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Published in the 16-31 Dec 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


Urdu-speaking community

I appreciate Shri Balraj Puri’s plea for the revival of Urdu in its place of birth (MG, 1-15 December, 2004). There is no doubt that the Urdu-speaking community of North India committed a political blunder in supporting the Pakistan movement. They are still harvesting the consequences of the seeds they sowed, not only in India but in Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well. History cannot be rolled back but its consequences can and should be mitigated.

In India, let us begin by fully implementing the constitutional provision for linguistic minorities and thus restore the national vision, so that all linguistic minorities, in all states, even in districts get their due. The existing feeling of deprivation through cultural and linguistic genocide cannot be erased through token and symbolic action, not even by establishing Urdu Universities. Only by teaching Urdu to every Urdu-speaking child right through high school and using Urdu as the medium of his primary instruction and establishing the necessary network of primary, middle and secondary schools, in accordance with national norms in all Urdu-speaking pockets or concentration areas, villages, towns, blocks and districts will do. This affirmation of cultural and linguistic personality will indeed facilitate and strengthen their emotional integration as he has correctly pointed out.

Syed Shahabuddin

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