Tribute to a son of the soil - Linguist MJ warsi to receive glory award

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Patna
  • Published 24.05.07
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Patna, May 24: He may be based in United States of America, but linguist and professor of languages M.J. Warsi is as true an Indian as any.

So it does not come as a surprise that he has bagged the prestigious Glory of India Award-2007.

The IIAF, a voluntary organisation that recognises true sons and daughters of soil from a varied Diaspora, will confer this British award on Warsi and also issue him a “certificate of excellence” at a function to be organised at London on July 27.

“You have etched your own distinct identity — socially and economically — in the UK by virtue of your own excellence. In Indian context you have been pro-active and played an instrumental role in the Indo-British ties,” the letter issued by the award organisation to Warsi said.

For beginners, Warsi is a professor of Indo-Aryan languages in the department of South Asian Studies at Washington University in St Louis. Besides, he heads many academic committees in the US and the UK.

Besides Warsi, other Indians, who bagged this award in the past include, Mother Teresa, Air Chief Marshal N.C. Suri, former CBI director Joginder Singh, cinestars, Dev Anand, Sunil Dutt and Rajesh Khanna, singer Pankaj Udhas, and cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar.

Hailing from a humble family in Darbhanga district of north Bihar, Warsi was always a stellar student. A gold medallist from Aligarh Muslim University, Warsi is also a West Bengal Urdu Academy award-holder.

He has authored many books on languages including Linguistic Dynamics in south Asia. “I am honoured to be selected for the India Glory Award. As far as my ‘Indianess’ is concerned, I am proud to be an Indian,” Warsi told The Telegraph over phone.

Warsi attained his graduation and masters degrees from AMU. He did his doctorate in psycholinguistics from Washington University before joining as a professor in the same institution.

But not one to rest on his laurels, Warsi has big plans for his home state, to start with, a centre of linguistic studies in Bihar.

He has already submitted his project report to the Bihar government in this connection.

In course of his visits to India in the past one year Warsi has reacted sharply to the criticisms against the modernisation of madarsas and has firmly defended the policy for providing practical tools to the students in the Islamic seminaries.

Warsi has also worked as a linguist for Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

He is credited to have formulated language rules for various computer programs for machine translation.