The Dakhnī Poetry of the Everyman

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Dakhniī poetry challenges the notion of poetry being for the elite. Scholar Sajjad Shahid curates a selection.

Poetry has for too long, been the abode of the elite. So goes the ethos of poets who composed in Dakhnī - the mish-mash of Urdu and Hindi (and Persian and Sanskrit, or Marathi, Telugu, Kannada or Tamil, depending on where the speaker lived).

Incorporating phrases, slangs, idioms and pronunciations that were used on the street between the 13th and 20th centuries, it was once a court language of the Mughals, before losing its patrnage Today, the language has since faded, spoken today mainly by scattered Muslim communities across India.

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