Monday, March 02, 2015

Urdu must gets its constitutional right in Uttar Pradesh: Amend discriminatory rule that stops opening of Urdu medium schools in UP

By Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Urdu is the mother tongue of at least 40 million or 4 crore people in Uttar Pradesh (UP), India's most populated State. 

It is spoken and understood by many more in UP which is considered as the birthplace of Urdu.

But the sad truth is that UP is the only state in India where a discriminatory law doesn't allow opening of Urdu medium schools.

This rule is in conflict with international norms that a kid has the right to education in his mother toungue, as well as against national policy.

Tragic fact is that Urdu is the second official language of UP. Yet, this discrimination continues. 

Post 1947, certain politicians in Uttar Pradesh unit of Congress, acted against Urdu. All of a sudden, Urdu medium was abolished. The legendary poet late Pandit Anand Narain Mulla, strongly protested the decision to scrap Urdu. 

Today, many states have thousands of Urdu schools. In Maharashtra alone, there are 5,000 Urdu medium schools but in UP, Urdu schools hardly exist. Karnataka, AP, Bihar, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Odisha and even Tamil Nadu have Urdu medium schools, but not UP. 

1. Critics say that Urdu medium would not help the students. Wrong. They don't know the reality, having schools is better than not going to the schools at all. Not every one belongs to the affluent or middle class.

2. There are lakhs of families that can't even afford the basic fee of even small private schoolsFor them Rs 100-200 for a kid is too much, as it affects their monthly budget (this money can get them part of ration for a month). Especially, if family is poor and has two- three or more children, the kids go uneducated or merely end up studying a few years in maktabs and madarsas. Government Urdu schools or private Urdu schools in poor neighbourhoods are needed. For those studying in maktabs and madarsas, it helps a lot as they enter mainstream education through schools.

3. In states like Maharashtra, Urdu medium students have consistently done good and have topped the entire Maharashtra board, several times in the last two decades. Also, it's a question of your basic right. 

4. Samajwadi Party had promised that it would open Urdu medium schools in UP, if it came to power. But this promise has not been fulfilled. We don't expect the government to do this much as they haven't delivered on many counts, but they can at least, amend the law, so that private schools can be opened with Urdu medium.

5. Urdu is one of the major Indian languages and is recognised as an official language in the eighth schedule of Indian constitution, along with Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bangla, Kannada, Punjabi, Sindhi, Marathi et al. This injustice with the language shouldn't be allowed. 

6. It is also a question about your RIGHTS too. In a democracy, the manner in which Urdu was targeted in UP after partition, is deplorable. Successive governments paid no attention to the issue despite voices raised by sections of activists, intellectuals and organisations. The discriminatory law must go.

7. It is a sure shot way to hurt a community or group if you snatch their language from them. In post-1947 UP, certain leaders did exactly that and the result is that UP one of the most forward states, is now known for educational backwardness, especially, among minorities. 

Sadly, despite nearly 67 MLAs in UP Assembly, the issue has not been taken up in the Assembly even now. Politicians, litterateurs, activists and even poets with considerable influence haven't raised the issued at all. 

8. JUST ONE ORGANISATION URDU DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION (UDO), which is based in Allahabad, has been fighting for the rights of Urdu in Uttar Pradesh. However, they also don't get much support from the society. 

UDO needs to hire the best lawyers, which needs funds, to fight cases up to the Supreme Court. It has taken up issues about banks not accepting Urdu cheques, government organisations not using Urdu in its communication, and consistently takes up the cause, One hopes that UDO will continue its fight on this issue too. But UDO is the lone group of such Urdu-walas in the entire country. 

9. Some people who have less idea about ground situation, especially, those who talk about imparting English education, easily say that English schools or Hindi schools (or private) should be opened. No body stops them, please open. But can you? 

Governments don't open English medium schools. Hence, we are talking about schools, at least the basic schools. In areas, in Urdu-speaking (Muslim) areas where there are no schools, at least, let the schools come up. 

Poverty levels are such that huge number of Muslims drop out as their parents can't even afford studying in the school that has the lowest fee. Muslim families, especially, poor are having a very tough time due to the inflation. 

A section of upwardly mobile class (even amongst Muslims) has little idea about the tough lives of majority of Muslims. The situation is such that millions of Muslim households are yet to get past the 'struggle for two square meals' stage. 

They can't even afford Rs 100-250 fee for the school, because if there are 2-3 children, they can have 'aata' for a month for the family, with this money. It is very easy to say that open schools or colleges. People are doing their best but the economic condition of poor Muslims is such that it is not possible. 

