Commissioner Linguistic Minorities

42nd Report

July 2003 to June 2004

 

Preface

 

This is the 42nd annual report covering the period July 2003 to June 2004. It is the fifth Report that the present Commissioner has the honour to present since he assumed office on 24 February 2003. The delay in the presentation of Report is mainly due to the efforts that had to be put in for getting the relevant information from the concerned states. We had expected that there will be some improvement if we receive prompt replies from the states but our expectations were belied. Sikkim was the first State to respond and Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Maharahstra, Rajasthan, Pondicherry and Dadra Nagar Haveli were not far behind. Thereafter it became a slow process and some are still to reply.  As in the previous Report, this is also compiled without  the input from some states. This time the states not included are Jharkhand, Nagaland, Mizoram, Uttaranchal, Punjab and West Bengal. Partial reply has been received from Karnataka and some other states. The incomplete replies are plenty. Rather than delay the Report further, it has been decided to present the information available with us. The questionnaire meant for this 42nd Report may be seen at annexure 1.

The Commissioner has been touring some states and has held discussions with the representatives of the Linguistic Minorities and the teachers working in the schools meant for the Linguistic Minorities. The objective was to acquaint himself with the situation prevailing in the field and the specific difficulties that they have to face. He has also met the Officers of the States during his visits and has shared with them the actual and perceived difficulties which the linguistic minorities meet so that necessary corrective action can be taken. The handicaps which the states face were also brought to the notice of the Commissioner. Some of these points have been included in this Report.

 I must thank all these persons who made themselves available for suggestions, comments and discussions because without their support, it would not have been possible to prepare this Report. In fact, I would add to other things ‘criticism’ also for which special thanks are due.  Some said that nothing is likely to come out of the meeting but were still there to help me. It is really creditable. I hope that the Central Government Ministries and the State Governments work together to bring an end to their pessimism.

It was suggested by my friend and former Commissioner Linguistic Minorities Shri R. K. Sayeed, that I should mention the names of the institutions visited. When it comes to thanking them by name, either the institutions or the persons, or to list them, it is beyond me. They are so many that it is difficult to prepare a list. But I salute all of them and assure them that I have not forgotten their hospitality and cooperation though I have not been able to name them..

The format of this Report is the same as for the 41st Report. Mainly the information supplied by the states has been used though other material has also been used. The data, where available, has been reported. It is supplemented by the information received from the district officers, and the impressions gathered from the discussions with the participants.  Obviously the Commissioner has not been able to cover all the States or the various areas within the State. The situation varies

from place to place, between states and between areas within a state. Still there sections are some common indicators which give the idea of the situation in the State.  There are difficulties which are shared by the various  of people and all those who have been working for the welfare of the Linguistic Minorities.

The chapter on safeguards has been merged with the introduction. Those who are interested in the history of the development of the safeguards, may refer to our earlier Reports. The thirty eighth and the thirty-ninth report is available on the website http://www.nclm.nic.in and can be downloaded.  Incidentally it was a matter of pleasure that the site is receiving some attention from many persons.  It is purposed to enhance the utility of the website and the suggestions to do so are welcome.

There have been some inputs from the earlier reports, the census reports as also from some other studies apart from the information supplied by the states for this Report. I must apologise to the scholars from whose work I have benefited but have not specifically given the source. This is a result of failure to note down the source when I read the artcles but which made sufficient impress on me to remember them when I was writing my piece. I thank all of these unnamed persons for their assistance.

The order in which the states appear in this report is based on the Devanagari alphabetical order.

The detailed information about the linguistic data is avoided to save space. These details can be seen on our website http://www.nclm.nic.in. It can also be sent by e mail on request to nclm@sancharnet.in.

We are in the process of compiling a list of such institutions as have taken up the work of working with the linguistic minorities. We would welcome information about them.

I deem it a privilege to express my thanks to Ministries of the Government of India and to the Governments and Administrations of all the States and  Union Territories for the cooperation given by them in discharging my Constitutional obligations. Thanks are also due to the office team which worked tirelessly for writing of the report which involved careful analysis of the returns received from the State Governments as also typing, corrections and other allied work.

 

 

 (Kewal Krishan Sethi)

Commissioner Linguistic Minorities


Forty Second Report

National Commissioner Linguistic Minorities

Year July 2003 to June 2004

 

1. Introduction

 

1. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the statesman and the first Prime Minister had, in his vision, an abiding faith in the unity of the country. In his classical book,' The Discovery of India', he writes –

"The diversity of India is tremendous; it is obvious; it lies on the surface and everybody can see it. Yet with all these differences, there is no mistaking the impress of India. A dream of unity has occupied the mind of India since the dawn of the civilisation. That unity was not conceived as something imposed from outside. it was something deeper, and within its fold the widest tolerance of belief and custom was practiced and every variety acknowledged and even encouraged."

 

2. This diversity is nowhere more emphatically presented than in the multitude of languages which are spoken through the length and breadth of the country. They come from different language groups – Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman. And these languages are spoken by people whose number ranges from a few hundred  to many a crore. Some have a recognised script and a long tradition of literature, secular and religious, while some are struggling to find a script and have only the folk lore to keep the language going. Yet they have all been preserved and practiced

without let or hindrance. They have survived the waves of new arrivals. They retreated but they survived. They lay dormant and then got revived. It is, indeed, a stimulating experience.

 

Safeguards

3. Following the reorganization of the states on the linguistic basis, there was a conscious effort to reassure the linguistic minorities in the various states that their interests will be safeguarded. The safeguards arrived at through Constitutional provisions and by evolution of consensus amongst the states can be listed as under.

 

a. Translation and publication of important rules, regulations, notices, etc., into all languages, which are spoken by at least 15%  of the total population at district or sub-district level;

b. Declaration of minority languages as second official language in districts where persons speaking such languages constitute at least  60% of the population;

c. Receipt of, and reply to, representations in minority languages

d. Instruction through mother tongues/ minority languages at the Primary stage of education;

e. Instruction through minority languages at the Secondary stage of education;

f. linguistic minority pupils, and inter-school adjustments;

g. Provision for text books and teachers in minority languages;

h. Implementation of  Three-language Formula; 

i. No insistence upon  knowledge of State’s Official Language at the time of recruitment. Test of proficiency in the State’s Official Language to be held before  completion of probation

j. Issue of  Pamphlets in minority languages detailing safeguards available to linguistic minorities;

k. Setting up of proper  machinery  at the State and district levels.

 

4. In the beginning the concern was repeatedly expressed and whenever there was a deviation, remedial steps taken. As the system evolved, the attention wavered and all these concerns became commonplace. Gradually a slackening was noted and needless to say the implementation of the safeguards at present is not uniform over the various states. With the passing of time the priorities have changed. A general sense of apathy seems to have taken hold of some of the states for various reasons. Perhaps one of the reasons is the growing complexities of the administration. The harassed administrator is far too much occupied with fire fighting operations to take a look at the other issues which can be left alone to take care of themselves. At the higher level, there are other problems which are of much more urgency to them.

 

Linguistic Minorities is not the burning issue

5. Except in some states which are committed to the cause, the very term 'Linguistic Minorities' raises eyebrows. The  issue is not a burning issue. It does not

 

result in violent protests and since we are living in the days of immediate reaction and expedient policies, the long term implications of neglect of the linguistic minorities or the minority languages does not appear to be a problem worth spending a few minutes of concentrated thinking. In my visits to various places, I have met many officers who were in a hurry to get away from the meeting as they had to attend to much more pressing (sic) issues. It is certainly not for me to comment on the relative importance of various tasks which a bureaucrat has to attend to. But it is expected that this issue of linguistic minorities, which affects large number of individuals, would also merit some consideration.

6. Either this attitude of postponing the issue or the general apathy which afflicts the bureaucracy leads to the delay in sending a reply to the questionnaire sent for eliciting the statistical and other information from the states. The questionnaire had been sent out in August 2004 and the last date for receiving the information was stated as October 15, 2004. By that date only one State – we must name it – Sikkim had sent the information. Two other states Madhya Pradesh and Goa followed quickly. The rest had to be persuaded to send the replies. But we failed to move the states  till such time that we could no longer afford to wait for them. The Report, therefore, omits the situation obtaining in these states.

 

The powers to the Commissioner – pros and cons

7. During my discussions with various linguistic groups, the discussions many times veered round to the question as to the purpose of all these meetings and discussions when the Commissioner can not even ensure that reply to the questionnaire will be sent to him let alone


 reports on the redressal of he grievances or about the action taken on his recommendations. The representations given by them, they feared, will be just  so much more waste paper basket food. Thus the General Secretary of Anjuman Taraqi Urdu Hind, in their meeting with the Commissioner on January 7, 2005 opened the meeting  with the words that unless the Commissioner is given some powers to requisition documents and compel the witnesses to attend, the office will remain a paper tiger. In fact the word 'tiger' is also being used by me to perhaps satisfy my ego, otherwise the speaker meant much worse. The same feelings were expressed in Cuttack when one person said, "Why do you waste your time, our time and the Government money on travel and meetings since nothing ever comes out of them. We made the same points to your predecessor and his predecessor but are yet to see any thing resulting from them."

8. The memorandum presented by Sourashtra Vidya Peetarn  and  Sreshtha Sourashtra Sahitya Sabha  contained a long list of the memoranda submitted earlier. It would be interesting, though painful, to give the extract of the list.

1. To Asst. Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities during his visit to Madurai on 3.10.1963.

2. To  Commissioner Linguistic Minorities on 21.8.1964.

3. To  Commissioner Linguistic Minorities on 10.6.1968 after his visit to Madurai on 28th May 1968.

4. To Commissioner Linguistic Minorities on 3.11.1969.

5. To Commissioner Linguistic Minorities on 1.4.1970.

6. To Mr. Yadav, Minister for Education, Govt. of India on  8.1.1975 and copy sent  to Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities.

7. To the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities during her visit to Madurai on 18.1.1975 and 19.1.1975.

8. Smt. Neera Dogra, Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities on her visit to Madurai on 8.4.1976.

9. To the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities during her visit to Tamil Nadu on 3.11.1976

 10. The Asst. Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities on 25.4.1982.

 11. The Asst. Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities on 26.12.1983 enclosing a note to the Secretary, Minorities Commission, New Delhi.

12.  A note to Mr.J.S.Taleyar Khan, Member, Minorities Commission, on 23.5.1986 through Sri C.Thangaraju, IAS, Commissioner and Secy. to Govt. Social Welfare Dept. Govt. of Tamil Nadu.

13.  To the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities on 1. 10. 1998.

 

9. Obviously all these memoranda failed to elicit any favourable development. Under these circumstances no one can blame them if they feel that they are only adding one more memorandum to the list.

