern lands for my Macedonians and Greeks that willy-nilly I had to win over my barbarous Eastern subjects by my appearance and splendor, without which these poor shepherds cannot imagine a powerful ruler. The truth is that my old Macedonian Guard took it badly; perhaps they thought that their old commander was becoming estranged from his war comrades. Unfortunately I had to have my old friends Philotas and Calisthenes executed; my dear Parmenion lost his life, too. I was very sorry about this; but it was unavoidable if the rebellion of my Macedonians was not to endanger my next step. I was, in fact, just preparing for my expedition to India. I must tell you that Gedrosia and Arachosia are enclosed within high mountains like fortifications; but for these fortifications to be impregnable they need a foreground from which to undertake a sally or a withdrawal behind the ramparts. This strategic foreground is India as far as the Indus. It was a military necessity to occupy this territory and with it the bridgehead on the farther bank of the Indus; no responsible soldier or statesman would have acted otherwise; but when we reached the river Hyphasis my Macedonians began to make a fuss and say they were too tired, ill, or homesick to go any farther. I had to come back; it was a terrible journey for my veterans, but still worse for me; I had intended to reach the Bay of Bengal to secure a natural frontier in the east for my Macedonia and now I was forced to abandon this task for a time.

I returned to Susa. I could be satisfied at having conquered such an empire for my Macedonians and Hellenes. But so as not to have to rely entirely on my exhausted people I took thirty thousand Persians into my army; they are good soldiers and I urgently need them for the defense of my Eastern frontiers. And do you know, my old soldiers are extremely annoyed about it. They cannot even understand that in winning for my people Oriental territories a hundred times greater than our own country I have become the great King of the East; that I must choose my officials and counselors from amongst the Orientals and surround myself with an Oriental court; all this is a self-evident political necessity which I am carrying out in the interests of Greater Macedonia. Circumstances demand of me more and more personal sacrifices; I bear them without complaint, for I think of the greatness and strength of my beloved country. I have to endure the barbarous luxury of my power and magnificence; I have taken to wife three princesses of Eastern kingdoms; and now, my dear Aristotle, I have actually become a god.

Yes, my dear master, I have had myself proclaimed god; my good Eastern subjects kneel to me and bring me sacrifices. It is a political necessity if I am to have the requisite authority over these mountain shepherds and these camel drivers. How far away are the days when you taught me to use reason and logic! But reason itself bids me adapt my means to human unreason. At first glance my career must appear fantastic to anyone; but now when I think it over at night in the quiet of my godlike study I see that I have never undertaken anything which was not rendered absolutely necessary by my preceding step.

You see, my dear Aristotle, it would be in the interests of peace and order, and consistent with political interests, if I were recognized as god in my Western territories as well. It would free my hands here in the East if my own Macedonia and Hellas accepted the political principle of my absolute authority; I could set out with a quiet heart to secure for my own land of Greece her natural frontiers on the coast of China. I should thus secure the power and safety of my Macedonia for all eternity. As you see, this is a sober and reasonable plan; I have long ceased to be the visionary who swore an oath on the tomb of Achilles. If I ask you now as my wise friend and guide to prepare the way by philosophy and to justify my proclamation as god in such a way as to be acceptable to my Greeks and Macedonians, I do so as a responsible politician and statesman; I leave it to you to consider whether you wish to undertake this task as a reasonable and patriotic work and one which is politically necessary.

Greetings, my dear Aristotle,

from your Alexander



Arrian: Speech of Alexander the Great, 

from The Campaigns of Alexander

I observe, gentlemen, that when I would lead you on a new venture you no longer follow me with your old spirit. I have asked you to meet me that we may come to a decision together: are we, upon my advice, to go forward, or, upon yours, to turn back?

If you have any complaint to make about the results of your efforts hitherto, or about myself as your commander, there is no more to say. But let me remind you: through your courage and endurance you have gained possession of Ionia, the Hellespont, both Phrygias, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Lydia, Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia, Phoenicia, and Egypt; the Greek part of Libya is now yours, together with much of Arabia, lowland Syria, Mesopotamia, Babylon, and Susia; Persia and Media with all the territories either formerly controlled by them or not are in your hands; you have made yourselves masters of the lands beyond the Caspian Gates, beyond the Caucasus, beyond the Tanais, of Bactria, Hyrcania, and the Hyrcanian sea; we have driven the Scythians back into the desert; and Indus and Hydaspes, Acesines and Hydraotes flow now through country which is ours. With all that accomplished, why do you hesitate to extend the power of Macedon–your power–to the Hyphasis and the tribes on the other side ? Are you afraid that a few natives who may still be left will offer opposition? Come, come! These natives either surrender without a blow or are caught on the run–or leave their country undefended for your taking; and when we take it, we make a present of it to those who have joined us of their own free will and fight on our side.