Such is the situation that even in this era of focus on education, the number of Muslim kids' who dropout after 5th and 8th is increasing. Land prices are skyrocketing, even constructing a room or two, takes lakhs.  

You can't open one school, forget talking about overnight change. [People are trying their best but it is very, very difficult]. This only government can do. And its their duty, hence we are demanding it. Also, they promised it and its our job to keep watch on what they deliver and what they did not.

Rather than criticising without understanding, please do something else if you can't support us in this demand. Please open one school and we will emulate you Sir.

10. Urge the Chief Minister, UP, to fulfill the promise of opening Urdu schools in UP, which hasn't happened even after his government came to power. Also, legal ways should be explored to deal with this issue that has troubled Urdu speakers for almost 65 years.

Sign the petition:

Change discriminatory rule that bars Urdu as medium of instruction in schools in UP

1. उत्तर प्रदेश हिंदुस्तान का अकेला सूबा है जहां लाखों-करोड़ों बच्चे अपनी मातृ भाषा में तालीम नहीं हासिल कर सकते. चार करोड़ उर्दू आबादी वाले इस राज्य में ये भेदभावपूर्ण क़ानून आज़ादी के चंद साल बाद ही कांग्रेस सरकार ने बना दिया था.
हिंदी और अंग्रेजी के अलावा किसी माध्यम में राज्य सरकार तालीम को रेकोग्नाइज़ नहीं करती. दशकों की जद्दोजहद के बावुजूद और समाजवादी पार्टी के वादे के बावजूद ये क़ानून नहीं बदला गया.

2. बोहत से लोग इस मसले से वाक़िफ़ ही नहीं, कई तीसरी ज़बान के तौर पर उर्दू पढने को ही उर्दू माध्यम समझ कर कन्फ्यूज़ हो जाते हैं, कुछ लोग इस मसले पर बात करते ही ये कहने लगते हैं कि उर्दू माध्यम स्कूलों की ज़रुरत ही क्या है. तो पहले इस मसले को समझिये. पहली बात ये खुला डिस्क्रिमिनेशन है. कांग्रेस के बड़े नेता, सम्पूर्णानन्द, पुरुषोत्तम दास टंडन और सेठ गोविन्द दास की उर्दू दुश्मनी मशहूर थी.

3. यकायक उर्दू माध्यम ख़त्म कर और स्कूल बंद कर, उन्होंने ये सिग्नल दे दिया था कि अब आप का यहां कोई काम नहीं. आपकी ज़बान, कल्चर सब बाहरी है. एक पूरी नस्ल जो उस वक़्त पढ़ रही थी, इससे मुतास्सिर हुई. उनके तालीमी सिलसिले को डिस्टर्ब कर दिया गया, कॉलेजेस के निसाब से उर्दू, पर्शियन ऑप्शन बोहत जगह निकाल दिए गए (ये बिहार या दूसरी जगहों पर नहीं हुआ).

4. एक ज़बान जो बेहद समृद्ध थी, उसे, उसके अदब को ख़त्म करने की कोशिश की गयी. ये लिंगविस्टिक जेनोसाइड थी जो एक डेमोक्रेटिक सरकार ने की. ये कांग्रेस की सरकार थी.

5. ये उर्दू दुश्मनी १९८८ तक खुले तौर पर चली. वीरबहादुर सिंह ने तो सीएम बनते ही पहले आर्डर ये दिया था कि उर्दू नेमप्लेट सीएम हाउस से हटाई जाये. कांग्रेस के वज़ीर वासुदेव सिंह ने तो यह कह दिया था कि उर्दू वालों को गधे पर बैठा कर घूमना चाहिए. साथ ही स्कूल न होने से, स्कूल होना बेहतर है.

6. मुस्लिम बस्तियों में इतनी गरीबी है कि प्रायवेट स्कूलों की २००-३०० तक की फीस अफोर्ड नहीं कर पाते, इतने में तो महीने भर का चावल या गेहूं आजायेगा, आखिर. राज्य का फ़र्ज़ है कि वोह सरकारी स्कूल खोले और ये यूनिवर्सल एजुकेशन राइट है. आज महाराष्ट्र में चार हज़ार उर्दू स्कूल हैं, कर्नाटक में भी तक़रीबन इतने ही और आंध्र में भी एक हज़ार से ज़्यादा. इसका फायदा होता है, माद्री ज़बान में पढ़ने से चीज़ें समझ में आती हैं. एक बेहद अहम बात. मकतब और मदरसे के बच्चों को भी मेनस्ट्रीम में आने के लिए उर्दू माध्यम स्कूलों से बड़ा फ़ायदा होता है.