10. In a seminar on Minorities, Education and Language in Twenty-First Century, organized by Zakir Hussain Study Centre, one of the conclusions reads as follows:-

11. “The Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities (CLM), despite his status as a Constitutional authority, enjoys no authority and state governments do not even supply the required information to him. The reports of the CLM, though tabled in the Parliament, are not discussed and do not receive attention as they hardly contain up-to-date information. The Conference proposes that the post be abolished and replaced by a National Commission for Linguistic Minorities with quasi-judicial authority.”

12. All this is due to the fact that when the Constitution envisaged the appointment of Special Officer for the Linguistic Minorities, it was presumed that the question of treatment of linguistic minorities will be concern of every body who are in charge of running the various states and the Government at centre. The Special Officer was merely to remind them about the deficiencies which he may come across or which may be brought to his notice  It was with this understanding that in their meeting held in August 1961 the Chief Ministers included the following in their conclusions viz. "The Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities  should not only prepare the annual reports, but make more frequent reports on important subjects which he should send to the Chief Ministers concerned and  to the Home Ministry who will circulate it to all the Chief Ministers."

13. At that point of time, the situation where the States will relegate the subject of linguistic minorities to the background was not envisaged. Of late the term 'linguistic minorities' occurs only as an after thought whereas the main concern is with the religious minorities. Just how this is so is clearly reflected in the Ordinance issued for creating the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions. This Commission will look after the affiliation of

 the minority institutes to the Central Universities which are six in number at the time of promulgation of Ordinance. Just why these minority institutes will seek affiliation outside the State and to one of the universities specified is not clear. Normally the point is relevant only when considered in relation to the Linguistic Minorities. The question of such affiliation came up before the Government of India and, they, in their memorandum of 1958 included the following –

"5.        Affiliation of Schools and Colleges using Minority Languages:-

Connected with the proposals contained in the preceding paragraphs is the question of the affiliation of educational institutions located in the new or reorganized States to appropriate Universities or Boards of Education.  It is, of course, desirable that every effort should be made to evolve arrangements whereby educational institutions like schools and colleges can be affiliated, in respect of courses of study in the mother-tongue, to Universities and other authorities which are situated in the same State.  However, it may not always be possible to make such arrangements, and having regard to the number of institutions of this kind, it may some times be convenient, both from the point of view of the Universities or the educational authorities concerned, and from the point of view of the institutions themselves that they should be permitted to seek affiliation to appropriate bodies located outside the State.  This may be regarded, in fact, as a  necessary corollary to the provisions contained in Article 30 of the Constitution which gives to the minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice."

 

14. In fact the affiliation of the religious minorities institutes which, usually, do not have a separate language identified with the religion, is not really the point at issue. They are not at a disadvantage vis a vis the normal educational institutes managed by the majority group or by the State in so far as the affiliation is concerned. If the intention is to give them the added prestige of being affiliated to the Central Universities, the concession should have been extended to all the educational institutes just as it has been done for the schools which are getting affiliated to CBSE in an ever increasing number. In any case the cause of education can hardly be served by the affiliation to a particular university.

15. It may be argued that the Commission is not exclusively for religious minorities and it applies equally to linguistic minorities institutes. But this is not correct. In Section 4, it is provided that the Chairperson and the members shall belong to the minority community. Obviously this can not apply to linguistic minority. For example can a Telugu speaking person be appointed as Chairman. He may belong to minority community in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka but  not in Andhra Pradesh. So it will be against the Act to appoint him so. The only persons who can qualify are persons who belong to Urdu speaking or Sindhi speaking minorities which are minority everywhere. (Not counting the non scheduled languages, of course.). But then the communities have to be so declared by the Government and no declaration of linguistic minorities is yet on the cards.

16. To return to the point under discussion, it was not the intention  to comment adversely on the creation of the National Commission for Minorities Educational Institutions but merely to underscore the point that the over riding attention to the religious minorities have denied the attention that the linguistic minorities deserve. Such a situation was obviously not envisaged when the appointment of Commissioner Linguistic Minorities was included in the Constitution.

17. The creation of a number of Commissions like Human Rights Commission, State Minorities Commission, Scheduled Tribes Commission. and a host of Enquiry Commissions which have the powers of the civil courts to summon witnesses, force their attendance and the production of the documents inspire the linguistic minorities everywhere to demand similar powers for the Commissioner Linguistic Minorities or its replacement by a Commission with similar powers. The Commissioner has discussed this point in his forty first Report.(Para 1.38 to 1.42) and argued against such powers arguing that, without the political will to perform, these powers will not make a difference to the fortunes of the linguistic minorities. Sometimes the legal view of the matter may not be the democratic view. The latter calls for a constant exercise to adjust the policies to suit the largest number of people without creating bitterness. It must be remembered that the subject of safeguards for the linguistic minorities were always considered to be a part of the national integration movement and not merely an expedient move to impress a particular community about the intentions of the Government of the day.

18. There is one more argument against the devolution of powers of a court on the Commissioner (or creation of a Commission) is that, by their very nature, the courts look at an individual case and examines the evidence and the arguments  presented by the two sides. The overall impact of a decision is not, and probably can not be, considered. This may undergo some changes in the present day atmosphere of Public Interest Litigation but that avenue is open even now in the High Courts and Supreme Court. The persuasion of the authorities by public opinion is not the essence of such decisions. The overall impact of a decision by the State Government has to be considered while making a recommendation or implementing a decision.

19. Still, the Government may like to consider the repeated demand of the linguistic minorities for creation of a Commission or devolving of powers of the civil court on the Commissioner despite the present Commissioner's misgivings about the achievement of objectives by such a development. It is to be noted that this Commission will be separate from the one constituted recently for considering the question of reservations for linguistic and religious minorities in the services under the chairmanship of Shri Ranga Nath Mishra and with Shri Tahir Mohammad, Shri Mahendar Singh and Shri Wilson as its members. This will be a standing Commission for resolving the problems faced by the linguistic minorities.

 

The changed circumstances.

20. If this devolution of additional powers is not the solution, then what is? Can the concerns of the sixties in the twentieth century be transferred to the first decade of the twenty first century. The technological revolution has made it both more difficult and easier. More difficult in the sense that the technological perfection is achieved through some widespread languages and the local languages have to take back seats. English is, thus, the favourite language for acquisition. Hindi, though spoken by over forty crores of

tkrh gS vHkh rd ml fLFkfr rd fodflr ugha gqbZ gS, dqN ds people has not been developed, some would say on account of vested interests, to the extent where it can be the language of technology but its time is bound to come. Same is true for some of other Indian languages but it will be at the cost of the localized languages e.g. Tulu, Khandeshi or Dogri.

.21. On the other hand, the computers have made it easier to acquire and maintain a language and a script. Even the minor languages can be put on the website and can be learnt without the need of a formal school being opened. Whole new scripts can be easily represented on the computers and booklets prepared. The new scripts invented like Ol Chiki or the ancient scripts like Meitei Mayek can be used to prepare the reading materials if the people from these linguistic groups are prepared to do the needful.

22. Another development has been the growing importance of the distance education. Most of the Universities are now running regular correspondence courses and it is easier to pick up advanced studies in the language of one's own choice. The television, the CD and internet are other items of the new technology which can assist the education and take it out of the routine. And the distance education is not limited to higher education but has percolated to school level also. An example in India is the National Open School. Presently the organizations like NOS and IGNOU are not attuned on the right lines and are adversely affecting the minority languages. In order to make the syllabi apply equally to all the citizens, the local languages (and even the developed languages) are neglected. Thus the complaint at Berhampur, Orissa was that the NOS does not have a language subject. The teaching and learning material has also to be in a common language to cut costs.

This is also at the expense of the Indian languages. But this is a temporary phase. As the movement of distance education picks up momentum, the regional languages are bound to become the vehicles of education but atthe cost of minor languages. But their time will lso come.

23. Naturally in these circumstances the safeguards for the linguistic minorities have to undergo changes to keep up with the times.

 
Are all of these safeguards relevant today?

24. Are all of these safeguards relevant today? Will they be relevant in future? To consider this aspect, we have to look around and learn from the experience of others. There is a feeling that if we do not look at a problem, it will go away. Indeed it has been the practice to first ignore the problem. If this does not solve it, the next step is to create divisions so as to sow confusion and hope that the main problem will be forgotten. Thus when we talk of Bhili in Rajasthan, the response is that there is Mewari and Marwari and Mewati and even the languages of Sikar and Jodhpur are different. In this confusion of profusion, the real object, it is hoped, will be forgotten. If the problem remains and  majority refuses to sell their dreams for pieces of silver, or get lost in the maze, then the negotiations start and a trade off is set up. Why it can not be done in the first place, the answer lies in the escapism that we all feel is a valid exercise.

25. But the trouble is that even when one of the strategies outlined above appears to be succeeding, the problems do not go away. They merely lie dormant. In the long run, it is a better policy to meet them head on and solve them in the spirit of give and take. All of the strategies outlined above are in vogue in different parts of the country. But with varying success.

26. Just how it happens can be learnt from history. We have referred to rejuvenation of Maori language in the previous Reports. In the last 200 years the Maori language has had a curious history, with its ups and downs. In 1800 it was the overwhelmingly dominant language spoken in entire New Zealand. There were a number of regional variations, but it was a single language comprehended all over New Zealand. From the 1880s, increasingly, the use of Maori at school was forbidden. By the early 20th century Maori were punished for speaking Maori at schools. And by the 1920s only the most enlightened private schools still taught Maori grammar as a school subject. Many Maori parents encouraged their children to learn English, and even to turn away from other aspects of Maori custom, so that they could succeed in the new world. Increasing numbers of Maori people learnt English, because it was required at school, and because much of the available work for Maori people, the increasing commerce with others, or even contact on the racetrack or football ground, required some knowledge of English. Many Māori themselves questioned its relevance in a English dominated world, in which the most important value seemed to be to get ahead as a successful individual. By the 1980s less than 20 per cent of Māori knew enough Māori language to be regarded as native speakers. Even for those people, Māori was ceasing to be the language of everyday use in the home. But things started changing. In 1977, a bilingual school was set up followed by two more in 1979. And then others already referred to in the last Report. Things have now come to a stage where Eighty-seven percent of Maori children  enrolled in some form of early childhood education were learning some Maori  language in 1998.

27. Thus after being suppressed for a few generations and just when the suppression appeared to be succeeding and a whole new generation had come up without the knowledge of Maori language, the language got revived  and is on way to be the second official language of New Zealand.

