Government gives clarification over alleged exclusion of Urdu from NEP

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By Muslim Mirror Staff

New Delhi: Scores of prominent organisations and individuals have raised concerns alleging that the Urdu language has been ignored in the new National Education Policy (NEP). They have criticised Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government over the same. 

Following rising criticism over the same, the government ruled out the allegation as “false and mischievous”. Secretary of Higher Education Amit Khare was quoted by News 18 as saying, ” Para 4.12, 22.6 and 22.18 of NEP talk of all languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which includes Urdu. Incidentally, what is being deliberately and mischievously suppressed is that these paras do not talk of Hindi also, rather all languages of the Eighth Schedule are mentioned”.

Those who raised their voice against the alleged exclusion of Urdu include former finance minister Yashwant Sinha. 

National secretary of Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) Syed Muzakkir said the NEP has mentioned all scheduled language but remained silent about Urdu. He termed it as a ‘step-motherly’ behaviour toward Urdu.

“It talked about all scheduled languages. It mentioned many languages but remained silent about Urdu. It is like you mention all people but left one and some. It seems that you are neglecting someone by not taking its name. This is the behaviour of the NEP towards Urdu,” said Muzakkir talking to Clarion India.

Muzakkir said that this was step-motherly behaviour towards Urdu as the NEP took the name of almost all languages. In the draft of the NEP approved by the Cabinet, there was mention of Urdu once along with Sindhi. But in the final version of the NEP, even the one time mention of Urdu has been removed. In the final version, there is no mention of Urdu, he said.

Here is an example of how the NEP ignored the Urdu while mentioning all major languages of India.

Under the headline ‘Multilingualism and The Power of Language’ in para 4.18, the NEP talks about preserving the literature of Indian languages and mentions many major languages of India but not Urdu.

“India also has extremely rich literature in other classical languages, including classical Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia. In addition to these classical languages are Pali, Persian, and Prakrit; and their works of literature too must be preserved for their richness and for the pleasure and enrichment of posterity. As India becomes a fully-developed country, the next generation will want to partake in and be enriched by India’s extensive and beautiful classical literature”.

“In addition to Sanskrit, other classical languages and literatures of India, including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Pali, Persian, and Prakrit, will also be widely available in schools as options for students, possibly as online modules, through experiential and innovative approaches, to ensure that these languages and literature stay alive and vibrant. Similar efforts will be made for all Indian languages having rich oral and written literatures, cultural traditions, and knowledge”.

Here, there is no mention of Urdu despite naming India’s all major regional languages. However, the Sanskrit which is not spoken in any region of the country has been mentioned 23 times.

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