A language takes centuries, even more, to evolve. It is a slow, long, constant, complex and natural process. A language ‘invented’ to serve a specific purpose, such as enabling the troops to communicate with one another, is labeled as ‘artificial’ by linguists. Though there have been hundreds of such attempts, some aimed at facilitating international communication between nations and peoples speaking different languages, none has been successful. Esperanto, a language formed with the basic roots of some European languages, died despite its early success. In other words, experiments to devise a language have failed and no artificial language could survive. Urdu, like other languages of the world, has been classified by linguists on the basis of its morphological and syntactical features. Urdu nouns and adjective can have a variety of origins, such as Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Pushtu and even Portuguese, but ninety-nine per cent of Urdu verbs have their roots in Sanskrit/Prakrit. So it is an Indo-Aryan language which is a branch of Indo-Iranian family, which in turn is a branch of Indo-European family of languages. According to Dr Gian Chand Jain, Indo-Aryan languages had three phases of evolution beginning around 1,500 BC and passing through the stages of Vedic Sanskrit, classical Sanskrit and Pali. They developed into Prakrit and Apbhransh, which served as the basis for the formation of later local dialects.
Around 1,000 AD, the modern Indo-Aryan era began and with the arrival of Muslims Arabic, Persian and, to a lesser extent, Turkish vocabulary began assimilating into local dialects. One of those dialects later evolved further and became an early version of Urdu/Hindi. Now the only question remaining unanswered is which dialect or dialects developed further to become a language that was basically one and was later divided into two languages, Hindi and Urdu, on the basis of two different scripts.
Though there are a number of theories about the origin of Urdu (that is, aside from camp language theory) that say, for example, Urdu has its origin in Punjabi, or it was born in Deccan or in Sindh, few have stood up to research based on historical linguistics and comparative linguistic. Of the theories considered to be holding water, the most plausible seems to be the one that says Urdu developed from some dialects spoken in and around Delhi in the 11th and 12th centuries AD. These dialects include Brij Bhasha, Mewati, Khari Boli and Haryani, which, in turn had developed from Apbhransh. The name Apbhransh refers to a number of languages/dialects which were born from Prakrit languages. The question that still requires a precise answer is: from which Apbhransh did Urdu originate? Some linguists believe it was most probably an offshoot of Shourseni Prakrit, spoken in and around Mathura. Dr Gian Chand Jain says it was Khari Boli.
In brief, Urdu is much older than just a few hundred years and its roots go right back to Sanskrit. At least, it has been established beyond doubt that Urdu is not a camp language.