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


Urdu University at Rampur

Apropos of Prof. Ziauddin Ahmad’s article on the proposed Urdu University at Rampur, it has little to say on the questions in issue.

We do not know all the features of the Ordinance in dispute. The University Court usually elects the Chancellor and the Pro-Chancellor and has a role in the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor. Why can’t this democratic procedure be applied in the case of this University? Howsoever the Court may be constituted, why should there be any doubt that considering his services, Shri Azam Khan will not be elected as Pro-Chancellor.

The Ordinance turns the matter upside down. Instead of the Pro-Chancellor being elected by the Court, he becomes an ex-officio member of the Court!
Secondly, no Pro-Chancellor presides over the Executive Council. Why should the Ordinance envisage the ‘life’ Pro-Chancellor as the permanent President of the Executive Council.

Howsoever popular an MLA, howsoever resourceful a Minister, the University shall prosper only if the State Government takes due interest. So the progress of the project does not depend on life-Pro-Chancellorship of any individual who may or may not remain an MLA or a Minister but on the Urdu-speakers and Muslim community of UP to press the Government of UP, whosoever be in power, to treat the Urdu University on par with other State Universities.

On a different point, I would like the Government of UP to establish 2 separate Universities, if it wants to do justice to Urdu, on one hand, and to Arabic and Persian, on the other – a Urdu University whose objective should be to teach all subjects, stage by stage, through the medium of Urdu and an Islamic University (like a Vedic or Sanskrit University) which should concentrate on Arabic, Persian and Studies of Islam. The Urdu University should affiliate all Urdu-medium Colleges in the State, the other, all Madrasas above a certain standard.

Further the Government of UP should first allow Urdu as a medium of school instruction and give a place to Urdu in the Three Language Formula and establish schools in Urdu concentration areas and appoint Urdu and Urdu-language teachers as per educational norms.

Syed Shahabuddin

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