Today, Hindi-Urdu is the 2nd most spoken language in the world with 500Million+ speakers worldwide, second only to Mandarin. With dozens of local dialects, it is the‘Language of the Desi People’ (primarily, modern India and Pakistan and also including Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Fiji, South Africa, US, UK, UAE, KSA…). If there’s one social and cultural identity that binds all Desi People, it’s Hamari Boli.
The principal problem with modern Hindi-Urdu today is mutual illegibility in written form. Hindi uses Devanagari whereas Urdu uses Perso-Arabic script which renders written Hindi-Urdu illegible which are otherwise perfectly mutually intelligible in spoken form. This severely limits the reach and accessibility of written works.
However, 21st Century Hindi-Urdu is characterized by overwhelming use of modern English alphabet in written electronic communication. New generations are all comfortable using Roman Hindi-Urdu for chatting/writing online and txting. Instant messengers, chat rooms, blogs, discussion boards and social networks are serving as informal laboratories and nurseries of its development and popularization. Major companies are using it for popular advertising and most hoardings in urban centers flash it everywhere.
Simply put, Hamari Boli is re-unified Hindi-Urdu written using Roman alphabet with a combined vocabulary drawn from both standard Hindi and Urdu with generous helpings of English.
Positioned as a social enterprise at the intersection of applied linguistics, open-source, persuasive tech, intercultural awareness and public diplomacy, the larger Hamari Boli Initiative is…
“A full-scale People-to-People Communication+Collaboration and Language planning, Prescription, Description, Documentation & Preservation Enterprise aimed at ‘Hindi-Urdu’ Script, Style, Status & Lexical reform and modernisation encompassing all four LP Domains, simultaneously creating Open source P2P collaboration platforms for Indo-Pak peace and confidence building”.