ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Urdu in UP


With reference to the late Danial Latifi’s article on Urdu in UP (February 17), I would like to make some necessary clarification. Neither the central nor the state legislation anywhere relating to the official language touches the question of use of language in education, primarily because the two questions are related to different sections of the Constitution. Hence it is not surprising that the amendment of 1989 to the UP Official Language Act to give Urdu the status of the second official language in specified areas for specified purposes did not tackle the question of restoring Urdu’s place in the educational system from its present state of marginalisation to near banishment. Similarly, the Delhi Act which is yet to be promulgated, has no such provision.

It is, indeed, tragic that the national organisation concerned, Anjuman Taraqqi-e-Urdu, should have totally ignored the subsequent developments and not intervened, as it should have, to save the UP Act when its constitutionality was challenged in the Allahabad High Court by means of a writ petition which was finally rejected in 1996. An appeal was filed in the Supreme Court. The appeal has been admitted and is pending. But I am not certain if the operation of the Act of 1989 has been stayed. In any case, I have been trying to persuade the Anjuman to wake up and play its due role. But, in its turn, like a bureaucracy, it is trying to wake up its state unit which is more or less defunct.

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