Community News

State Bank to open accounts with Urdu signatures

Sultanpur: General Manager State Bank of India, RN Tandon, has instructed the branch manager of Dostpur's SBI branch to immediately open an account of applications with Urdu signatures. This follows refusal by the branch manager to open Maulana Siraj Hashmi’s account who had signed in Urdu. The Maulana complained to the General Manager, Lucknow. Expressing surprise, the GM, sent a written order to do so.

Urdu is also one of the officially recognised languages in India and has official language status in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi. Still, Urdu literate people find it difficult to use banking exchange instruments like a cheque, written in Urdu. This is majorly due to non-availability of Urdu knowing staff at banks. This used to even happen when Jamia Millia Islamia used to have Central Bank of India's branch in its campus. Still the bank did not bother to keep anyone in its staff who knew Urdu once which came to light when an Urdu teacher at Jamia Senior Secondary School just did not accept the teller's refusal to honour a cheque written in Urdu.

But refusing a signature in Urdu, is not about knowing or not knowing Urdu. But indeed something else. In majority of cases one cannot make out what lines one is drawing in his/her signature. A signature's lines resembling Urdu should not be make it difficult to match.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 January 2011 on page no. 19

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