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Monday, February 10, 2014

UPSC misuses autonomy, UPA remains apathetic: Movement needed to restore Arabic, Persian, Pali in Civil Services

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The decision of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to remove Arabic, Persian and Pali from the list of optional subjects in the civil services examination, has invited strong condemnation from across the country.

There is a vast literary treasure in India in these three languages that have the status of classical languages in the country.

There are million of books in libraries in these languages apart from revenue records in many states that are in Persian. Old historical structures and coins carry plaques in these languages.

In taking the decision to remove these languages, the UPSC has misused its autonomy. Unfortunately, it is the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) which is at the helm, when the decision has again been taken.

Nearly two decades back, there was a similar decision. After strong protests, the decision was revoked. Congress was the ruling party. PV Narsimha Rao was the prime minister then. Now it has happened once again. Why there is an effort to remove these languages from UPSC, the apex

The UPSC members have done great disservice to the nation with this act. They have shown their lack of awareness about Indian culture and history, when they decided to remove these languages from the list of optional subjects.

They also removed French, German and Russian. In fact, keeping Arabic, Persian and Pali in the same bracket, shows how the mandarins of the top body, seem tohave no idea about the extent of literature these classical languages has and how much important it is for India.

Already, we don't have enough students taking languages in universities.

With diminishing options, the Arabic, Persian and Pali departments in universities in the country, will be severely affected.

It will be a big loss for our heritage.

There will perhaps be a situation when there will be more experts of these languages outside the country, than here.

DP Agarwal is the chairman of the UPSC. The commission has ten members viz. Rajni Razdan, Venkatarami Reddy Y, Alka Sirohi, David R Syimlieh, Manbir Singh, Amar Pratap Singh, DK Dewan, Vinay Mittal, P Kilemsungla, Chhatar Singh.

It beats the brains how these 'intellectuals' took this insane decision. As far as Persian is concerned, India has preserved the original classical form of the language. Not just Mughals, hundreds of princely states used it as an official language in 19th century and even later.

The texts, manuscripts are lying in libraries and archives departments and they will not be researchers, students, to decipher them. What a shame!

The UPSC is also playing with the future of students. Sadly, the UPA claims that it wants to increase job opportunities for Muslims, but under its tenure, the languages are being removed. Two of these languages give students of 'madarsas' the option to dream big.

In fact, several Muslims have taken Arabic and Persian as optional subjects and have cleared the examination to become IAS, IPS and IFS officers. Recently, teachers and students protested outside UPSC and the chairman had refused to meet their delegation.

United Muslims Front (UMF) held a major protest that was led by the front chief Shahid Ali.

The All India Association of Arabic Teachers & Scholars (AIAATS) in collaboration with the All India Persian Scholars’ Association (AIPSA) organized a symposium in Delhi on the issue, but now seminars are not required.

The need is for action. There have been protests in Lucknow and Allahabad. The issue is that UPSC's action is illogical and shows that its top officers have little idea about Indian history and have no focus on keeping the standards of learning in the universities.

It is time to condemn their decision, which is either due to prejudiced mindset or total lack of knowledge.
The need of the hour is to petition the President of India, whom UPSC annually submits its report. Also, write letters to Prime Minister, urge the MPs to take up the issue in the Parliament. If there is more delay, the decision may not be overturned.

Do act now.