28. Similar is the story of Welsh. Welsh was presented with an even greater challenge but it has revived after centuries of neglect. Romana people  (the Gypsies) were spread over many countries but did not lose their language. It is back and is the subject taught in many universities in Europe today.

29. Increasingly these languages neglected, and even suppressed are  now becoming the languages of communication and much more in their areas.

 

Cost of education in minority language

30. One of the reasons advanced for the absence of the education in the minority languages is that the costs are too high. The text books are not available, the reason cited being that with lesser number of books to be printed, it is not a profitable business. Not enough teachers are available. Their training is a difficult preposition.

31. Let us consider this preposition. I quote from a journal at some length to put the point at issue in right perspective. This is from an article by Miklós Kontra of University of Szeged and Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.

"According to some people, who consider the language through minority languages costlier, the taxpayers’ money should not be spent on educating minorities through the medium of their mother  tongue. For instance, according to Noel Epstein, an education editor in the US, “Hispanics had every right to pass on their heritage to the next generation, of course, but not at taxpayers’ expense”  Epstein argued that the US federal government should not be responsible for financing and promoting student attachments to their ethnic languages and cultures. The view that financing minority education is an abuse of taxpayers’ money is not uniquely American. For instance, the large Hungarian national minorities in both Slovakia and Rumania are denied the right to a State-funded university with Hungarian as the medium of instruction. State funding for minority language services other than education is also frequently presented as uneconomical. One recent example is provided by a Kenneth Minogue, who is affiliated with the London School of Economics. In a review of a book on language and minority rights by Stephen May, he says:

“May tells us quite a lot about how Welsh or Irish or Maori have been revived in recent times, but hardly concerns himself with the costs. It used to be said of Gandhi that it cost an awful lot of money to keep him in poverty, and it costs the British taxpayer quite a bit to supply a few Welsh speakers with a television channel of their own.”

Thus, according to Minogue, the few Welsh speakers are not among the British taxpayers. Apparently, the Welsh do not pay taxes in Britain. Absurd as this sounds, it has been printed in the Journal of  Multilingual and Multicultural Development, which is a refereed journal and regarded as a scholarly one. The editor of this journal, John Edwards, has expressed similar opinions.

In a democratic state where education is made accessible to all citizens without any discrimination, one would expect to find no difference in educational levels among the majority and the minorities. If a national minority constitutes, say, 10 percent of the population of a State, we would expect that 10 percent of all the university-educated citizens belong to this minority. But this is not the case as revealed by various studies.

Consequently, recognizing the fact that ethnic Hungarians pay taxes in Slovakia, Rumania and Serbia just like any other citizens of those States but are disproportionately undereducated in comparison to Slovaks, Rumanians and Serbs, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the Hungarian minorities are subsidizing the higher education of the majority nations in the respective States where they pay taxes.

Such patterns of educational discrimination are linguistic in as much as they concern linguistic minorities. Such discrimination may be unremarkable for people who subscribe to what the Slovak political scientist Miroslav Kusý calls the principle of the superiority of the dominant nation in a State, but it is clearly in violation of the principle of civil coexistence of all citizens of a State. ”


32. In India, the situation is not very different. The only change will be that the 'nations' in the above article are to be replaced by 'States''. After all our country is sub continental in dimensions. A study of the literacy figures  of the different states will show that the literacy rates are generally lower in the tribal areas than in the non tribal areas. And this difference is not merely due to the higher proportion of urbanization in the non tribal areas. Of course, there are many other factors which contribute to the low literacy rates but the non familiarity with the language of instruction is also a contributing factor.

33. The literacy rate itself is misleading. Familiarity with the writing of the language is considered sufficient for a person to be considered as literate. If we consider the statistics of the persons who have completed the senior secondary (class XII), the disparity will be even more evident. In my visits to various districts, I have been confronted with the figures of how the children have studied up to the level till the education was in their language.  In my last report, I have cited the case of a veterinary doctor, who went away to Andhra Pradesh to continue his studies in Urdu (which was not available in his district Berhampur, Orissa) and when he came back, he was denied admission to MBBS course for he had not studied in Oriya and had to perforce become a Veterinary doctor.

34. Unfortunately I have not come across a study which compares the achievements of the linguistic groups at the higher levels of education. The Commissioner feels that such a study will be worthwhile to prove or disprove the thesis. This will reinforce, or override, the emotional arguments for the adoption of the local minority languages.

35. Though there are no studies as such but here and there the educationists keep on referring to the point on the basis of their experiences. for example here is a news item form the Hindu (Vishakhapatnam Edition) dated October 12, 2005.

"Children in  primary schools would learn well if they were taught in their moth­er‑tongues or In the dialect their

parents speak in, Chukka Ra­maiah, the educationist, said here on Monday. .

Addressing a State seminar on 'Inti‑Bhasha' (the language of home), he said the children were unable to cope with the language of the schools, as it did not match the language system they shared with those around them.

'Inti‑Bhasha, a book authored by Mr. Ramaiah, was released by the Minister for School Education, N. Rajyalakshmi, on the occasion. A C.D on Rammaiah Pathalu was released by the Minister for Higher Education, Pinnamaneni Venketswar Rao.

Mr. Ramaiah said  school curriculum should be prepared keeping in view that Telugu had multiple dialects, Tribal students from an Adilabad village would better understand when taught about Bhim instead of Abraham Lincoln.

During a visit to a Karimnagar district school, he had found students asking their teacher what an 'araka' (plough), a word they had read in the Telugu, was. They could

have understood the meaning easily if it was written in the book as 'nagall'‑ a word in the local dialect. He said. "Though I am not a language pandit, I know what children can understand. There is nothing wrong in reaching out to children in a language they understand."

He said the curriculum for primary education should be prepared at the district level. Textbooks must also be published at the district level, he said."

36. The point is that it has been accepted that it is the duty of the State to see that every child is entitled to receive, at the cost of the State, education up to the year fourteen. And when we say education, we mean education in the real sense. The framers of the Constitution  envisaged that the primary education will be in mother tongue. To postpone it on the excuse that it is costlier  to do so is going against the spirit of the Constitution. The decision appears to be that either you have it my way or not to have it at all. Ford, when he launched his people's car told the public that they can have the colour of their choice provided it is black. We appear to be following the same arguments.

37. The Commissioner has argued  in a previous Report that the extra expenditure involved is not substantial and certainly not of the magnitude which can not be borne by the state. It is also observed that the argument is given by more prosperous states whereas smaller states are keen on achieving the goal of teaching through the mother tongues. This will be apparent when we discuss the  status report of the various states and the two opposing groups need not be named here.

38. It can be hoped that there will be a change of heart and the safeguards for the linguistic minorities will be implemented with the sincerity and efforts that they deserve.

 
Level up to which the minority language can be used

39. One of the questions frequently raised and to which we have referred in our previous reports is the level up to which the minority languages can be used as the medium of instruction. Here we have to make a distinction between the languages which are languages of some state or other (but including Urdu and Sindhi which, though not regional language of any state are yet fully developed) and the languages which are localized (excluding Urdu and Sindhi) in nature. The main characteristics of such languages is the non existence of long and substantial literary traditions in writing either due to lack of a traditional script or for some other reason. In this category are also included languages like Santhali which is spread over three states but is still to be considered as not fully developed in view of short history of written literature.

40. The languages originally included in the eighth schedule and Sindhi were those which were fully developed and were already used as media to some extent. Obviously in the pre independence days, the medium for the higher education was English. English was rich in technological vocabulary and, with time, it further improved since the bulk of the developed countries doing original research and innovations were English speaking. France, Russia. Japan etc. were also making huge strides in Science and technology but India was mostly exposed to English.

41. It was envisaged that the Indian languages can easily be developed and become the vehicle of the technology and science A Commission for Scientific and Technical Terms was set up and proceeded to work with great enthusiasm. Individuals like Raghuvira were also engaged in similar task. The time span for the development was considered to be ten years. This was the period in which Hindi would have displaced English as the official language.

 
Growth of importance of English

42. But there were other forces on work. The smooth transition to independence meant that the classes which were privileged continued to enjoy their perks. Majority of those who had sacrificed for the independence struggle felt that it was the time to compensate themselves. They were the new privileged class. Very soon it was clear that if there was a new generation aware of their rights, the future for the old and the new privileged classes was bleak. The experts of the divide and rule policy, ably trained by the British, soon managed to grow seeds of discord. The Indian languages were declared to be unfit, not only for teaching of science and technology but even for official work. The first move was to postpone the change over to Hindi as official language of the Union. The states were persuaded to postpone the adoption of the regional languages as official languages or at least to continue to use English in addition to the regional languages. Opposition to Hindi was generated with ingenuity. With the indefinite continuance of English as the language of the Government and, therefore of the business, meant a second class status for the Indian languages. There were no doubt many anti English agitations in the Hindi belt but they only served the purpose of the proponents of English. It only strengthened their case.

43. Meanwhile the efforts to enrich the Indian languages were scoffed at. The new terms were systematically subjected to ridicule. The development of the regional languages were similarly thwarted. The technology was not at a standstill but the efforts to match the terms in Indian languages were. The gap grew bigger.

44. So we come to the present day when even  the thought of removal of English can not be envisaged. The opening up of the software markets and onset of off sourcing is the most popular slogan for the adoption of English by the entire country. It is very clear that this results in the advantage for the classes already reaping the benefits of education. There are some examples of the erstwhile non privileged group coming up in the business or technology. The few exceptions quoted often only prove the rule. For a long time the literacy rates in the rural areas and the tribal areas has been lacking behind the urban and advanced areas. One should not be misled by the figures often quoted as literates since the definition is such that it merely clouds the issue. Despite periodical statements of intentions to achieve cent percent literacy in ten (sic) years, and the resolve of increasing the budget for education to six percent of the Gross National Product, it has remained where it was. The resources which were available mostly went to the higher education. The adult education programmes became show pieces with literacy marches, road side shows and the growth of the NGOs. The provision and training of teachers was not the main item of the agenda. It was overshadowed by the central committees stressing the need of decentralised curriculum whose outlines will be determined by the experts at the center and copied by the local outfits. Even the courts took a hand in ordering the inclusion of this

1961           2,23,788

1971          1,91,595

1981          2,02,440

1991          1,78,598

or that topic in the curriculum. The real decentralization never took place.

45. A significant feature of Indian bilingualism is that it is complementary. Thus, an individual may use a particular language at home, another in the neighbourhood and the bazaar, and still another in certain formal domains such as education, administration, and the like. This is not only true of an individual but such patterns of selection of different languages for day to day use are revealed by the groups of populations as well. An individual usually has some mastery of his home language, and the regional/ state language (when the home language is different from the regional/ state language). In addition the languages of national and international communication, Hindi and English, are also part of the linguistic repertoire of a sizeable number of Indians. In India, linguistic diversity is not by accident, but it is inherited in the process of acquiring the composite culture of the nation. It is an integral part of the Indian composite culture.

