By Mumtaz Alam, Muslim Mirror,
Patna, April 17: Urdu is the second official language in Bihar and thereby all state government offices and institutions are bound to accept any application, memorandum, FIR etc. in Urdu language also besides Hindi and English. But on the ground of reality, it seems, the language is not enjoying the status of second official language as even high-powered offices too are not accepting interaction in Urdu.
In a big disclosure, the Judicial Enquiry Commission, set up by the Nitish Kumar government in June 2011 to look into the Forbesganj police firing, is not accepting applications from victims or Muslim organizations written in Urdu language.
Mohammad Arif Ansari, General Secretary and Spokesperson of Bihar State Momin Conference had sent application in Urdu to the commission. Mr. Ansari wanted to appear before the commission that is enquiring the 3rd June 2011 police firing in which four persons including an infant and a pregnant woman were killed in Bhajanpur village of Forbesganj block in Araria district. But the commission has not accepted his application and asked him to send the application in Hindi as the commission has no arrangement to read applications in Urdu language.
“I am instructed to inform you that the commission has got an application letter in Urdu from you regarding the hearing in connection with the firing. The commission has no arrangement to read Urdu applications, and that is why further action on your application is pending,” reads the letter (dated 16th Jan 2013) from the commission. The commission asked Mr. Arif to resend his application in Hindi.
“This exposes the true status of Urdu, the second official language of Bihar. Soon after the language was granted the status in 1980s, the state government had notified that all offices should have an Urdu translator. But this is just on paper,” Mr. Arif Ansari told Muslim Mirror.
He expressed surprise and anguish over the fact that the Forbesganj firing judicial commission has not been given Urdu staff even when the commission is looking into a case which is related to the Muslim community.
“All the victims of Forbesganj firing are Muslims; in fact, the entire village is dominated by Urdu speaking Muslim community. Besides, several Muslim organizations have shown interest to appear before the commission seeking justice for the victims. Yet, the state government has not provided an Urdu translator to the commission,” Mr. Ansari added.
He also lambasted the slow pace of the commission. “The commission was given six months to submit its enquiry report, but around two years have passed, there is no trace of the report,” said Mr. Ansari.
The slow pace of the commission is evident from Mr. Ansari’s case also. He had sent his Urdu application to the commission on 23rd November 2011, but the commission responded on 16th Jan 2013 seeking application in Hindi.
“The commission has been set up by the government just to befool the public. They are delaying deliberately so that the victim families forget it and culprits are not brought to book,” said Mr. Arif Ansari.