By S. M. Anwar Hussain
I vividly remember , I was a school boy and the then Bihar Congress chief Minister, Dr Jagannath Mishra had passed or declared Urdu as second official language in some districts of then undivided Bihar, it had created a huge political storm in Bihar. So called Hindi lovers and Urdu haters had raised the sky against that government ‘ decision. These Urdu baiters had turned the whole Bihar into a battle ground against Urdu. Even some congress leaders, wearing the khaki nickers under their dhotis were in the fore front front of Urdu Virodhi movement. It was perhaps due to , the strong backing of the then Prime Minister Mrs Indra Gandhi, that Dr Jagannath Mishra stood his ground and remained unflinching, and as a stinging rebuff from Hindi Premis earned the tittle of Maulana Jagan Nath Mishra.And during this regime of Maulana Jagannath Mishra, many Urdu medium schools were recognised as minority schools. And many Urdu knowing Muslims got jobs as Urdu typists and Urdu translators. When he had successfully but partially implemented Urdu as a second official language, may be because of the fear of losing Urdu Virodhi voters, or because of any other reason Dr Jagannath lost his position.Today that benevolent of Urdu language is sitting in the unsolicited benches of BJP. Isn’t it strange ? Isn’t it a defeat and humiliation of secular, harmonious , and peace loving lobby of Bihar. ?
Next came the emergence of Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav as the strongest and most articulate exponent of Secular polity of Bihar. He became the centre of anti-Hindutva politics and the unquestioned leader of MY social combination.! A very strange phenomenon came to my observation that during the reign of this champion of secularism and the only ‘leader’ and the ‘spokesperson ‘ of the Muslim community, Urdu took a reverse course. School books stopped being printed and published in Urdu and Urdu schools were forced to turn into Hindi Medium Schools. Number of Urdu newspapers started dwindling.No new Urdu medium schools were allowed to come into offing.And the chief Minister never delivered a speech in Urdu although it was still second official language of the state.
Last week I came across some pleasant breezing in case of Urdu . I was invited to attend a Seminar titled “Farogh e Urdu “followed by a Mushairas ( a gathering of poets for rendering their discourse’) organised by the district treasury officer of Luckkhi Sarai, Mr Zakir Hussain. Seminar had not attracted some known scholars of Urdu but it consisted of at least such people who had the understanding of the hardships faced by Urdu and its learners. They seemed to have a good grasp on the issue and how to advance and promote the cause of Urdu by making it a medium of instruction or at least making it a compulsory subject in schools. S. M. Tayyab Asghar emerged as the most effective and forceful votary for the use of Urdu in different walk of life۔
Both Seminar and Mushairas were held in the district collectorate premises.Although Lukkhisarai is a small and remote district of Bihar and with a small population of Urdu speakers, the program had collected a good gathering of audience, speakers and poets, both locals and outsiders, both Muslims and Hindus.- The hall was full throughout the day till the dusk.At the end of the Mushaira, the poets and speakers were presented with a woollen cream colour shall and a closed envelop containing perhaps a bank cheque.The galaxy of poets consisted of poets like Khurshid Akbar ,Rajendra Raaz، Yashasvi Kumari, Dr Remiz ,Dr Renu Sinha, Nazeer Rahi, Saeed Ahsan, Kazim Raza, Rajendra Kumar Kanchan,Anirudh Sinha, Amanullah Khan,Seher majidi,Imran raquim, Nzeer rahi,Qaisar Zia Qaisar and some more. Specially the presence of a very senior and reputed poet like Janab Zafar Siddiqui from Patna added more colour, dignity and respectability to the Mushaira.
However, It seems gradually our Mushaira loving audience and the shuaras ( poets) are both forgetting the etiquette’s and manners of a poetic gathering. In this Mushaira I noticed a unique and strange phenomenon. There was an extra constitutional and extra territorial authority who was constantly overriding and the overruling the president, Naqueeb and intermittently directing and controlling other poets on the micro phone. although he himself is a poet , and author of many poetic collections to his credit.
Anyway, the holding of a Urdu Mushaira and a Seminar titled “ Farogh e Urdu under the government banner controlled by a rabid anti-Urdu Party like BJP is itsel very surprising. and pleasant. And as per the statement of Mr Zakir Hussain that every district is granted such funds for organising such events. He himself has been instrumental in organising such events in four or five districts in last few years of Mr Nitish Kumar. Kuddus to Mr Nitish Kumar for doing at least something for Urdu although he is always walking in Bihar Polity with BJP. There are many positive points in your kitty, but I am sorry to say Nitish Bhai that You have been sailing in wrong boat , and once you have backstabbed the secular polity, but still there are millions who are ready to forgive you and want to see you in the secular front and take a fight against those who are the enemy of unity , integrity and secular fabric of the nation. Hope you will very soon listen to your own voice of conscience and respect the wishes of millions who want to maintain the sanctity of the constitution. Take a quick decision before it is too late.