Criticising Delhi University for the provision of introduction to Punjabi, Urdu and other Modern Indian Languages (MIL) in the second year — from the third semester — as against the first semester year, a large number of Delhi University students and representatives of non-government organisations on Wednesday called on the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh G.K. and urged him to seek a revocation of the provision under the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP).
The students submitted a memorandum which said: “Mother tongue is what that binds us to our culture. The protection of minority languages is a Constitutional right. Our government is bound to protect minority languages and linguistic minorities. No educational policy or new course structure, no matter how well it goes with the demand of the age, can usurp the Constitutional right of linguistic minorities.”
Assuring support to the cause, Mr. Singh said: “I will not let regional languages face such bias in DU. It is an effort to strangulate regional languages.”
On the occasion, Janata Dal (United) MP Sabir Ali said the DSGMC and his party will fight together to save regional languages. It was announced that a delegation led by the DSGMC president will meet Vice-President Hamid Ansari to seek cancellation of the provision in FYUP.
“This amounts to great injustice to Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and other MILs, as students are admitted to these subjects in the first year of Honours course in concerned languages… This will put the existence of the MIL Department in jeopardy. Consequently, the present structure of the course will lead to the closure of minority languages and MIL Departments where Honours courses do not exist.”
The memorandum said: “MIL have the status of second language in many States. Even Urdu and Punjabi have the status of second language in Delhi. Many languages like Urdu, Punjabi and Bengali cut across geographical boundaries and are spoken in several countries.”