‘Cold shoulder to Urdu’: Rajasthan teacher calls off march to Dandi after 9-point pact


Written by Hamza Khan
| Jaipur |

November 23, 2020 1:58:30 a.m.

Thakur Shamsher Bhalu Khan (white turban) started his yatra on November 1st.

Twenty-two days after leaving for a yatra In Dandi in Gujarat in search of better conditions for Urdu teachers, Thakur Shamsher Bhalu Khan (45) canceled his yatra in the Udaipur border district on Sunday evening, following a meeting with the chairman of the council of administration of Rajasthan Waqf, Khanu Khan Budhwali.

“We reached a nine-point agreement and invited him to meet Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra in Jaipur on Monday. Following the meeting, he canceled his Dandi yatra, ”said Budhwali The Indian Express. Khan is expected to arrive in Jaipur on Monday.

However, over the past few weeks, Khan’s march united several Muslim organizations and highlighted growing discontent among a section of Muslims against the Congressional government led by Ashok Gehlot.

For several years, Urdu teachers in Rajasthan have made several demands, including the regularization of madrasa teachers – currently employed on a contract basis by the Department of Minority Affairs – and more recently, for the teaching of Urdu and appointment of teachers for the same primary. classes under the Department of Education.

What acted as a catalyst were two government orders of the director of primary education, Saurabh Swami, on September 2 and 5. The decrees stipulate that only one third language can be taught, between grades 6 and 8, and that only one teacher can be appointed for the same in a school, with Gujarati, Urdu, Sindhi and Punjabi being the four languages ​​listed as third language.

State policy in 2004 empowered district education officials to administer primary education in minority languages, but the September 2 decree ostensibly changed this provision. “It has been noticed that some district education officials approve another third language in some schools, which is not in accordance with the rules,” Swami said.

Frustrated by “the cold shoulder of Urdu teachers, language and community,” Khan decided to undertake a Dandi March on November 1 as a “Gandhian” measure to have the ear of a “CM of Gandhi ”.

Pro-Khan protests or marches have since taken place in towns of Barmer, Bikaner, Sawai Madhopur, Ganganagar, Churu, Tonk, Pali, Sikar and several other districts under the banner of various organizations such as Majlis-e-Hind in Barmer, Tehreek -e-Urdu in Sikar. Being Khan’s home neighborhood, Churu has witnessed the greatest number of protests.

For Khan, the seeds of the struggle were sown in 2005 when Bikaner University “discriminated” against Muslim students. “In 2005, I received the gold medal in MA, but the university didn’t even notify me. I read it in the newspapers… and I finally received it (gold medal) after two months of struggle. He has since continued to seek more positions for Urdu teachers in the Bikaner Division, and claims to have been promoted only once in his 21-year teaching career, alleging that “Urdu teachers are systematically excluded from promotions ”.

“The Indian Constitution has Article 350A (for primary education in the mother tongue of linguistic minorities). Take this item off and we won’t ask you for anything, ”Khan said from Udaipur where he arrived on Thursday.

However, Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra told the Indian Express: “There is no third language in grades 1 to 5 in India, but only between grades 6 and 8. If the primary school itself had Urdu, so why would the madrasas have opened? Some people create unnecessary confusion. He said the Gehlot government had “done nothing against Urdu, only increased posts.” You have to make requests that have a legal or reasonable basis and we move forward. Anyone can sit down with us for discussions. “

Regarding the regularization of madrasa teachers, Minority Affairs Minister Saleh Mohammad, who informed the assembly in July 2019 that a ministerial committee would decide the matter, told The Indian Express that the report was submitted to the CM and “a decision will be taken soon”.

As Khan – son of former Congressman Churu Bhalu Khan (1980-85) – continued with his padyatra, Muslim voices within the State Congress, including MPs Hakam Ali Khan, Wajib Ali, Rafeek Khan, Amin Kagzi, Zahida Khan, apart from Mukesh Bhakar, etc. wrote individually to Gehlot or Dotasra, asking for the withdrawal of orders, the regularization of madrasa teachers, etc. Some congressional leaders, such as Sadulpur (Churu) MP Krishna Poonia, also provided ‘moral’ support to Khan, who claimed that more than 130 past and current MPs and nearly 200 organizations gave him their support. .

In his letter, Hakam said that the government paying no heed to demands for regularization of Urdu para-teachers and the preservation of Urdu, resentment is widespread among the minority community. Rafeek Khan said both orders of government should be removed and the contested section of the May 2019 staffing model should be removed.

On November 12, the government withdrew its two September orders, but the protests did not stop.

A delegation from the Muslim Progressive Forum led by Congress leader Mohammed Shareef also met with Congress state official Ajay Maken on November 18 and briefed him on their concerns about the Congress leadership’s contempt for their citizens. problems, such as bypassing them for a post of mayor in the recent – held local polls, apart from the question of Urdu teachers. On the same day, Abid Kagzi, head of the Congressional State Minorities Cell, announced that a delegation from the Minorities Cell would take care of this together with CM.

Beyond Congress, Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal also extended his support to Khan and asked CM Gehlot to respond to his demands.

Back in Churu, his wife Akhtar Bano lent her support with full public videos and protests. He has three daughters – the oldest studying law while the other two are studying for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

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