Urdu Education Abandoned: The Alarming State of Neglect in Rajasthan Schools

Amid the backdrop of a diverse and pluralistic society, Urdu language is unfairly associated with Muslims, even as the Congress party courts Muslim voters. Despite budgetary commitments, Urdu education is being abandoned, particularly in areas with Muslim representation. Amin Kayamkhani, a tireless advocate for Urdu education, is sounding the alarm. The Mooknayak report on cultural neglect, broken promises, and the urgent need to revive Urdu education in Rajasthan's government schools.
Image for representational purpose only
Image for representational purpose onlyCourtesy-Hans India

Jaipur- While the Congress government in Rajasthan boasts of significant strides in education, its commitment to promoting Urdu language education seems questionable. Even as students in government primary schools express a keen interest in learning Urdu, the government's actions have contradicted its budgetary promises. The government had committed to appoint Urdu subject teachers when at least 20 students in primary schools showed an interest in learning Urdu, but the reality paints a different picture. The discontinuation of Urdu education in primary government schools has left students and their aspirations in limbo.

Urdu, an Indian language renowned for its rich cultural heritage, is regrettably burdened with an undue association with the Muslim community in the realm of education. Despite India's celebrated 'Ganga Jamuni' culture, the government has taken a step back from promoting Urdu, inadvertently constraining it to a single religious identity.

Traditionally, Muslims have been supporters of the Congress party, and Congress has often presented itself as Muslim-friendly. Paradoxically, this alignment has seemingly led to the side lining of Urdu education. Amin Kayamkhani, a dedicated advocate for Urdu, has brought to light a disheartening reality – despite the government's budgetary commitments, Urdu education in primary schools has suffered a setback since 2019. In regions of Jaipur represented by Muslim MLAs, primary schools have reluctantly phased out Urdu education."

For instance, in the area represented by MLA Amin Kagzi, Urdu education for students in grades one to five has been discontinued since 2019. This includes Government Girls Higher Secondary School Paon Ka Dariba, Subhash Chowk Jaipur, Government Secondary School Naharwada Ramganj Jaipur, Government Secondary School Basic Model Jaipur, Government Higher Primary School Jalupura Jaipur, Government Higher Primary School Sheetal Niwas Jaipur, Government Higher Primary School Chaukari Topkhana Country, Indira Bazar Jaipur, Government Primary School Hasanpura Banjara Hameed Nagar Jaipur, Government Primary School Kayamkhanian Topkhana Desh Ka Rasta Jaipur, Government Primary School Vyapardian Jaipur, Government Primary School Maulana Saheb Ramganj Jaipur, Government Primary School Neelgaran Ramganj Jaipur, Government Primary School Kamnigaran Ramganj Jaipur, and others.

Similarly, in the area of Hawamahal represented by MLA Mahesh Joshi, a cabinet minister in the state government, Urdu teaching has been discontinued in Government Higher Secondary School Moti Katla Subhash Chowk, Government Girls Higher Secondary School Gangapol Subhash Chowk, Government Secondary School Rajiv Nagar Bhatta Basti, Government Higher Primary School Shaheed Indira Jyoti Nagar Bhatta Basti. Jaipur, Government Primary School New Sanjay Nagar Sector 1 to 5 Bhatta Basti Jaipur, Government Higher Secondary School Laxman Dungri Bas Badanpura, Government Higher Primary School Maharaja Adarsh Hawamahal, Jaipur, Government Higher Secondary School Van Vihar Idgah in the area of Adarsh Nagar Jaipur represented by MLA Rafiq Khan, Government Higher Secondary School Paharganj, Government Higher Secondary School Dawbakhana, Government Higher Secondary School Mahavatan Ghatgate, Government Girls Secondary School Ghatgate, Government Higher Primary School Bhartolav Naraina in Phulera assembly constituency, Government Higher Primary School Dargah Sharif Sambhar, and these schools do not have Urdu teachers.

Kayamkhani points out that even in Amer, Sanganer, Chaumun, Manoharpur, Shahpura, Chaksu, Kho Nagoriyan, and other places in the state, basic Urdu teaching in government schools has been discontinued.

He states that he has sent reminders to the Chief Minister several times about the budget announcement's promise, and both written and verbal demands were made to regional MLAs and officials to reintroduce Urdu education in government schools at the elementary level. However, no one seems to have paid attention. It appears that leaders and officers have ingrained the belief that Urdu is exclusively a Muslim language. In Rajasthan and all of India, people from different castes and religions have achieved high positions in government service after learning this language, with hundreds of non-Muslim teachers teaching Urdu in Rajasthan.

Story Translated by Pratikshit Singh

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