Muzaffar Hussain, vice chairman of National Council for Promotion of Urdu Council (NCPUL), has resigned from the post half way through his tenure.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the 58-year-old Padmasree awardee and former journalist confirmed the development and attributed his decision to the lack of accommodation and travel facilities provided by the government in Delhi, where the NCPUL head office is located.
“I am a heart patient and I live in Mumbai. I had to travel often to Delhi, but there was neither any place to stay there nor was there any provision for transport. I had raised this issue several times with the ministry, but I was told that the NCPUL vice chairman is not entitled to such facilities. In view of the difficulties faced, I decided to resign,” he said.
Hussain was one of the founding members of the Muslim Rahstriya Manch, a social arm of the RSS. He was appointed as the NCPUL vice chairman in December 2014 for three years. He quit the post about two months ago. The HRD Ministry, he said, has accepted the resignation.
NCPUL is an autonomous body under the HRD Ministry set up in 1966. It is the principal coordinating and monitoring authority for promotion of Urdu language and Urdu education.
Hussain’s term at the Council was an eventful one. The NCPUL this year had introduced a form which required authors of books associated with Council to declare that the content will not be against the government or the country. The form read, “I son/daughter of confirm that my book/magazine titled which has been approved for bulk purchase by NCPUL’s monetary assistance scheme does not contain anything against the policies of the government of India or the interest of the nation, does not cause disharmony of any sort between different classes of the country, and is not monetarily supported by any government or non-government institution.” Hussain had then alleged that the form was issued unilaterally by the NCPUL Director, Professor Irteza Karim, without taking other Council members into confidence. This form was corrected after an uproar followed.
HRD Minister and NCPUL chairman, Prakash Javadekar, was not reachable for comment. A source, however, said, “In his (Hussain’s) resignation he has cited his heart condition as the reason. The post of vice chairman is an honorary one and isn’t entitled to the facilities sought by him. So there is little we could have done.”
The demand for accommodation and other facilities for an honorary post is not new. In fact, this had reportedly led to some friction between Indian Council for Historical Reasearch (ICHR) Chairman YS Rao and the HRD Ministry, under its former head Smriti Irani. Rao, who is based in Andhra Pradesh, had sought an honorarium and accommodation to operate out of Delhi. The demand was rejected. Rao’s abrupt resignation in November, 2015, was rumoured to be because of this rejection, but he denied it. The resignation wasn’t accepted and he continues to serve as ICHR chairman.