46. This is reflected in the growing number of people who know English. The number of mother tongue speakers of English is on the decline, according to the decennial Census – the figures being

1961:              2,23.788

1971:              1,91,595

1981:              2,02,440

1991:              1,78,598

 

Bilingualism as argument against minor languages.

47. At the same time, the number of speakers declaring English as second or third language is increasing. As per the 1991 Census, the percentage of bilinguals and tri-linguals in English (8.00%, 3.5% respectively). Bilingual means the second language was said to be English, Trlingual is where the third language is declared as English. Normally English as the second language is returned when the mother tongue is the same as the regional language otherwise the second language is usually the regional language.

48. The growing importance of English is reflected in the way state after state are going in for English as the language to be taken up from class I itself. Recently the NCERT has said that they are recommending a syllabus where the student from class One to Five will not have more than two books. How this will be reconciled with the more and more languages to be taught from class one is not clear, the educational authorities not having any coordinated plan for primary education. The reason given by the NCERT is that this will enable the child to develop his personality. It remains to be seen how this will be in practice and also what prescription they have for the linguistic minorities. Probably none because, as remarked earlier, the policies are made piecemeal. Due to the existing practices the work of linguistic minorities is with the Ministry of Social Justice and that of devising the syllabi with the Ministry of Education and there is no contacts between the two. Thus there is a notice of intention of forming a Commission for Minorities for reservation in educational institution announced by the former ministry but a Minorities Education Commission is formed by the latter through an Ordinance.

49. Nevertheless it will be in order to consider what the ideal plan will be for the linguistic minorities. The basic question is what is the goal of the education in the languages. The proficiency of students in using languages is reported to have deteriorated over the years. No definitive evidence is, however, available to indicate whether students enrolled in and/ or completing different levels of education are less proficient in the use of languages than those who completed education 15-20 years back. Irrespective of the expressed opinions, improvement in language skills of students is important, considering the significance of language proficiency for cognitive development and further learning.

50. It would seem necessary, among other things, to: (a) undertake study of the language attainments of students; (b) specify objectives of teaching different languages, particularly at the school stage where three languages are to be studied compulsorily; and (c) identify language skills that students must attain in terms of the specified objectives.

51. In Tamil Nadu Arvial Science has been introduced in the linguistic minority schools, the idea being to familiarize the students with the technical terms in Tamil to make their life smoother when they finally switch over to Tamil as a medium. The experiment is in an early stage and it will be some time before the benefits are clear. But this is a half hearted attempt appears from the fact that there are neither teachers nor are there to be any examinations to check the competence achieved. The reaction of the teachers and the parents is not very encouraging since they consider the learning of vocabulary divorced from every day life difficult and unproductive. Language learning is expedited when it is contextualized through expressive writing and discussions (or talking)and the information is filtered through personal experience.

52. It must be borne in mind that all genuine learning involves discovery. Language has a heuristic function. It is also clear that the language learning can be effective when it is spread over various subjects in what is called LAC (Language Across Curriculum).

53. The point to be urged is that there should be an early decision on the objectives of the language teaching. Before we consider that, there is another point which merits consideration,

 
Categorization of Linguistic Minorities

54. The tag of 'linguistic minority'" is not applied uniformly or automatically. The term has not been defined in the Constitution or by any Act. The State and Union Territory administrations sometimes aver that they have not declared any community as a linguistic minority. The Commissioner has earlier pointed out that this concept is not justified by any known decisions or precedents so far as the linguistic minorities are concerned. The linguistic minority is automatically defined when their mother tongue differs from the regional language of the area. It need not be declared to be such. The concessions should automatically come to it. After all when the Constitution calls on the state to make arrangements for teaching the child through his mother tongue, it does not stipulate any conditions.

 55. A language need not be officially recognized or declared as a minority language by the competent authority. However, it is noted that the Official Language Acts of some States recognize a language as the Official Language and identify other minority languages which are permitted for use in the administration or education in a specific region or regions of a state. Some of the Acts merely refer to linguistic minorities without specifying the languages.

56. Another complication arises from the fact that wrongly, and unfortunately, some of the languages have got associated with religious denominations. The political compulsions take over and some officers have been so misled by this phenomenon that the information sent is for only one language.

57. Indian multilingualism has thrown up a mosaic of linguistic minorities. Apart from this, as we already saw, practically the existence of linguistic minorities officially stretches across different levels. Levels and different kinds of linguistic majorities-minorities in India are:

1. Scheduled Languages (all these being considered major languages) vs. Non-Scheduled Languages (all these being considered minor languages) Presently 22 languages are included in the list of scheduled languages. Not all of them are principal languages in their states. Thus the new languages added (Bodo, Santhali, Dogri and Maithili) do not have a state where they are the principal language(s). Earlier also Sanskrit, Urdu and Sindhi were in similar position. The speakers of Scheduled Languages constitute 97.00% of the population of India. Most of the states recognize the other Scheduled Languages as minority languages though, sometimes, their use depends upon custom and political compulsions rather than a sense of democratic values of equal opportunities for all. The non scheduled language are not used even when, otherwise, the State is liberal in the matters of education through minority languages. One of the reasons quoted often is that the non scheduled languages do not have a traditional script.

2. Notified tribal languages vs. non-notified tribal languages: Some of the tribal languages have been scheduled as tribal languages by a Presidential Order published in the Gazette of India, Part II, Section 1, dated August 13, 1960: Abor, Adi, Anal, Angami, Ao, Assuri, Agarva, Bhili, Bhumij, Birhor, Binija/ Birijia, Bodo including Kachari, Mech, Chang-Naga, Chiri, Dafla, Dimasa, Gadaba, Garo, Gondi, Ho, Halam, Juang, Kabui, Kanawari, Kharia, Khasi, Khiemnungam, Khond/Kandh, Koch, Koda/ Kora, Kolami, Konda, Konyak, Korku, Kota, Korwa, Koya, Kurukh/Oraon, Lushai/Mizo, Mikir, Miri, Mishmi, Mru, Mundari, Nicobarese, Paite, Parji, Rabha, Rangkhul, Rengma, Santali, Savara, Sema,Tangkhul,Thado,Toda,Tripuri/ Kokborok The criteria for such distinction is not understood. This is not very important  as very few of these languages are getting attention which they deserve.

3. Languages with the literary tradition and the languages without such a tradition. Sahitya Academy (at Delhi) has recognized some of the languages not in the eighth schedule for literary purposes. This is one of the reasons advanced for denying education through these so called non literary languages.

4. The recognized linguistic minorities versus the unrecognized linguistic minorities. The languages of this later group do not find any place and get included under 'other languages'. The Mhal (of Lakshadweep) does not find mention in the census report. Nor are many of the languages in Sikkim which the State Government is trying to develop. The criterion of at least 10,000 persons speaking the language in the country is against the development and preservation of these languages.

 
Befuddling the situation

58. It has been remarked that some of the linguistic minorities have been discriminated against on the grounds that their language does not have a traditional script. There has been a three fold response to this objection. Some of the languages have adopted an existing script with all its advantages of being a well used script with technological equipment already in place. Thus Tulu is being written in Kannada script; Bodo in Devanagari, Bishnupriya Manipuri in Bengali script and so on. Some of the language groups have sought to revive their traditional script. Thus Sourashtra linguistic group in Tamil Nadu is using its own script as well as modified Tamil script. There are attempts to revive Meitei Mayek for Manipuri, Maithili script for Maithili. Roman script has been the favourite in the tribal languages in the North East, under the influence of the missionaries but it is also used by some in Goa for Konkani. The third response has been to create a new script, the most notable example being Ol Chiki for Santhali language. This


 attempt has been going on for a few decades and has many adherents.

59. Some of he languages have been caught in the web of scripts. Sindhi is the most notable example with protagonists of Arabic and Devnagari arguing their case strongly. Konkani is being written in Roman script (as remarked above), in Devnagari and in Kannada.

60. There are some who believe that the teaching through tribal languages is not the solution. It is stated that “With inexperienced teachers and insufficient reading materials these programs are apologies for education.” Contributing to the problem are literacy materials with very little practical village content and little that would be motivational for learners.

61. On the one hand the creation of reading material is not encouraged or no funds are allotted for its production and, on the other hand, the lack of material is cited as the reason for not using the language. This was the experience in Sourashtra language in Tamil Nadu. It was said that Sourashtra does not have a script, much less a book. The Sourashtra people produced a book for use at the primary level of education and submitted it to the Government for production. Nothing has happened for the last two or three decades. But the reason quoted for non use of the language is the same old one.

62. In this context, a linguistic survey of Tribal Dialects and Cultures, focusing on four districts of Orissa, reported that: “India has failed to meet the commitment of universalizing Primary Education and ensuring a basic human right because of this problem of language.” They expressed the need for “eradicating the language barrier, which instead of serving as a ‘driving force’, serves as a ‘depriving force’” (Academy of Tribal Dialects and Cultures, ST/SC Development Department, Orissa, Oct 1999). This last statement seems to reflect almost a switch from language-as-resource ideas to a language-as-problem orientation, saying that in light of educational limitations, linguistic diversity deprives more than it drives.

63. There are also reports that the tribals themselves do not want to learn through the tribal languages. In Chandrapur in Maharashtra and in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh, it is claimed that teaching through the tribal languages was attempted but it is stated that the tribals did not like the idea. But it is significant that no one has enquired into the reasons for such refusal.

64. Though it may appear to be out of context but the experience of Tamil Nadu is a pointer to the real reason. As is well known, Tamil Nadu has set its face against three language formula arguing that it meant forcing of Hindi on the Tamilians. It adopted what is known as two language formula which meant Tamil and English. As is well known, Tamil Nadu is also in the forefront of the implementations of the safeguards for the linguistic minorities. It believes in teaching though the mother tongue. The two aspects taken together meant that for the linguistic minorities, there was their mother tongue and English. Since there is only two language formula so Tamil is left out. But it is not enquired what reaction it causes. Studying through one's language is welcome but it should not lead to exclusion from the main stream of the State. There is no compulsion for knowing Tamil at the time of recruitment but the person concerned has to pass the test in Tamil after joining the service and it is of quite a high standard. I have been faced with the demand that the linguistic minorities should be allowed to learn Tamil in the school. There have been persistent demands and at one time the Education Minister conceded it. But the catch was that this had to be done outside the school hours and further that there were to be no teachers, and worse, no examinations. The very idea was defeated. The students wanted to learn Tamil so that they can compete later on with other students who come through Tamil medium. With no examinations and no facilities, the purpose would not be served.