For a man who is a man, work, in my belief, if it is directed to noble ends, has no object beyond itself; none the less, if any of you wish to know what limit may be set to this particular camapaign, let me tell you that the area of country still ahead of us, from here to the Ganges and the Eastern ocean, is comparatively small.

You will undoubtedly find that this ocean is connected with the Hyrcanian Sea, for the great Stream of Ocean encircles the earth. Moreover I shall prove to you, my friends, that the Indian and Persian Gulfs and the Hyrcanian Sea are all three connected and continuous.

Our ships will sail round from the Persian Gulf to Libya as far as the Pillars of Hercules, whence all Libya to the eastward will soon be ours, and all Asia too, and to this empire there will be no boundaries but what God Himself has made for the whole world.

But if you turn back now, there will remain unconquered many warlike peoples between the Hyphasis and the Eastern Ocean, and many more to the northward and the Hyrcanian Sea, with the Scythians, too, not far away; so that if we withdraw now there is a danger that the territory which we do not yet securely hold may be stirred to revolt by some nation or other we have not yet forced into submission. Should that happen, all that we have done and suffered will have proved fruitless–or we shall be faced with the task of doing it over again from the beginning. Gentlemen of Macedon, and you, my friends and allies, this must not be. Stand firm; for well you know that hardship and danger are the price of glory, and that sweet is the savour of a life of courage and of deathless renown beyond the grave.

Are you not aware that if Heracles, my ancestor, had gone no further than Tiryns or Argos–or even than the Peloponnese or Thebes–he could never have won the glory which changed him from a man into a god, actual or apparent? Even Dionysus, who is a god indeed, in a sense beyond what is applicable to Heracles, faced not a few laborious tasks; yet we have done more: we have passed beyond Nysa and we have taken the rock of Aornos which Heracles himself could not take. Come, then; add the rest of Asia to what you already possess–a small addition to the great sum of your conquests. What great or noble work could we ourselves have achieved had we thought it enough, living at ease in Macedon, merely to guard our homes, accepting no burden beyond checking the encroachment of the Thracians on our borders, or the Illyrians and Triballians, or perhaps such Greeks as might prove a menace to our comfort ?

I could not have blamed you for being the first to lose heart if I, your commander, had not shared in your exhausting marches and your perilous campaigns; it would have been natural enough if you had done all the work merely for others to reap the reward. But it is not so. You and I, gentlemen, have shared the labour and shared the danger, and the rewards are for us all. The conquered territory belongs to you; from your ranks the governors of it are chosen; already the greater part of its treasure passes into your hands, and when all Asia is overrun, then indeed I will go further than the mere satisfaction of our ambitions: the utmost hopes of riches or power which each one of you cherishes will be far surpassed, and whoever wishes to return home will be allowed to go, either with me or without me. I will make those who stay the envy of those who return

مورسی می خواست شریعت اسلام را فوری اجرا کند کاری که اردوغان با صبر و حوصله دنبال می کند


What Morsy did not learn from Erdogan


Unlike the Turkish Prime Minister, who waited patiently to implement his Islamist agenda and sideline the army, the ousted Egyptian President rushed to impose the Brotherhood’s programme on an unwilling nation

Nations, like individuals, seldom learn from the mistakes, as well as successes, of others. Mohamed Morsy, the ousted President of Egypt, ought to have observed the hitherto cautious approach adopted by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey. Mr. Erdogan bided his time to gradually implement the Islamist agendaof his party (the Justice and Development Party) and to sideline the army’s role as the self-appointed guardian of the country’s secular character. His patient approach has paid off handsomely, with a majority of Turks backing him and his party.

Blatant acts

Mr. Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood too commanded significant support in Egypt. They had things going for them. But, unlike in Turkey, they were in too much of a hurry to implement their Islamist agenda. The fact that the Brotherhood had been persecuted for over 50 years and waited so long for power had no doubt a lot to do with its impatience. An Islam-oriented Constitution was imposed. Brotherhood members were blatantly appointed as governors and to other key positions. While the mediation between Hamas and Fatah in Palestine was successfully brought about, the ruling regime in Syria was condemned and diplomatic ties with it were ruptured. This last step was clearly carried out on sectarian considerations as also to please the Americans since it followed closely on the heels of United States President Barack Obama’s decision to provide more weapons to the rebels, and most probably did not reflect popular sentiment.

Now, it is the turn of the Egyptian military to imbibe lessons from recent Turkish history. It must not assume that it has become genuinely popular and can act in a blatantly anti-democratic manner. The genie of people empowerment has come out of the bottle in the largest Arab country and it will definitely not acquiesce in a prolonged power grab by the army. Millions will again take to the streets if they feel their hard won power is slipping away from their hands. The ‘moderate’ Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Libya would no doubt draw their own lessons from the Egyptian upheaval.

