The Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Hind) occupies a pride of place as a premier organization working for the promotion and dissemination of Urdu language, literature and culture. The organization owes its origin to the All India Muslim Educational Conference, set up by the great social reformer and educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in 1886. The basic objective of the Conference was to encourage Indian Muslims to adopt modern education and for this purpose establish schools and colleges along the lines of the Mohammedan Oriental College (later renamed Aligarh Muslim University). The Conference had three sections: Women’s Education, Educational Census and Schools. In a further Conference held in 1903, three more branches were added: Social Reform, Shoba-e-Taraqqi-e-Urdu and Miscellaneous. It is to the Shoba-e-Taraqqi-e-Urdu that the present Anjuman traces its origins. Incidentally, Thomas Walker Arnold was the first elected President of the Shoba-e-Taraqqi-e-Urdu and the scholar par excellence and noted writer Allama Shibli its Secretary. It is from such hallowed portents that the present Anjuman was born and continues to draw inspiration.

The Anjuman is at once a literary institution, publisher and repository of countless and priceless Urdu texts, letters and other archived material. Choosing to act as a social unifier, it has, over the years, played a major role in defusing communal tensions consistently thwarting the efforts of politicians that employ Urdu and Hindi to fan the fires of language and identity politics. In the current state of complex geopolitics and suspicion against most Urdu organizations, often miscast as exclusive Muslim bastions, it is imperative that an organization such as the Anjuman, whose integrity remains unscathed, resumes a leadership role in promoting Urdu’s secular and universal character. The Anjuman is committed to the ideology and cherished desire of the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution and their democratic vision for independent India and for all Indian languages.