Azim akhtar decline of urdu &impact on education in up


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  • Azim akhtar decline of urdu &impact on education in up

    1. 1. Decline of Urdu and its impact on Education in Uttar Pradesh The correspondence that should exist between the school training and the character imbibed with the mother's milk . . . is absent when the school training is given through a foreign tongue. However pure may be his motives, he who thus snaps the cord that should bind the school life and the home-life is an enemy of the nation. M. K. Gandhi Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    2. 2. Every year the world celebrates the International Mother Language Day on February 21 to focus on the importance of the mother tongue as a medium of learning, and education. It also aims to celebrate the linguistic and cultural diversity in the world, which is important to promote unity and harmony in the society. India also celebrates the day, but Uttar Pradesh, which even after bifurcation remains the largest Indian state continues to turn blind eye to this celebration, because the government machinery wants to promote and work in only Hindi. Here only Hindi Divas is celebrated with much fanfare, when speakers across the state organise functions to promote Hindi and implement one-language policy. It was under these circumstances, where nations across the world try to force ‘one-language’ policy on the people, for obvious political gains, that the United Nations stepped in to protect the rights of linguistic minorities. As early as 1953, a UNESCO committee of experts considering questions about language and education found many advantages to mother tongue education: It is axiomatic that the best medium for teaching a child is his mother tongue. .. Educationally, he learns more quickly through it than through an unfamiliar linguistic medium. Another UNESCO report of 1999 agreed: There is ample research showing that students are quicker to learn to read and acquire other academic skills when first taught in their mother tongue. They also learn a second language more quickly than those initially taught to read in an unfamiliar language. In 1999, UNESCO decided to launch an International Mother Language Day (IMLD) to be observed throughout the world each year on 21 February. This celebration is designed to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education, to highlight greater awareness of the importance of mother tongue education. The importance of mother tongue instruction in the early years of schooling is emphasized in the findings of studies, research and reports such as the annual UNESCO Education For All (EFA) or Global Monitoring Report. In the US, children who speak a language other than English enter schools with abilities and talents similar to those of native English-speaking children. At personal level, it also leads to the growth and enhances self-esteem. The child's first language is critical to his or her identity. Maintaining this language helps the child value his or her culture and heritage, which contributes to a positive self-concept. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    3. 3. Mother tongue education also enhances children's learning and preparing them for a globalised world. Research also establishes the relationship between the mother tongue and attendance in schools, a study on primary school absenteeism in Ireland has found. A child whose mother’s native language was not English or Irish was nine times more likely to have poor school attendance than a child of a native English or Irish speaker, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) study has found. Given the importance of mother tongue in imparting education to the young minds across the world, it is surprising that the Uttar Pradesh government is not doing enough to make this a policy and implement this at the primary level. After independence, Uttar Pradesh was the first state to make Hindi the official language and impart education at all levels in this language. This move was against the dual role played by Urdu-Hindi before the Revolt of 1857 in imparting education in the province. When education was transferred to provincial government in 1843, nine GovernmentAnglo vernacular schools besides the attached classes of Banaras, Agra and Delhi colleges were imparting secondary education in the NW Provinces. They were educating more than 2000 boys--Hindus, Muslims, Europeans and Eurasian—with the total cost of Rs. 1,81,108. The Provincial Committee report of 1884 says: "...of these 1598 were Hindus, 385 Muslims, and the rest Europeans or Eurasians. English was studied by 1423, Urdu by 1,015, Hindi by 736, Arabic by 88, Persian by 270 and Sanskrit by 171. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    4. 