The foreign minister of Qatar, mediating on behalf of America, suggested compromise formulae during the critical days leading up to the June 30 demonstration, in essence advising the appointment of a new Prime Minister and calling for fresh parliamentary and presidential elections within about six months. The U.S. National Security Advisor was reported to be directly involved in these last minute parleys, but Mr. Morsy either did not see the writing on the wall, under-estimated popular sentiment or/and was not permitted any flexibility by the ‘murshid,’ leader of the Brotherhood.

Mr. Morsy’s behaviour could be explained by several factors, but the failure of the U.S. to read the situation correctly and its perseverance in interfering and influencing the course of developments are intriguing. It has given billions to Egypt since 1979 when the latter’s peace treaty with Israel was concluded. This gave the Americans access to the military but not a decisive clout; indeed they have become intensely unpopular in the country. The similarity with Pakistan on this count is striking.

There is yet another parallel with Af-Pak. Like with the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Americans have never had any problem with the Brotherhood. They have had very good relations with the Brotherhood for years. Though Mr. Morsy had taken certain steps, such as appearing to reopen contacts with Tehran, which the U.S. would not have approved, by and large, the U.S. was comfortable with him. According to several sources in Cairo, America had played a significant role in the events, which brought Mr. Morsy to power a year ago. Brotherhood leaders have frequently travelled to Washington. President Obama himself had received Essam al-Haddad, Mr. Morsy’s influential foreign policy advisor. Another point of striking similarity with Pakistan: the generals who overthrew the elected civilian heads of government in Islamabad and Cairo were handpicked for the job by the same civilian leaders.

The one country which was most upset with America on this score was Saudi Arabia which lost no time in expressing its pleasure at the downfall of Mr. Morsy by offering a big aid package to the new regime and prevailed upon its fellow Sunni sheikhs in UAE and Kuwait to cough up similar assistance. Qatar, which had given more than $8 billion to the Morsy regime, has suffered a setback, as has Turkey. Besides the ongoing ‘Great Game’ between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the region is witnessing another struggle for influence between the Saudis and Qataris. According to some sources, the abdication of the previous emir of Qatar in favour of his son has a complicated story, with the situation in Syria having something to do with it. The most significant development, however, is the breach of trust between Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

Persecution imminent

Israel will not have to worry about the peace treaty since it was the Egyptian military which had concluded it. There is no doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood will be persecuted. The military has always, since Nasser’s coup in 1952, dealt very harshly with it. The killing of several soldiers in the Sinai by suspected Islamic extremists is unlikely to be forgotten, much less forgiven, by the army. With the Brotherhood in the doghouse, its offshoot Hamas will become nervous about its relationship with the emerging regime in Cairo. Already there are reports of the military destroying scores of ‘tunnels’, which are the lifeline for the people of Gaza. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, would no doubt welcome Hamas’ weakening. Hamas, in turn, could resort to adventurism against Israel to remain relevant.

Impact on Syria

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria will surely welcome the developments in Cairo. In any case, no one even in Washington is talking of his early exit from power. The rebels are hopelessly divided and spending their energies and ammunition on killing one another.

The military has appointed an interim President and declared a rather speedy timetable to amend the Constitution by deleting the offensive provisions and submit it to a referendum, as well as hold presidential and parliamentary elections. Egypt will not have to go to the International Monetary Fund in a hurry in view of the largesse of Saudis and others. A professional and respected economist has been appointed Prime Minister.

Mr. Morsy’s followers are following the example of the Tahrir multitude; dozens of them have died at the hands of the security forces, but their deaths have not elicited any sympathy from the ‘secular’ crowd. This is sad. The military, like in Pakistan, has huge vested interests in Egypt’s economy. However, given the mood of the people and their ability to organise massive demonstrations through social media as well as readiness to face police excesses, it is unlikely that the army would try to overstay in power.

Needed healing touch

It is imperative for the authorities in Cairo to bring about an atmosphere of some trust and harmony; in the absence of a healing touch, Egypt could descend into a prolonged period of instability and civil strife. Egyptian general Abdel Fatah El-Sisi’s speech on July 24, exhorting people to come out on the streets and support the military’s crackdown on the Brotherhood does not bode well for two reasons: it clearly demonstrates that he is in charge and calls all the shots, and it further polarises Egyptian society. Let us hope all the similarities between Egypt and Pakistan do not lead Egypt into internal turmoil, with al Qaeda-affiliated groups fishing in troubled waters.


(The writer is Adjunct Senior Fellow, Delhi Policy Group, former Special Envoy of India for West Asia)