65. The point is that Tamil is to be learnt not for its own sake (the students pick up Tamil any way in their daily life) but for the sake of competition. The same thinking applies to the tribals. If they apprehend that the teaching through tribal languages is merely to deprive them of the benefits of knowing the regional language, there will be hesitation. There is no such hesitation in the North East because no such stigma attaches to it. Santhalis do not fear making Santhali the medium at the primary stage of education. If the tribals can be assured that tribal languages are being introduced for their convenience, there is no reason why they will not adopt it. What is envisaged that the relative importance of language should not be lost sight of.

66. We can cite the case of South Africa during its days of apartheid. During apartheid, the policy regarding the African population was constructed in such a way as to promote ethnic identity while hampering proficiency in the official languages in order to limit access to employment. It can even be argued that "the language-in-education plan" became a central component of apartheid education. The principle of mother-tongue education was "conveniently applied to further the political interests of division amongst all communities". Moreover, the sudden change from the mother-tongue medium of instruction to the double medium or "50/50 policy" (English/ Afrikaans) caused a great deal of educational disadvantage among African students. Students were simply not

able to grasp the meaning of what was written in the syllabus because of the language hurdle. This difficulty was compounded by the fact that the shift away from mother-tongue education to Afrikaans and English occurred at a stage when the students did not have adequate proficiency in these two languages. 

 
Objectives of language learning

67. This brings us back to the question as to what is the level of proficiency in various languages that is to be achieved. For the linguistic minorities, there are four languages to be learnt. Some of the persons have argued that this means additional burden on the child. It depends upon, once again, the level of proficiency which is prescribed. Just as the expectations of having the same level of proficiency from the student who has leant all through non Tamil medium as the student who has learnt through Tamil medium is unfair to the former, so also to expect the same level of proficiency in all the four languages to be learnt will be out of place and will really mean burden on the child. Perhaps it is this mode of thinking which led to the argument against the need of four languages for the linguistic minorities. But the solution suggested was to give up the minority language so that the cure is worse than the disease.

68. What the Commissioner would like to argue for is a simple approach which would not jeopordise the fortunes of the students and would not mean additional burden. In this context it must be faced that there are various groups within the linguistic minorities group having their own special problems. For the sake of illustration, we take the example of Karnataka, the linguistic minorities can be classified into three  groups on these lines.

 

1. Linguistic minorities for whom their own mother tongue may be offered as the school language (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Urdu, Marathi etc.,).

2. Linguistic minorities for whom their own mother tongue may not be offered as their school language, but the regional language is supposed to be their "second mother tongue" (Tulu, Kodagu, and Konkani).

3. Linguistic minorities for whom their mother tongue is not the school language and also not their "second mother tongue" (Lamani, Soliga, Yerava).

 

69. The special groups where the language spoken is a dialect of Kannada but sufficiently different and with distinct features that differentiate the dialect from Kannada from the standard Kannada have not included

70. In the first group the language is sufficiently developed to allow the student to carry on his studies right up to the university level without having to pick up the regional language except for the use in every day life and for the market. A basic knowledge of the grammar and a working vocabulary of the common day use would be sufficient. With the Central Government now setting up a Commission for grant of affiliation to the central universities the student does not have even to move out of his state to acquire the highest possible knowledge. (What havoc will it cause to the feelings for the loyalty to the state of his birth is not the question which is bothering the authorities now. But that is another story and the consequences will have to be tackled when it is probably too late. Also what happens to the medium which is not offered by the listed universities is another question which may come up later.).

71. In the second group, the beginning can and should be made with the mother tongue but can quickly yield place to the regional language which is in any case not unfamiliar to the student. The aim of the teaching of the mother tongue here is to familiarize him with the basic grammar (the vocabulary being well stocked) and continue the traditions and the customs of the group and pass it on to the next generation. This can be and is being done through oral methods but the creation of the popular literature based on folk lore and folk music will enrich the language as, indeed, it will enrich the cultural mosaic that our country provides. The medium of the instruction at the post elementary level can be the regional language. For such subjects where the technical knowledge is specially important, the transition can begin earlier also. In any case the regional language should be introduced as the subject as early as the third standard, though as recommended earlier in the consensual safeguards and practiced by some of the states, not made  a subject of formal examination till standard five.

72. The third group has special problems. The mother tongue can be the only medium at the elementary level. The regional language can be introduced early (say standard three) but it has to be at a very elementary level and not of the same level as prescribed for the students whose mother tongue is the regional language.(I found this to be the case in one of the states. The students studied up to class five through the medium of his mother tongue in a linguistic minority school. In the sixth standard, he switched over to the regional language and was told to read the same books which were prescribed in the regular schools. In other words he had one year to achieve what his class fellows were expected to do in six years.) The level of the regional language will be increased slowly till he achieves the proficiency of sufficient standard by the end of the elementary stage of education.  In one of the states the books prescribed for such students was of two standards lower than other students but in our view, special bridge course to expedite the learning of the language should be developed. This will mean extra effort but it will be justified.

73. In discussing the achievement levels of the languages, the question of the link language, Hindi is to be considered as a separate entity. Similarly,  English is to be considered as a separate identity.

74. So far as Hindi is concerned, the expectations is that this will be used as a link language for contact with the people from other states. There was probably a thought that Hindi may replace English as a language for Higher Education all over but, presently, this is only a dream and the only purpose of learning the language is for common day use. The level of competence to be achieved is to be limited to learning of grammar and picking up enough vocabulary to interact with other persons. Naturally the study of literature, prose and poetry, is not of much relevance except as means of contextualised learning.

75. In contrast to Hindi, the position of English presents a different and difficult preposition. English was not in the run when the linguistic rights for the linguistic minorities were decided and responsibilities listed. However, today, English has a major role in decision-making regarding language choice in education. English is replacing the mother tongue and the regional language. Nearly 7 states in the country have opted for the introduction of English from the

earliest stage, even along with the mother tongue of the student. When the language policy was debated in India decades ago, only Hindi and/ or the regional language were perceived to be a threat to the place of the mother tongue in the school system. Today the situation is totally changed. At that time, there were violent protests against ignoring mother tongues, and today we see total submission in favour of English. No safeguards bestowed by the Constitution or policy declarations by the Governments Resolution or Recommendations of the Commissions are able to shield Indian languages from the relentless onward march of English. The minority languages are the worst suffering lot because they were additionally under siege due to the growing influence of the regional language. They are perceived to be a threat to the unity of the State concerned. The minor languages limited to an area or to a state are the most vulnerable. If this process can not be reversed or stalled, at least steps can be taken to protect the minor and minority languages. For this, it is necessary at least to develop certain linkages in school. Languages without any power or support for their continued currency and development are bound to vanish.

76. The general purpose of learning a language is to be able to express one’s ideas properly, concisely and accurately. The oral communications are, in any case; learnt through contacts starting with the family and going on to the relations, friends, acquaintances and the market. But the formal learning of language in the school leads to the expression of ideas in writing. The other purpose of learning the language is to appreciate the nuances of the writings of more learned persons. Thus the two fold basic objectives of learning the language are first to communicate our ideas and secondly to appreciate ideas of others.

77. The learning of the first language comes naturally for the mother tongue. The nuances of the language can only be learnt when these are daily practiced amidst the people who habitually use that language in every day life.  This process is difficult when the second language is learnt but then the objective of learning the second language us completely different. Let us examine it in some details.

78. The language learning has four important objectives. They are comprehension, expression, appreciation, and creativity. Whenever any language is learnt, the comprehension is the first objective. To know what is being said or what is written is vital for acquisition of the language. The oral comprehension can, in itself,  be a goal. As remarked earlier for the mother tongue, it comes naturally but for second (which term includes every non mother tongue language) it has to be deliberately acquired. Comprehension of the language in its written form is a formal process for all languages (mother tongue or other). This is where the school plays an important part. Obviously if the language has already been acquired orally, the process of comprehension of written word is easier. This is why the educationists insist that the first formal transfer to the comprehension of the written form should be through mother tongue. There is no doubt that the second language can also be simultaneously acquired orally and in written form but the process is more difficult and more time consuming. it may also be frustrating for the child to learn the unfamiliar word when he has always been associating another word with the object.

79. The expression here means the ability to pass on one's ideas to another person who can comprehend that language. Transition to expression is also easier for the mother tongue in that it has been a slow but persistent effort routinely reinforced. The child picks up most of his vocabulary by the time he is three years old. It is strengthened when he goes to the school and learns the formal character of the language by learning about grammar, the equivalence of words and the literary form of the language. It may be mentioned that despite all the emphasis that is laid on use of simpler language in prose, the literary form has always been different in all the languages.

80. Can the expression come up naturally in the second language? To the extent that even the parents themselves are not using it as the first language, this is difficult. There will always be a gap even if the parents are always using the second language in interacting with the child.  There are instances when the child does not comprehend his mother tongue as it is deliberately discouraged by the guardians but even so, the second language still lacks that spontaneity that comes with the mother tongue.

81. The third aspect of the language learning is appreciation. To know the difference between two expressions and to differentiate the subtle difference between them is an important part of the language learning. This has to be acquired for all the languages including the mother tongue. As stated earlier, the literary form is different from the spoken form. The writer tries to express himself in a style that is special to him. He conveys and attempts to convey the ideas some times directly and some times indirectly. His emphasis changes from one idea to another, He seeks to reinforce the ideas which, he feels, are important for what he wants to convey. To understand all this a formal study under an experienced hand is necessary. In the language learning, the study of the literature is meant for this purpose.

82. The last part of the language learning is the creativity. This is the ability to modify the language to suit the requirements of the situation either by play on the words or by other means. It is not customary to teach this aspect at the school and probably, it does not come naturally to every one using that language.  In other words this is an aspect which can only come with time, practice and, most of all, inclination.

83. The objective of teaching of second language is usually two fold i.e. comprehension and expression. This is especially true of the language to be used for the acquisition of knowledge which is not available in one's own language or for the sake of business and interaction with another person. The acquisition of Hindi by the residents of the non Hindi states is essentially for this purpose. The idea is only to be able to share the same platform with the other person. It was envisaged at one stage that Hindi will acquire the status of the sole official language for the Union purposes and that acquisition of Hindi will be from that angle. This idea has since been given up except in the official papers and which the Department of Official Language in the Government of India, heroically but increasingly frustratingly, continues to work for. The Department even goes to the extent of instituting awards for use of Hindi in the office work for those whose mother tongue is Hindi and who are working in the offices situated in the Hindi areas. But that is another story.

