Aligarh: As part of centenary celebrations of the Aligarh Muslim University, a web talk was organized by the Department of Linguistics on “The Bhojpuri-Hindi Overseas Diaspora, A century ago and Today”, delivered by Professor Emeritus, University of Cape Town, South Africa, Prof Rajend Mesthrie.
In his address, Prof Mesthrie discussed the four Indian diaspora highlighting the great movement of indentured labourers from mainly the north east and south of India in the colonial era. He concentrated on language shift which took place in South Africa and also touched upon other countries like Fiji, Surinam, etc with special reference to the Bhojpuri-Awadhi-Eastern Hindi-Urdu belt and discussed the growth of overseas koines from Fiji in the east to Suriname in the west.
Prof Mesthrie said that as koines are new dialect forms arising from mostly mutually intelligible antecedent dialects and languages, the Bhojpuri-Awadhi-Hindi-Urdu diaspora provides particularly good examples of the phenomenon.
He delineated the South African situation where all Indian languages are important for heritage purposes but not for spoken purposes in public and private domains.
Prof M J Warsi (Chairperson, Department of Linguistics) welcomed the guest speaker and presented an introduction of Prof Mesthrie, who teaches socio-linguistics including language contact and variation.
Prof Imtiaz Hasnain (former Chairman, Department of Linguistics) moderated the Question-Answer session.
Dr Masood Ali Beg proposed a vote of thanks.