7. यही वजह है वहां का मुसलमान आज तालीमी तौर पर आगे है. घर में अंग्रेजी का माहौल न हो तो अंग्रेजी स्कूल में जा कर तालिब इल्म सिर्फ रटता है, समझ नहीं पाता. संस्कृत-निष्ठ हिंदी भी उसके लिए कम मुश्किल नहीं. इस सब पर बहस हो सकती है, लेकिन एजुकेशन डिपार्टमेंट के इस डिस्क्रिमिनटरी कानून की वजह से प्रायवेट उर्दू स्कूल भी नहीं खोले जा सके. कोइ उर्दू स्कूल में पढ़े या नहीं, मगर ये रास्ता ही बंद कर दिया गया. बहरहाल ये लंबी कहानी है.

8. आज़ादी के बाद भी यूपी में क़द्दावर मुस्लिम नेता मौजूद थे मगर उर्दू के इस क़त्ल पर उनकी आवाज़ों का कोई असर न हुआ. नेहरू को सब मालुम था मगर उन्होंने इंटरफियर नहीं किया. जब बिहार में उर्दू दूसरी सरकारी ज़बान बनी, बेहद मजबूरी में एनडी तिवारी के दौर में आला कमान के कहने पर कागजों पर यूपी में उसको दूसरी ज़बान बना दिया गया. मुलायम सिंह के शुरूआती दौर में कुछ फैसले ठीक हुए.

9. मगर फिर मामला बिगड़ गया. दरअसल १९९० आते आते, कई जनरेशन्स गुज़र चुकी थीं जिन्हें न उर्दू आती थी और न उनको इस ज़बान से जज़्बाती लगाव था. अफ़सोस बड़े बड़े शायर अदीब जो मुख्यमंत्रियों के साथ डाइस पर मुशायरे और प्रोग्रामों में बैठते रहे, इस मसले पर खामोश रहे.

10. दुनिया की तारीख में शायद ही कोई ऐसा वाक़या हो कि एक ज़िंदा ज़बान को, करोड़ों लोग ,उसे अपने ही होमलैंड में इस तरह क़त्ल किया गया हो. मैं काफी अरसे से इस मसले पर लिख रहा हूँ. सिर्फ इलाहाबाद की एक तंज़ीम है जो इस मसले पर संजीदा नज़र आती है और क़ानूनी कार्रवाई कर रही है. पूरा मसला जान्ने और समझने के लिए इस लिंक पर जाएँ.


Unlike the official policy of the Congress and the Government of India, the leaders of Congress in UP, were so adamant that they were not ready to give any rights to Urdu speakers in their own state. 

Purushottam Das Tandon, the Congress stalwart, was a strong Urdu opponent, who advocated education in mother tongue for everyone except Urdu speakers. Chief Minister Sampoornanand was so hostile that he openly said that Urdu walas need not be given any rights.

UP chief ministers Sampoornanand, Banarsi Das, GB Pant and Virbahadur Singh were vehemently anti-Urdu. The first order, Singh, gave after becoming CM in 1985, was to remove his name plate in Urdu. 

There was no hope for Urdu walas, as all legal fights were also stalled because of state's might, which was hell-bent to deny Urdu speakers any right. The attitude of UP Congress leaders towards Urdu was exactly similar to that of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. 

The stature of Purushottam Das Tandon and GB Pant, was such that high command of the party, couldn't take action against them. More than 10 lakh signatures were collected and sent to President of India, but nothing happened.

Congress leaders in UP were so harsh and hated Urdu, that in this blind hatred, that dug Congress' grave in UP. Over the years, Muslims, got so fed up that they stopped voting for Congress. Sensing the Muslim disenchantment, Congress leadership in late eighties forced UP Congress govt to act.

Urdu was made second language, on paper. The notification was done, but its language was so ambiguous that, legally it gave nothing to Urdu. You could still not open Urdu schools in Uttar Pradesh. MLAs were not allowed to take oath in Urdu in UP Assembly! 

SEE LINK to Congress leaders' objectionable statements on Urdu in Omar Khalidi's compilation HERE

ANINDIANMUSLIM.COM takes up this fight to ensure that justice is done with Urdu in UP. For years, people at different levels have been raising their voice but nothing concrete came out. We are taking it forward through social media. Call it a drive, a movement or a struggle, but the fight has now begun. 

Petition to Correct This Historic Injustice: SIGN IT HERE

You can tweet with the hashtag #JusticewithUrduinUP


Or for those who feel Urdu could be taught as third language, but have no idea that this is not possible in UP.