84. The acquisition of English is mainly for the continuation of studies in the higher levels. The bulk of the scientific and technical knowledge is available in English and can be acquired only in that language. The interaction at this level is only in English and thus its acquisition is a must both for comprehension and expression. It is also more difficult in that the grammatical construction is different from the Indian languages. Picking up of special vocabulary is, obviously, much more important and time consuming.

85. There is another aspect of learning English. It is the language of business and much of administration. To that extent it requires more accomplishment than Hindi, the link language.

86. But it must be appreciated that neither for Hindi for non Hindi states nor for English for the entire country the third aspect of the language learning viz. appreciation is essential part of the learning the language. There may be individuals who would be interested in such a use of the language but the bulk of the students will not be interested in this. In any case, those who are interested, the methodology would be the same which they have acquired in the learning of the mother tongue. It need not be a part of the syllabus.

 
Language Planning and Three Language Formula

87. In the preceding paragraphs, lies the rationale of the language planning. It is sufficient to give the outlines of the syllabus which will be in accordance with what has been stated above. This will also mean modification of the three language formula which was adopted in the sixties of the last century and continues to be observed more in breach than in observance. It takes into account the minority languages also which was not  under consideration when the three language formula was formulated. At that time its importance was not appreciated and which had to be attended to , subsequently, in piecemeal fashion.

88. It must be restated that the three language formula is relevant to the upper primary level of education (i.e. class VI onwards). The general form of the three language formula will be the same as at present (shorn of its national integration fervour) viz. the Regional Language/ mother tongue as the first language, Hindi as the second language and English as the third language. For the linguistic minorities, the formula should be changed by substituting Regional language as the second language in place of Hindi. So far as Hindi is concerned, this works fine if the regional language is Hindi. If this is not the case, it is proposed that there can be a composite course for Hindi and the Regional language. The more difficult part is the implementation of the formula in the Hindi speaking areas and  where Hindi is also the mother tongue of the student, What should be the third language? There is no incentive to learn one. Most of the students go in for Sanskrit even though it may be more difficult than other languages. Still, to achieve some sort of parity across the states, it will be compulsory for the student to acquire another Indian language. (Note that the insistence or preference for south Indian language is dropped) He can however, have the option of composite course for acquiring two languages.

89. There is an increasing number of schools which have English as the medium of instruction. This is unfortunate but the fact has to be accepted. For such schools the normal three languages formula can be modified to mean English as the first language, Regional Language as the second language and Hindi as the third. For the linguistic minorities, there can be composite courses where mother tongue can be combined with Regional Language or Hindi as per the inclination of the student. The students in the Hindi speaking area who have Hindi as the mother tongue must acquire one or two languages of their choice as the third language(s).

90. Thus there will be 300 marks for the language papers English and one more language carrying 100 marks each while the third languages singly may have 100 marks and for the composite course 50. The fourth language (as part of the composite course) will have 50 marks.

91. The three language formula is essentially for the middle level of education. This can be envisaged for the entire school period as follows.

 

Language

Class

Remarks

Mother Tongue

I to X

 

Regional language

III to XII

But to be examination paper from class V

Hindi

III to X

But to be examination paper from class V

English

VI to X

 

 

92. In the Hindi speaking states, the formulation will obviously be modified, especially if Hindi is also the mother tongue.

 

Language

Class

Remarks

Hindi

I to X

 

English

III to XII

But to be examination paper from class V

Other MIL

VI to X

 

 

93. If the medium beyond the school level (i.e. class XII) is contemplated as the regional language, it can be one of the subjects in class XI and XII in addition to English. But it can be given up if English is to be the subsequent medium.

94. It is expected that if the mother tongue is not developed to that extent that it can be a subject up to class X then it can be left out at an appropriate state. The Regional Language can be started from class III and can be used as a medium from class V.

 

Isolated groups

95. There are many isolated groups of the linguistic minorities which are in so small a number that opening up of the schools for them is not practical. They belong to a wider group which is important but in their own area their strength is small so that a regular movement to keep up their culture and customs are under severe constraints. It is doubtful if the State Governments can do much to help them except by way of having a scheme to assist them in organization of periodical functions. It is for the groups to take up the challenge and lead their young compatriots for the retention of the cultural values.

 
Non Educational points

96. Most of the above remarks apply to the use of the minority languages for educational purposes but the safeguards go much beyond it. The framers of the Constitution wanted the administration to be close to the people and so wanted it to be carried on through their languages. In India, for most of the time, the language of administration has not been the language of the people. It has been remarked that the literary form of a language is distinct from the language used by the masses in oral communications. The language used for administration has peculiarities of its own. Some of it is due to desire of the administrators to keep aloof from the outsiders but for the most part, it is an essential part of the process. Whereas in the oral communications, the exact purpose of what is being conveyed is also expressed  through the body language, the accent and the context, the written official word has to be precise to be capable of conveying only one meaning. The artificial form of the language used in the offices is quite often criticized and rightly too. But to insist on the same format as the spoken word is going to the other extreme. In any case, there are bound to be differences between the two forms (or rather three viz. spoken, literary and official) but these differences have to be kept within limits.

97. In India, we have seen the language of administration and the elite being totally different from the language of the people and exclusively reserved for the administrators, the scholars and the elite. It was Sanskrit in the earlier days. Later it was replaced by Persian and still later by English. At the Courts of the Emperors and Kings and the petty chieftains around the country, the language of the people were not considered to be fit for the royalty. In Manipuri, we can see this in the words being used for the parts of the body - the eye, the hand, the mouth - as being different if the person is from the royal family. The word use for eye is ‘nayan’ for the person from royal family. For common people it is ‘mit’.

98. But this phenomenon is not unique to India. For a long time, Latin was the language of the elite in Europe while the multitude swore by another language. In England, Latin gave way to French which was in vogue for a long time.The rising anti French feelings finally brought the local language into the Royal Court aided by the fact that the first Georges knew only German.

99. In India the local administration, due the policies of the rulers to let the local people manage their own affairs, was carried on through the local languages. It must be admitted, however, that the local administration was only rudimentary in nature with the caste panchayats taking most of the decisions orally and not much record of what was being done was kept. Sher Shah Suri and the Moghuls introduced the keeping of the formal records of land

ownership and tenancy but it was, once again, in a simple form. The British, introduced the formal unified system of keeping records. They introduced English in the record keeping at the higher level but even they left the local land records to be kept in the local languages. Their provinces were not formed on the basis of language and hence they used what ever language was prevalent in a particular  area. The linguistic reorganizations pf the states introduced some complications in that the local languages were different from the state languages. But it was agreed that records will be kept in the languages locally prevalent. For example the revenue records of some talukas in Belgaum district were in  Marathi whereas Kannada is the state language. Of late the position has changed and now the orders are to maintain the records in Kannada especially after the computerization of the records. it is a case for grievance and the Commissioner had requested the Karnataka Government to maintain the earlier practice. It is learnt that this issue was agitated before the High Court of Karnataka and it has now been ordered that this be done. Orders have, accordingly, been issued by the State Government. It remains to be seen how this will be done. But it is certainly time that other states also followed this practice.

100. It will be worthwhile to mention that the Election Commission has ordered that in certain constituencies, the electoral rolls should be maintained in the minority language also besides the official or the regional language. A list of such constituencies can be seen at the website of the Election Commission.

101. Let us consider other aspects. The point is whether there is a continued need for the important notices etc. to be available in the minority languages. The arguments run that more and more citizens of a state are well versed in the official (or the regional language) of the State. Or they can easily approach some one who knows that language. Hence there is no need to translate and publish the important orders etc. in any but the official language (and that includes English also). There are no facilities for such translation and it would be difficult to make such arrangements.

102. Almost identical are the arguments about the receipt of the applications and representations in any but the official languages. An additional point is that the applications etc. are written by professional petition writers who convert whatever the applicant wants to communicate in the officially accepted style and language. Not withstanding the provisions of the Constitution, it is the claim of several of the State Governments that no representations are received in the minority languages. It is more likely that such representations and applications are discouraged as indeed was alleged by some persons in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. Even where it is admitted that representations are received in local languages, it is said that the replies are sent in English or the regional language. A variety of reasons, which appear to be more of excuses rather than explanations, are given such as lack of appropriate machinery, lack of equipment whereas actually it is lack of will.

103. It would be recalled that last year the Government of Karnataka issued an orders stating that important notices etc. should be issued in the minority languages. The orders had to be withdrawn as there were widespread protests by the Kannada groups including the Kannada Sahitya Samiti who thought that these orders will adversely effect the development of the Kannada language. It was never explained how this would occur. It was also forgotten that out of 6,00,00,000 Kanagadigas, 2,00,00,000 live outside Karnataka. If they were subject to the same mindless protests, Kannada would actually be the loser and not the winner. The orders had to be withdrawn under the pressure of these scholars and protagonists of Kannada. Such chauvinists are present every where especially in the North West where the policy appears to be deliberately disparaging the linguistic minorities. It is alleged that they have deliberately misrepresented their mother tongue. The complaint may be genuine but then in democracy, it is for the people to decide how they should react to the question of mother tongue. It can only be surmised that the reason for so called misrepresentation is that the other party has not been able to reassure them that their rights will be protected no matter what the outcome of other political demands is. Certainly they can not be punished for their political views if we have to survive as a democracy. Even now if the misconceptions are removed, rather than scoffed at,  the situation can take a turn for the better.

104. But the point remains that so far as a substantial number of people desire and describe a certain language to be their mother tongue, their wishes should be respected and they be given the same treatment as other residents of the state. The Constitution gives them these rights and they should be respected. For example, the representations should be accepted and arrangements made to reply to them in the same language. If there are any difficulties, they should be removed. No State Government has stated any cogent reasons for such refusal. Such difficulties as have been pointed out can be solved by a strong will and some funds. Amidst so many welfare schemes to please some sections or the other of the people, the scheme to reply in the language of the petitions would be the cheapest one. Same goes for the publication of the notices etc. in the minority languages. This argument can not be accepted that some other person knows the Official Language. Our aim is that every one should be educated. Otherwise there was a time in Manipur when it was enough for one person to know Manipuri. There was no need for any one to read. Do we desire such a situation. The same argument can be given against the Official Language that some one or other will be knowing English.

105. There is no doubt that there are circumstances which keep influencing the culture of a community in constant touch with another community. The behaviour pattern changes, the customs undergo a change, the dress code changes and the language is no exception. But these changes are effective if they come of own accord and not if they are forced. The force merely makes the society more resistant to the changes sought to be achieved. Earning of goodwill is, at any given time, more important than scoring a point. It is hoped that, in the true spirit of democracy, the wishes of the linguistic minorities will be given due respect. This only would make the linguistic minorities feel secure and work, along with their brothers and sisters from the majority language group, for the betterment of the State.

