Search This Website


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fall of Congress in UP & Sonia Gandhi's Urdu letter to 15,000 Muslims

Sonia Gandhi has written a letter to 15,000 'prominent' Muslims urging them to support the Congress candidate in their respective areas--for strengthening secular values and justice in Uttar Pradesh.

Will it cut any ice? I don't think so. Recently Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Muslims have the right to study in Urdu medium.

1. From 1949 to 1989, [forty years], Congress leaders in Uttar Pradesh did their best to kill Urdu.

Overnight Urdu as medium of instruction was scrapped in schools and even as a subject Urdu teaching was stopped across the state.

2. The early Congress leaders Sampoornanand and Purushottam Das Tandon did their best to ensure that Urdu died in its natural homeland.

These politicians succeeded to an extent. Today UP has not a single Urdu medium school while Maharashtra, Karnataka, AP and (also MP, Gujarat, Bihar) have thousands of Urdu schools. Sampurnanand went on record to say that 'we will give Urdu speaking populace its rights, 25 years late'. What did it mean?

3. In the heart of Urdu world, Lucknow, the City of Meer, you can't open an Urdu medium school as 'education can only be imparted in Hindi and English mediums in the state as per education department rule'.

4. Muslims wanted just that they could read Urdu as a subject in school but with compulsory introduction of Sanskrit, it was made impossible in Uttar Pradesh (UP) under the three language formula.

5. The role of Congress in Uttar Pradesh was unique. Its leaders functioned like leaders of Hindu Mahasabha. Muslims faced a systematic bias from system which was not found elsewhere even in other Congress ruled states.

6. Muslim votes were supposed to go to Congress anyhow. Such an atmosphere was created through riots, large scale, much of the size of Gujarat, in any Muslim dominated city that the community was left with no option.

7. It was probably believed that most Muslims would leave the state for Pakistan, which didn't happen. Congress in UP in the post-partition era was much more vicious and anti-Muslim than present day BJP. And it is no exaggeration.

Purushottam Das Tandon
8. Today in the era of satellite TV, we have seen Gujarat carnage but the horrors of Firozabad, Moradabad, Meerut, Maliana, Aligarh and Meerut were riots where thousands perished and a former Prime Minister had said that riots were an annual feature and couldn't be stopped.

9. Muslims don't want any reservation. They needed respect like other communities but were treated as fifth columnists. From Railway station to University, no place of mention bore a signboard in Urdu. And the situation changed only in the 90s when Congress was finally out of the power in the state.

10. It is not that Urdu medium education alone can ensure progress but the fact that it hurt the self-respect of Muslims. They were made to look like strangers in their own land as the language of culture was turned alien in the very place it was born.

Tandon and Sampoornanand were well versed in Urdu. More Hindus knew the language than Muslims in UP, but still it became the only language in the world to be associated with a religion. There was no such bias in any other state in Southern India, Western region or even Central India.

11. Haq na dete, izzat to dete. With opportunities in Middle-East opening up from the late 70s and early 80s, the situation started looking up. Under the first non-Congress government in the state (SVD), Muslims for the first time after partition, got jobs in police and other departments.

12. With the Mandir and Mandal wave that brought Congress' communal politics to the fore, disenchanted Muslims got a new option in Janata Dal, and their mass desertion along with Backwards and Dalits, brought doom to Congress in this most populous state.

13. Surely Congress seems genuinely interested in improving the education and social standards of Muslims. But Muslims would prefer any non-Muslim leader of any other political party than listening to the Mohsina Kidwais, Salman Khurshids and Noor Banos.

14. The Muslim leaders were always happy with their own fiefdoms and cared nothing for ordinary Muslim. The Muslims remember how trucks full of over a million signed letters that were taken for restoring the status of Urdu, were treated by the Congress government at the Centre.

Congress has a long way to go before its gets back the lost ground and as far as regaining the faith of Muslims and other sections is concerned, it will still take time. A few road shows, populist statements and letters won't undo the damage done for forty years.


Anonymous said...

if the muslims want urdu, why couldnt they have gone to pakistan? the logic of pakistan was muslims wanted a nation for themselves, why stay back and crib? i don think anyone is holding them from moving to pakistan

Ye manzilen !! said...

