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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Narendra Modi tweets in Urdu but will he stop closure of Urdu schools in Gujarat

The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, has recently begun tweeting in Urdu also.

It's a welcome step that the BJP's prime ministerial candidate understands the importance of the language that gave  slogans like Inquilab Zindabad, which stirred the nation during the freedom movement.

Though there are many Congress leaders on Twitter, I don't think anyone tweets in Urdu. Is it due to electoral conditions? May be, after all, its natural for politicians to do that. But if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) CM tweets in Urdu, he should also give attention to the plight of Urdu schools in his state.

Dozens of Urdu medium schools in Ahmedabad have closed down in the last five years alone. Forget, opening of new schools. The existing ones are being merged into other schools. For the Urdu medium students, that's a bad situation.

At many places, students who have completed high school, have no place for higher studies. The situation is no better in Surat. The situation in Vadodara is even worse. Permission is not being granted to open new schools or even upgrading of the existing schools.

Yes, we are told that everyone wants to move on and stop talking of 'past'. Surely, but can you kindly ensure that Muslim boys and girls could get education. These are students who don't go to madarsas but with closure of schools, they have less options. In Muslim dominated pockets, there aren't new government schools coming up.

I am not talking about the lack of funds to Urdu Sahitya Academy in Gujarat or for financial help for Urdu litterateurs. One hopes that just when Chief Minister [or his office] tweets in Urdu, they will also be sensitive towards the condition of Urdu medium schools in the state.

Saving the surviving Urdu schools and providing them the basic amenities will be a step in the right direction. It will also send a good message about development and forward looking approach. Won't it? Will someone reflect over it!

Link to Tanvir A Siddiqui's report about Urdu schools closing down in Ahmedabad. READ