 

106. A necessary corollary of providing the safeguards is that the communities for whom the safeguards are meant are aware of the concessions available to them. Perhaps even more important is that the concessions should be known to the officers who administer these safeguards. It has been the endeavour of the Commissioner that the orders regarding the safeguards should be codified, compiled and published. Though it was being insisted that these pamphlets should be available to the linguistic minorities, it appears that the official machinery is more in need of this information. It has been the experience of the Commissioner that very often the safeguards are considered to be the concern of the minority welfare department and/ or of the education department whereas this should be the concern of the entire administration and of all the officers posted in such areas where the linguistic minorities reside in a large number. To cite an instance, it is the duty of the persons in charge of the buses to see that their destinations are written in majority as well as minority languages. This is plain information to the clients rather than the dictates of the higher authorities. I have seen the Washington museum in United States giving information about the exhibits in Japanese. It does not mean that Japanese is endangering English in United States. It is only that a large number of clientele is Japanese. Many of the big departmental stores make the declaration "Espana habola ici". Nobody would even imagine that the Japanese visiting USA are not conversant with English or the Spanish speaking population living there for generations do not understand English. The concern is with the clientele and that is what should count. That and the good manners are the best friend winners.

07. It is the ardent wish of the Commissioner that the Indian attitude of live and let live will govern all walks of life, including languages,  in our ancient and venerable land.

108. With these remarks, we now present the position of the implementation of the safeguards provided for the linguistic minorities base on the replies  received from them, on the tour notes and information received otherwise.

 


2. Arunachal Pradesh

 

1. As in the previous years, this year also, Arunachal Pradesh has said that no language has been recognized as a minority language.  Therefore, no question has been answered. Earlier also attention  of the Government has been drawn to this but it does not appear that attention has been paid to it.

2. In fact the position is not all that bad. In the answer for the Fortieth Report, it has been said that students of the classes VI to VIII are being taught third language. Five languages of the State viz. Adi, Apatani, Bhoti, Khampti and Nishi, which are spoken by the principal tribes have been adopted as the third language. It was hoped that further progress about this will be intimated but nothing has been said this time.

3. The State Government will have to be requested once again that they should pay more attention to the development of the tribal languages.

 


 

3. Assam

 

1. Assam was the last state to send the information in reply to the questionnaire for the Forty Second Report to be included in this Report. Last year, it could not send the information and the Report had to be submitted only on the basis of the tour notes. It was reported in the press on March 27, 2004 that a separate cell for linguistic and religious minorities was set up. It was expected that it will look after the implementation of safeguards and would get the necessary information from the various departments. As such the information called for will be available as and when needed. The delay in replying to the questionnaire does not show whether this is the case. In fact, the setting up of the cell is not even mentioned in the reply. It may be mentioned that the Minorities Welfare and Development Department has been set up and its Commissioner – cum - Secretary is the Nodal Officer for linguistic minorities. Perhaps a cell is not necessary.

2. Any way the reply has been received. As stated last year, the State is not low in the list of those who are implementing the safeguards. This will be borne out by the analysis which is given below though there are gaps.

3. The linguistic profile has not been given on the grounds that it is not available for 2001 census. We can get an idea by studying the 1991 census to some approximate values. The total population in 1991 was 2,24,14,322. In that census the percentage was as follows –

 

Languages

Persons

Percentage

Assamese

1,29,58,088

57.81

Bengali

48,56,532

21.67

Bodo

11,84,569

5.28

Hindi

10,35,474

4.62

Mishing

3,81,562

1.70

Karbi

3,55,032

1.58

Dimasa

84,654

0.38

 

4. Dimasa is mentioned because of the concentration of its speakers in a particular area.

5. Assamese is the official language. Bodo can be used as associate official language in the districts of Kokrajhar, Nalbari and also Udalguri sub division for all or any of the official purposes declared by the Government. The purposes have not been specified. Bengali is used for administrative and other official purposes up to the district level in the districts in the Barak valley.

6. In respects of the question whether the important rules, etc. are being published in the minority languages, the answer says that this is being done in certain areas. But no details have been given.

7. It is said that petitions have been received from the linguistic minorities in the minority languages and also replied to in some cases. Once again, the details have not been given.

8. It is said that linguistic minorities are not given any special treatment for recognition or registration of their institutions. But it is said that there are applications for recognition. The details are as follows –

Language

Applied

Sanctioned

Pending

Bengali

93

25

68

Bodo

62

17

45

Hindi

5

0

5

 

9. The number of pending cases is very large. There should be some specific reasons for which these applications are not being disposed off. These may kindly be indicated.  Special drive for taking a decision on recognition or otherwise should be taken. Other languages Manipuri, Mishing, Karbi, Dimasa, Hmar, Nepali  are not mentioned.

10. It is said that there is no grants in aid system. Hence no schools have been given such grants. This is not fair. It is admitted that the Government effort alone can overcome the problem of univeralisation of education. Local effort is also required, especially in the remote areas. How the public cooperation is got needs to be described.

11. It is said that that lower primary stage (or what we have been calling primary stage) is from class I to IV and the upper primary from class V to VII. It is said that there are orders for teaching in mother tongue should be provided if there are ten students in a class or 40 in the school. It is remarked that regional language is taught from the lower primary stage but the class from which it is started  is not mentioned. The information about the schools, students and teachers is given for the year 2002 -03 and not 2003 – 04 which is period covered by this report. As this information was not included in the previous Report, it is being included here and is as follows–

 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Bengali

3,813

6,05,625

7,626

Bodo

1,713

1,99,680

3,426

Manipuri

185

23,250

370

Hindi

78

68,390

156

Garo

38

1,63,012

76

Hmar

5

3,235

10

Nepali

5

1,818

10

 

12. Apparently, there is a mistake somewhere. There can not be 3,235 students in five primary schools for Hmar which also gives a ratio of 323 students to a teacher. This should be checked and correct figures reported. For Hindi the ration is 1: 438, which is alarming once again. The ratio for Nepali is less but still too high for it to be correct. But if it is, then it needs immediate action on the part of the State Government. The situation in other languages is also bad as it is 1 :79 for Bengali; 1 : 63 for Manipuri; 1 : 58 for Bodo. But still it is very high compared with the normal whereas it should be lower than normal for the minority languages. The figures for Garo is obviously a typing mistake but there is no way to cross check.

13. In the upper primary stage, the information is as follows –

 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Bengali

994

8,41,685

5,982

Bodo

215

2,75,835

1,075

Manipuri

68

26,950

408

Hindi

14

39,966

84

Garo

6

21,490

30

Hmar

2

3,775

18

Nepali

3

2,668

18

 

14. Once again the teacher student ration is disturbing. It is 141 students to one teacher in Bengali; 257 for Bodo; 66 for Manipuri; 276 for Hmar; 148 for Nepali; and 476 for Hindi. As remarked earlier Garo figures appear to be totally incorrect.

15. For  the secondary education, (class VIII to X), Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Hindi and English are said to be medium. There should be 15 students in a class or 45 in a school. All these languages are used by the Board of Secondary Education and question papers are set in them. The information about the number of schools, students and teachers is said to be enclosed but is not there so that it is not possible to give that information.

16. Advance registers are being maintained in the primary and the secondary schools. The number is given as 5,837 for primary and 230 for secondary.

17. The Three Language Formula is being implemented with mother tongue/ regional language as the first language. Any language from the list  - Bodo, Bengali, Sanskrit, Hindi, Assamese is the second language. Third language is not mentioned but obviously, it is English. It is said that English is introduced from primary stage but the class is not mentioned. The Formula should have carried a rider that those who have mother tongue as first language will have Assamese as the second language. Further what will happen to Hindi in that case (unless it is the mother tongue). A solution is the introduction of composite courses as in Maharashtra. The details may be seen in chapter one.

18. It is admitted that there is shortage of teachers. We have already seen that above. But then it is specified that detailed information is not available. It is also added that there is shortage of science teachers in Bodo language. It is stated that “No shortage of teachers is reported from other medium”. Now that is a contradiction. May be it is more than that. The  number of posts sanctioned and filled up is also not available. It is said that vacancies will be filled up after the lifting of the ban on recruitment by the State Government. There is a drive for universalisation of education and it has been repeatedly said that there is no shortage of money for that. It is therefore, surprising that there is a ban on recruitment of teachers. It is seen from some other states that while there is a general ban but it has been lifted for teachers. It is hoped that Assam can follow the same procedure. The option to appoint Shiksha Sahayaks (or whatever be the name in Assam) should also be available. These can also be used for minority languages.

19. About training of the teachers, it is said that training facilities at secondary level are common for all teachers irrespective of the medium of instruction. However, at the primary stage, there are training facilities for Bengali and Bodo language teachers at Kokrajhar BTC for Bodo language teachers and DIET Udarband for Bengali. Number of persons trained is said to be 125 for Bodo; 50 for Bengali; 36 for Hmar and 10 for Manipuri. which year these figure relate to is not specified. Where Hmar/ Manipuri teachers were trained in not mentioned.

20. All textbooks are said to be available in plenty and reach the students in time. They are prepared and published by State Council for Education Research and Training or the Directorate. No details are given.

21. No Academies have been set up. But it is said that the Government have taken a decision to give financial assistance to venture schools including linguistic minority schools on the basis of seniority and need basis. Venture school is a new term. Is it any way connected to venture

capital. Venture capital is a means to get profits out of a scheme executed by others. Will the schools mean same thing to the Government? One would like to know. The details of the scheme will have to be seen before it can be commented upon.

22. English and Assamese are the medium of examination for recruitment to the state services. Copy of orders dated September 12, 1990 are enclosed, which presumably are still in force that a candidate can offer Alternative English in place of Assamese for the post of the lower division clerk in the Secretariat or the office of the Heads of Departments. In this case he has to pass the examination in Assamese in his probation period or a period specified by the State Government. There are no domiciliary restrictions.

23. It is said that a committee has been set up at the state level for the review of the implementation of safeguards and a copy of the notification is enclosed. But there is no such enclosure. It is not informed what the composition of the committee is nor whether it has met or not.

24. At the district level, District Inspector of Schools in respect of the secondary education  and District Elementary Education Officer in respect of the primary education is in charge of this work. Here also a committee is said to be set up but its composition is not intimated. Nor is there information about the meetings of such committees.

25. There is a Minority Commission in the State but no further details are available. The interest was only to know whether the work relating to linguistic minorities is given to it.