4. Lt. Governor Thomason submitted to the Government of India complete scheme of vernacular education for approval in 1846. By the Resolution of 9 February 1850, the North West Provinces Government accepted the establishment of government village school at the Headquarters of every Tahsildar...the instruction was to be given through the vernacular languages, both Urdu and Hindi. Thomason's scheme of vernacular education was introduced in 1850 in eight districts, namely Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Agra, Mathura, Mainpuri, Aligarh, Farrukhabad and Etawa. Dr. F J Movat, an educationist appreciated this education and called for extension in other areas as well. Finally in 1853, the Government of North West Provinces agreed to extend the scheme to all the districts of provinces. The scheme was so popular that the Governor-General in Council called for the extension of the scheme in Bihar and Bengal. During the first decade of the introduction of education in the state, the majority of students came from Hindu community, and vernacular education was given in Urdu and Hindi. Even in 1854, the majority of students were Hindus: Muslims were 701 while Hindus were 3,967. Following the Wood’s despatch of 1854, Education Department was created in 1854 and a Director and four inspectors were appointed. The noble idea that the vernacular should be the medium of highest subject of culture and education was originated by the British Indian Association, Aligarh. The association submitted a Memorandum to the Government of India in August 1867 and suggested for imparting education in a manner which could benefit the large number of people. Aligarh Scientific Society took up the cause of translating important books in Urdu which were prescribed for University examination. The provincial government introduced prizes for translation of books in vernacular languages. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    5. 5. Sheo Prasad was awarded for his labour in translating books in Hindi. As long as vernacular education was given in Hindi as well Urdu, there were no complaints from the Urdu speakers. After the revolt of 1857, there were organisations working for the Hindi in Devanagri script, and the language was filled with Sanskrit words. In the 19th century, there was also campaign and move to associate Urdu with Muslims, ignoring the contribution and great works of non-Muslims for the cause of Urdu literature. The British Empire followed a policy of discrimination against Urdu and promoted Hindi. This was done to claim the support of the majority community for the future rule and penalise the Muslims for their support and participation in the Revolt of 1857. However, Urdu in Persian script was popular and most of the students preferred to take Urdu. As Shyam Sunder Das wrote in his autobiography:‘To even mention the name of Hindi was considered sinful. There was absolutely no respect for it in the courts. In schools it had a place only up to middle class. The majority of students took Urdu. For some time, the official patronage to Urdu / Hindi was based on the wishes of the provincial governor. Under the government of Sir John Strachey and Sir George Couper (1874-82)…this patronage had reached a high point with the rules of 1877 requiring Persian or Urdu as a second language for aspirants to government service. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    6. 6. According to Lala Lajpat Rai’s autobiography, it was the Hindi-Urdu controversy of the 1880s, which wedded him to the idea of Hindu Nationalism. Despite a heavily Islamised father and Urdu education he began to make pro-Hindi speeches even before he learnt the Devanagri script. Agitations in favour of Hindi at least partially successful, and the government of the central provinces and Bihar made provisions in late 1860s to allow the use of Hindi alongside Urdu. Leading Muslims in Up were active in anti-Nagari organisations in the 1870s and again at the turn of the century to prevent this from happening in UP. But in 1900, seemingly or response to a Hindu petition and without consulting these activist Muslims, the provincial government decided to accept Hindi as a lingua franca equal to Urdu in law courts and government offices. This decision broadened the number of people capable of carrying on official business with the government, but it was also seen as a threat to the literary culture that had developed around Urdu. The standard language, the pure ‘Hindi’, of literary reformers became the language of education and the mark of school proficiency …it excluded spoken, varieties and labelled Urdu words as foreign’…only children of upper caste backgrounds could feel at home in a school culture where the language used was so restrictive.’ Bhartendu Harishchandra said: Nij Bhasha Unnati ahaye sab Unnati ko Mul-Bina Nij Bhasha-gyan ke Michat Na Hiya Ke Sul, (Progress in one’s language is the source of all progress; if you know not your own language your heart cannot be pure). Lakshman Singh (1826-96), the Hindi translator of Shakuntala (1863) said: ‘in my opinion Hindi and Urdu are two different languages. Hindi is spoken by Hindus and Urdu by Muslims as well as Hindus well versed in Persian’. One Hindi weekly reported that some residents of Kanpur had sent a memorial to the Lieutenant Governor with twenty-three statements attached...the memorial closed with a request for Hindi and Devanagari in the courts. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    7. 7. 1900-1947 By the end of the 19th century Urdu/ Hindi controversy became widespread. In fact, throughout the century (19th) the controversy Hindu vs. Urdu was a great driving the growth of Hindi journalism. Notwithstanding the controversy and communalism surrounding Urdu / Hindi, their common history and lineage is illustrated by Hindi journalism. The beginning of Hindi journalism in North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) can be traced in the bilingual (Hindi-Urdu) Malwa Akhbar published as early as 1849. It may be noted that UP was then known as NWFP. Despite the endeavours of the early Makers of Hindi and all the efforts made by the Arya Samaj in northern India, there were only two Hindi dailies in northern India, there were only two dailies in Hindi in 1905: the Hindostan from Kalakankar in Pratapgarh tehsil in the then North Western Frontier Province (UP) and the Rajasthan Samachar from Ajmer. After the Piggot Commission of 1912-1913, the government reiterated its policy of a common language but at the same time ordered separate supplementary readers in Hindi and Urdu, which came into use in 1916. The decision amounted to an education that its policy of a common language had failed…and gave leeway to the introduction in the school curriculum of a more Sanskiritized Hindi.’ After 1916, Hindi rose slowly but steadily in the education system; it became a compulsory subject up to high school leaving examination in 1922 and an optional subject in intermediate colleges in 1927. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    8. 8. Many national leaders during Freedom Movement called for embracing vernacular language. This call was construed as adopting Hindi. Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘The first and greatest social service we can render is to revert to our vernaculars, to restore Hindi to its natural place as the National Language and begin carrying on all our provincial proceedings in our respective vernaculars and national proceedings in Hindi. We ought not to rest till our schools and colleges give us instruction through the vernaculars. . . . The day must soon come when our legislatures will debate national affairs in the vernaculars or Hindi as the" case may be. Hitherto the masses have been strangers to their proceedings.’ The supporters of Hindi fail to realise that Gandhi was also talking of vernaculars and it included Urdu. In Allahabad, the second municipal election in 1921 returned Puroshottam Das Tandon (1882-1962) as Chairman of the education committee; together they implemented a scheme for a national Hindi-medium college for women, the Paryag Mahila Vidyapith. In the decades preceding partition, the controversy only grew and Urdu speakers suffered. This was the time, when Urdu could not count on even its speakers, and lovers. In October 1947, Choudhry Khaliquzzaman—high-profile leader of the Muslim League in the Indian Constituent Assembly, long-time ally of Nehru and other Congress leaders in U.P. and subsequently a vocal champion of the rights of India’s Muslims—unexpectedly and abruptly migrated to Pakistan...No one knew quite why he had suddenly made this decision, and his own explanations—that he wanted to make way for younger blood, that he could not reconcile himself to learning Hindi (which had been made the official language of U.P.) Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    9. 9. 1947-2013 After independence, the supporters of Hindi and Devnagari script became more aggressive in their demand for ‘one-language’. They achieved final success shortly after independence, when the Government of Uttar Pradesh adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official state language. There was nothing wrong with the implementation of this policy, except for the fact that it ignored the sentiments of Urdu speakers, which was the largest minority of the state. In August, 1949, Provincial Education Ministers Conference passed a Resolution regarding Education through mother tongue. The Resolution states: "The medium of instruction and examinations at the Junior Basic stage must be the mother tongue of the child." The Government of India, soon after independence, adopted a definite policy favouring the use of mother tongue at the primary level of education, which is given importance by the Constitution. Article 350(A) of the Constitution spells out: "It shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local authority within the state to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother tongue at the primary stage of education to, children belonging to linguistic minority groups; and the President may issue such directions to any State as he considers necessary or proper for securing the provision of such facilities." The Conference evolved a 10:40 formula in 1949. The formula provided for the appointment of at least one language teacher if the total number of pupils belonging to a linguistic minority is 40 in a school or 10 in a class. Uttar Pradesh ignored this suggestion, as leaders of the state called for the implementation of Hindi at all levels of administration and education. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    10. 10. In 1956, a Memorandum of safeguards for linguistic minorities was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Perhaps, India being a member of the UN was inspired by the UNESCO resolution of 1953, which called for education in mother tongue. The Memorandum, making special mention of primary education said: "The directions which may be issued by the President under Article 350(A) of the Constitution as it is proposed to be enacted into law are likely to be based on the resolution accepted by the Provincial Education Ministers' Conference in August, 1949. The intention is that the arrangements which were generally accepted at this conference should be brought into force in States and Areas where they have not been adopted so far." Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Hind) submitted a representation to the President of India in 1956 requesting him to declare Urdu as the second regional language of Uttar Pradesh in accordance with Article 347 of the Constitution of India. The representation was signed by 22 lakhs Urdu speakers from the state. The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, in its Press Note issued on July 14, 1958 containing a statement on language, said "facilities should be provided for instruction and examination in the Urdu language at the primary stage to all children whose mother tongue is declared by the parent or guardian to be Urdu." The effect of one-language policy was the low level of literacy rate in Uttar Pradesh, as can be seen in Table 1, where literacy rate for Male / Female is 27.4 / 13.0 in 1961. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    11. 11. Table 1: Levels and Trends in Literacy Rate in Uttar Pradesh 1961 1971 1981 Males India 34.4 39.5 46.9 Uttar Pradesh 27.4 31.5 38.8 Females India 13.0 18.7 24.8 Uttar Pradesh 10.6 14.0 14.0 Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    12. 12. Uttar Pradesh remained on the course of forcefully making Hindi the mother tongue of the population, by not giving options to Urdu speakers. The Resolution of 1949, and the Memorandum of 1956 had little effect on the policy makers of the state, which was swept over by another ‘proHindi’ movement of 1960s. Seeing the swift decline of Urdu in the first three decades of independence, the Central Government appointed a Committee headed by Inder Kumar Gujral to suggest remedy for the advancement of the language. All those witnesses who deposed before Gujral Committee during the year 1972 to 1975, expressed their dissatisfaction over the working of the 10:40 formula and its implementation. The Gujral Committee recommended : 1One Urdu medium primary school in area(village / ward), where Urdu speakers were 10 % of the total population. 2Provision for one Urdu teacher in schools where Urdu speakers were less than 10% of the population and 3To appoint bilingual teachers in category (2), if the government cannot meet the demands for large number of Urdu teachers. The fate of Gujral Committee remained same in the state and it was not implemented. According to the 24th report by Deputy Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities the number of Urdu medium primary schools was 1778 in 1983-84, which indicates that there is a decrease of 205 schools in spite of the fact that the population of Urdu speakers has increased in the meantime. The State Government spokesman informed the Sub-Committee orally that Urdu was being taught as a language subject in 4453 primary schools. However, the Deputy Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in his report, gives the number of such schools as 3690 . Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    13. 13. According to 1981 census the total population of UP and linguistic break-up is Total Population : 110,549,826 Hindi : 94,144,962 Urdu : 10,767,175 Uttar Pradesh was the last state in India to give constitutional right to Urdu language. This amendment is known as Uttar Pradesh Official Language (Amendment) Act, 1989. And we can see that there is a jump in literacy rate from 1981-1991, although it was just two years back that the UP government gave Urdu its due right. And if you consider the political situation of the period, when Mandir/Masjid-Mandal-Market were the dominant forces, this is a huge jump. Table 2: Literacy Growth in Uttar Pradesh, 1991-2001 1991 2001 Males India 64.1 76 UP 54.8 70.2 Females India 39.28 54.28 UP 24.37 42.98 Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    14. 14. Table 5: Educational Development Index: Uttar Pradesh Primary Level; Upper Primary Level; Elementary Level (Enrolment, 2001 Census) % Muslim Population 18.50 Elementary Level Year % of Muslim % Girl 2007-08 9.34 2008-09 9.59 2009-10 10.31 48.15 48.14 48.31 Primary Level % of Muslim 7.34 7.55 8.20 % Girl 48.54 48.46 49.72 Upper Primary Level % Muslim 9.12 9.80 Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University % Girl Enrolment 48.22 48.20
    15. 15. Conclusion Today in a globalised world, there is more than ever a need to protect the richness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingual education so that no language or community feel neglected. Mahatma Gandhi admitted the organic and natural linkages between life and language before independence. The United Nations acknowledged the importance of this in 1953, and every year celebrates the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) on February 21 to celebrate cultural diversity and multilingualism. As UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said, 'Multilingualism is a source of strength and opportunity for humanity. It embodies our cultural diversity and encourages the exchange of views, the renewal of ideas and the broadening of our capacity to imagine.’ After 60 years of independence, the Uttar Pradesh government should accept this reality and bring the Urdu speaking people under the umbrella of literacy by giving education in mother tongue and move towards Education For All. Hindi has been imposed on the whole of North India comprising of U.P., Bihar, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana, and this region is referred as ‘Hindi belt’. The government instead of imposing upon all the people Hindi as their ‘mother tongue’, should give the people the freedom of choice. This will not only improve the education in UP, but it will also ensure the survival of Urdu, which according to the latest People’s Survey of India figure, is spoken by 25. 8 % of the state population, which is higher than the population of the Muslims in UP. The below couplet depicts the plight of Urdu and Urdu speakers in Uttar Pradesh: Dar dar bhatak rahi hai magar dar nahin mile, Urdu ko apne des mein ek ghar nahin mile. Urdu is wandering around for a place-but it failed to get acknowledgement in its own land. Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University
    16. 16. The Boxer is the government, and Zebras running are Urdu speakers…! THANK YOU ! Abdul Azim Akhtar, Glocal University