Local leaders on Ladakh’s decision to remove the eligibility to know Urdu for revenue department jobs say it is a communal move aimed at creating ideological differences between Leh district and Muslim-majority Kargil, but not of political benefit. Yes, problems will arise only at the level of administration.
Srinagar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led administration in the Union Territory of Ladakh has made such an amendment in the rules of appointment in government jobs of the Revenue Department, which has given rise to controversy.
In a significant amendment, Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur has removed the requirement of knowing Urdu to get a job in the Revenue Department of Ladakh, raising the fear among many Ladakhis that their cultural history is being harmed. .
In a notification issued on 7 January, Lieutenant Governor Mathur amended the Ladakh Revenue Service Recruitment Rules, 2021, through which the qualification of knowing Urdu for getting the job of Naib Tehsildar and Patwari in the Revenue Department was abolished.
Earlier there was a rule that for the job of Patwari and Naib Tehsildar, it was necessary to have ‘Graduate with knowledge of Urdu’, which has now been done only ‘Graduation’.
Earlier on September 8 last year, rules regarding appointments in the Revenue, Police and Medical and Health Education Departments of Ladakh were notified, which had to be changed after three months due to widespread opposition.
Former Deputy Commissioner of Kargil Hasan Khan told that the revenue record of Kashmir and Ladakh is more than a century old which is in Urdu, while in Jammu region the revenue record is ,.
He said, ‘The administration is treating Urdu as if it was the language of the people of some other planet. 70 percent of the population in Ladakh understands Urdu, which is our rich culture and heritage.
Sajjad Kargil of Kargil, contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, says that most of the people of Ladakh have studied Urdu. Apart from Hindi and English, Urdu is also an official language of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. Buddhists and their children living in Kargil can also read and write Urdu as it is taught in schools.
This is not the first time that the Ladakh administration, which is run by the Union Home Ministry, has got Urdu in the eyes.
In June last year, the Ladakh administration had implemented the YounTab scheme for school education, under which tablets were distributed to children from classes 6 to 12. Those tablets had some content preloaded, such as books and video lectures etc. Sajjad says that all the books except Urdu were present in the tablet.
However, they say that the recent decision is a well-planned attack on Ladakh’s unique cultural history.
Khan says that this decision has been taken with the aim of creating ideological differences between Leh district and Muslim-majority Kargil. It is a communal move, but it will not benefit them politically, it will only create problems at the administration level.
Asghar Ali Karbalani, working president of the Ladakh Pradesh Congress Committee, also believes that this decision has been taken with the aim of creating a gulf between Buddhists and Muslims in Ladakh.
Asghar says, ‘They think Urdu is the language of Muslims. This shows their hatred towards Muslims. This decision is an attack on our religious identity and an attempt to damage the cultural history of Ladakh.
The National Conference has accused the BJP of denying employment to the youth of Ladakh and asked the Lieutenant Governor to withdraw the decision. Along with this, BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal has been accused of insulting Urdu.
(Click here to read this report in English.)
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