Politics the last refuge of.......

HP said...


Ever thought of publishing this in a mainstream English newspaper so that a wider audience gets to know about this??


Hyderabadi said...

ہاں ہم مسلمان اردو چاہتے ہیں اور اردو میڈیم کے اسکول بھی چاہتے ہیں۔
ویسے آپ کا مشورہ بہت بےتکا ہے۔ کیا پاکستان کے دروازے اب بھی کھلے ہیں جو ہم وہاں چلے جائیں؟
اور کیا آپ گاندھی جی کا وہ تیقن بھول گئے جو انہوں نے ہندوستانی مسلمانوں کو دیا تھا کہ ہندوستان میں مسلمانوں کو ہر قسم کی آزادی حاصل رہے گی ؟ اسی بھروسے پر تو ہم اور ہمارے آباء و اجداد نے پاکستان کا رُخ نہیں کیا۔
یاد رکھئے کہ ہم مسلمان برابر اپنا حق ، ہندوستان کی ہر ہر حکومت سے مرتے دم تک مانگتے رہیں گے کیونکہ اس ملک پر ہمارا بھی اتنا ہی حق ہے جتنا آپ جیسے متعصب جن سنگھیوں کا۔
اور ۔۔۔ اگر اردو کو جیتا جاگتا زندہ سلامت دیکھنا ہو تو میں آپ کو دعوت دیتا ہوں کہ کبھی حیدرآباد آئیں۔

indscribe said...

Anon, don't hide as anonymous. Urdu is as much Indian as any other language. Urdu poets and writers are much more Indian than people of your ilk. You better leave whereve you wish, Indian Muslims are surely not going anywhere.

HP, there were lot of things that were unique to UP. Communalism etc. And because UP had a substantial Muslim population, the image of backwardness stuck. Now that you have suggested, I would surely think about it.

Anonymous said...

Very good blog, thanks.

There is a historical reason for the Congress to be so harsh on Muslims and Urdu in U.P. It was the U.P in which the Pakistan movement first gained steam - and the platform was built by Muslim League accusing the Congress of aiming to wipe out Muslims, their religion, their language and culture, their jobs, their political rights in U.P in 1937-1938 onward.

This was at a time when U.P Muslims held a larger proportion of the govt. jobs and landholdings than their population proportion. The Congress having won majorities in many provinces but not so many Muslim seats launched a Muslim mass contact program which included issuing its publications in Urdu, to increase its Muslim grassroots outreach and Muslim participation in party activities.This Congress mass contact campaign including the Urdu publications were held up by League leaders as proof of the Hindu threat which the Congress posed to Muslims' rights and Islam.

The Congress had said that it supported Hindustani in both Devanagari and Nastaliq scripts as India's official language, but the League accused Congress of intending to wipe out Urdu and intending to instead impose a Sanskritised language on Muslims.

There were accusations in the U.P legislative assembly that Muslims were being discriminated against in jobs and in grants to Muslim educational institutions - until the Premier G.B.Pant gave the Assembly facts and figures to prove otherwise. But the campaign outside the Assembly to accuse the Congress of such discrimination continued. The League's membership went up dramatically after such a campaign in 1937-1938 over these and other alleged grievances about Muslim identity. Its momentum then culminated in the Pakistan movement and U.P. Muslims were credited with having spearheaded the demand for a separate Muslim state to save their faith, their culture, their language from the 'Hindu' Congress.

This is an attempt to explain briefly and quickly why the anti-Muslim anti-Urdu Hindu Mahasabha element might have gained the upper hand in the Congress in U.P. post-partition. This is not a justification of Congress's behaviour by any measure.

urdulover said...

Anonymous said...
if the muslims want urdu, why couldnt they have gone to pakistan? the logic of pakistan was muslims wanted a nation for themselves, why stay back and crib? i don think anyone is holding them from moving to pakistan

in response to anonymous :

anonymous, you are a complete and utter retard of the highest order, you fool, urdu is not a "muslim" language, it is an "indian" language..

you and your ilk should be kicked out on their ass from india- a secular country to an imaginary for-hindus-only country

i feel i had had a chance to learn urdu growing up in india, it is a beautiful language..victimised by retards of the hindu nation