The government offices in Uttar Pradesh will now accept the letters and applications from public in Urdu and also reply the applicants in the same language. The state government has now directed all districts authorities and head of departments to ensure that Urdu is used as second official language in government functioning without any laxity.
The language department has issued the directives in this regard referring Supreme Court’s 2014 order upholding the declaration of Urdu as the second official language in UP.
The the Congress-led UP government on October 7, 1989 had recognised Urdu as the second language, but an organisation —UP Hindi Sahitya Sammelan — had challenged the decision in Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. After the HC upheld the decision, the organisation had filed an appeal in Supreme Court.
According to the fresh order issued by language department on April 21, letters and applications written in Urdu language will be accepted by the government officials and they will reply to the applicant in the same language. Documents having text in Urdu language will be accepted at registry offices too.
Important rules and notifications, government orders and references related to public importance will also be published now in Urdu. Important government advertisements and signboards will also be displayed in Urdu language. Urdu translation of Gazettes will also be published.
“Urdu was recognised as second government language in 1989. But, a directive has now been sent to all the officials to ensure compliance of the decision after the Supreme Court upheld the decision,” said Narendra Pratap Singh, Under Secretary, Language Department.
He said that around 5,000 posts of Urdu translator-cum-clerk had also been created to entertain the written communications in Urdu language. But, these translators were assigned other works as Urdu was rarely used in routine government functioning.
The department has no data about the posts of Urdu translators lying vacant across the state at present. “Now, there will demand of Urdu translators in the government. It will make the process a bit lengthy because senior officers and ministers may not know Urdu and the applications given in Urdu will have to be forwarded to the translator before taking a cognisance. Reply will also be translated in Urdu before sending to applicants,” said a senior official in the department.