26. It is said that all government policies are published through Directorate of Information and Public Relations but there is no specific reply whether any pamphlets for the linguistic minorities has been issued. It is remarked that information is not readily available. But the fact is that the concerned department should be the first to know about it.

27. About the grievances, it is said that Commissioner and Secretary of the Department is the person who would receive the complaints, if any, at the State level. At the District level, Deputy Commissioner will receive them. But there is no specific reply if there are grievances or not and if there are, of what type are they.

28. As was remarked in the last Report, a lot is being done for the linguistic minorities in Assam but either the information is not sent or is incomplete. With a full fledged Department for this, it should be more  responsive to the needs of the linguistic minorities and try to solve their problems, especially about the indecent shortage of teachers.


 

4. Andhra Pradesh



The population of Andhra Pradesh as per the census 2001 is 7,62,10,007 while it was 6,65,08,008 as per the census 1991. The languages spoken by more than one percent of the people are as follows -

 


Language

Persons

Percentage

Telugu

6,41,94,236

84-77

Urdu

63,30,822

8-36

Hindi

20,97,653

2-77

Tamil

2,55,721

1-13

 


2. There are no districts in the State where more than 60 % of the people speak a minority language. But a list of the areas where the more than 15 % of the people speak minority language Urdu is given. It has the names of tahsils and towns in 13 districts. The list does not include the areas where Kannada, Tamil, Marathi and Oriya are spoken by more than 15 % of the population. The reasons for not giving the information about these is not known.The complete list, in which areas of languages other than Urdu are also given, may be seen on our website.

3. The official language of the State is Telugu but Urdu has also been recognized as the official language of thirteen districts. These districts are – Nellore, Chittoor, Cuddapah, Anantpur, Kurnool, Hyderabad, Mehboob Nagar, Rangareddy, Medak, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Warangal and Guntoor. Urdu can be used for secretarial, court work and registration of documents. It can also e used for publication of rules, regulations and notifications. As per the act, where there are a minimum of ten students in a class or 45 students in a school, Instructions can be through Urdu.

4. It has been stated that the important rules./ regulations etc. are published in the minority languages but no details have been given n this count. It is, therefore, not clear if it is said for Urdu only or applies to other languages also.

5. It has been intimated that the representations are received in the minority languages and replied to also in that language.

6. There are separate rules for the registration of the minority institutes.They have been given some concessions. Generally in other institutes the recruitment is as per the roster but the minority institutes are exempted from this when the recruitment is of a person belonging to that community. The wordings make it appear that this is only for the religious minorities.The Government is requested to clarify the position. In fact, it should be clarified that these rules also apply to the linguistic minority institutes. How many institutes have been so registered has not been specified.

7. The primary stage of education is from class I  to V and upper primary stage of class VI and VII. It is stated that instructions are given in Telugu, Urdu and Hindi. This appears be an oversight  since in the table, information has been given about other languages also. There should be a minimum of ten students or a minimum of 30 students in the school. In the secondary schools, there should be at least 45 students. In the linguistic minority schools, the regional language is taught from class VI.

The following schools are said to be functioning in the primary education.

 


Language

Primary Schools

Students

Teachers

Urdu

2,378

2,79,779

8,003

Oriya

97

11,164

309

Tamil

69

7,441

252

Kannada

60

11,261

197

Hindi

38

10,198

182

Marathi

31

4,396

143

Gujarati

1

661

10

       


8. Class VIII  to X are included in the secondary education. Telugu, English, Hindi, Urdu and Oriya are the media of instruction. There should be a minimum of 45 students for this. The Board of Secondary Education prepares the question papers in Telugu, English and Hindi. Probably they are not prepared in Tamil and Oriya. when the instructions are imparted in these languages, the question papers should also be prepared in them. It will be clear from the table given below that there are about four thousand students in Oriya and about 3,300 in Tamil. This is not a small number and the question papers can be prepared in them. The information about the secondary education is as follows -


 

Language

Primary Schools

Students

Teachers

Urdu

191

68,214

2,474

Oriya

3

3,979

63

Tamil

5

3,283

83

Kannada

4

2,021

64

Hindi

25

7,636

309

Marathi

3

2,082

57


9. It is stated that in both the primary and secondary schools, the registers for advance registration are being maintained but the number is not indicated.

10. In the Three Language Formula, mother tongue is considered to be the first language. The second language is Telugu for the non Telugu students. Those, who have the first language as Telugu, can choose from amongst Urdu, Hindi, Oriya, Tamil and Kannada. The third language is English which is taught from class V.

11. The number of teachers has been given district wise, language wise and stage wise. A brief view of this is as follows –

 

Language

Primary

Upper Primary

Others

Exclusive

Others

Exclusive

Others

 

Urdu

1542

2931

254

2120

3131

Oriya

73

169

25

 

74

Tamil

51

171

5

44

172

Kannada

40

105

11

52

71

Hindi

10

59

8

38

412

Marathi

18

45

12

60

77

Gujarati

 

 

 

 

10

Bengali

1

27

 

5

3

 

2. It has been reported that trained teachers are available at the primary and the secondary level. for the training of Urdu teachers, parallel sections are run in nine teachers training institutes. These nine institutions are located in Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Warangal, Nizamabad, Mehboob Nagar, Cuddapah, Kurnool, Guntur and West Godavri. About 450 teachers are trained in these annually. Information about the training of teachers in other languages are no given. It is expected that information about Tamil, Kannada, Oriya etc. will also be given.

13. It is reported that textbooks are available in sufficient number. These books are printed in the Government Textbooks Press. Who is the publisher of these books is not specified.

14. Urdu and Hindi Academies have been constituted in the State. for the year 2003 – 04, the budget is Rs. 1,54,000 and Rs. One lakh respectively. considering the extent of Andhra Pradesh, this amount appears to be meagre. It may be mentioned that for the year 2002 – 03, it was informed that the budget for Urdu Academy was Rs. 169.50 lakhs (this amount was in addition to expenditure on Urdu Ghars/ Marriage Houses). It is not clear why so small a amount is given for the year 2003 – 04. Or was it that the budget last year was only Rs. 1.69 lakhs. This has to be clarified.

15. It appears that Hindi Academy is not active. For both the academies, the activities of the year have not been intimated.

16. There is no scheme for assistance to the non official institutions or individuals for development of languages.

17. For the recruitment to the Government services, Telugu, Urdu and English are the media of examination. It has been stated that knowledge of Telugu is pre requisite for entry into service. The standard should be equivalent to the secondary stage of education. About the residential restrictions, it is said that the restrictions are as per the six point orders. The details of the six point orders are not known. It is urged that information about this should be furnished.

18. Minority Commission has been set up in the State and it is also having the responsibility of looking after the monitoring of the safeguards for the linguistic minorities. In reply to the question on the review of the safeguards for the linguistic minorities, it is informed that the Minority Commission at the State level and the District Minorities Welfare Officer at the district level are doing this job. There is no committee constituted at the district level also. No details have been given when the Minority Commission met and what was the action taken by it about the linguistic minorities. It is hoped that a report of the review done by them will be sent to the Commissioner for his information.

19. It has been intimated that linguistic minorities are informed about their rights through the public notifications but no pamphlets have been prepared. It is hoped that the orders regarding the linguistic minorities will be collected at one place and published. This will not only enable the linguistic minorities about their rights but the officers will also know about their responsibility.

20. Deputy Director (Minorities), who sits in the office of the Commissioner School Education, has been appointed as the Nodal Officer.

21. Andhra Pradesh is doing sufficiently well for the linguistic minorities. But it a matter of surprise that for the reply to the questionnaire for the forty second Report, the entire emphasis is on Urdu. Nothing has been mentioned about other languages though the tables of statistics reflect the action being taken for them. The information given by the Education Department is adequate perhaps because the Nodal Officer belongs to that department. No information has been sent about the academies. The names of the tahsils where strength of the linguistic minorities is more than fifteen percent has not been sent (except for Urdu). The reply regarding the representations received is also in the same position. The annual Report of the Minorities Commission has also not been sent which could have revealed how they are safeguarding the interests of the linguistic minorities. The Commissioner has been recommending that the review should be done by the Chief Secretary so that the activities of all the departments can be reviewed. It is difficult to understand how the Minority Commission will monitor the activities of the departments. Neither will the Deputy Director in the Directorate of Education be able to do this job which is not a reflection on his ability but is due to the format of the structure.

22. Even so the action being taken by Andhra Pradesh can not be ranked as lowly.


 

 

5. Orissa

 

Population of Orissa according to 1991 census is 3,16,59,736. The principal language Oriya is spoken by 82.75 % of people.  The position of the minority languages is as follows –


 

Language

Persons

Percentage

Hindi

7,59,016

2-40

Telugu

66,500

2-10

Santhali

6,61,849

2-09

Kui

6,36,005

2-01

Urdu

5,02,102

1-59

 


2. It is said that there are no areas where the linguistic minorities are more than 60 % of the population. The areas with more than 15 %  are given as Phulbani – Kui (31%), Mayurbhanj – Santhali (24 %) and Sundargarh – Sadri (14 %). It should be mentioned that the Census Commissioner considers Sadri to be a sub language of Hindi.

3. Here the interpretation of 'area' is taken to mean a district whereas the reference is to a tahsil or a town area. If this is adopted as the definition of the area, then there are many areas of this type. This includes areas for Hindi, Telugu, Urdu, Ho, Kisan, Kondh, Sabar etc. The details are  given on our website.

4. Oriya and English are the official languages. No minority language has been declared as official language for any purpose. The rules, regulations or the notices are not published in the minority languages. It is also said that no representations or applications are received in the minority languages and the question of reply in these languages does not arise.  

5. In the question related to the recognition of the linguistic minority institutions, information has been given about the madarasas. According to this, a committee has been constituted at state level which considers the applications. The State Madarasa Council accordingly grants recognition. A total of 140 madarasas have been granted recognition out of which 137 are up to class VII and 3 are secondary schools.

6. So far as is known, the madarasas generally impart religious instructions and according to the Central Government scheme teachers are appointed to give instruction in Mathematics and English. In such a situation, the mention of three secondary schools does not appear to be correct. The situation should be clarified from the State Government.

7. It is said that 43 schools for Urdu have applied for recognition. All the applications are pending. Similarly, there is one application from Bengali which is pending. This is also the situation with grant in aid. Here also all applications are pending.

8. In the primary education, instructions are imparted through Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and Gujarati. Whereas the requirement for normal school is 40 students, 20 are considered to be sufficient number for the minority language schools. Oriya is taught from class one in these minority language schools also.

9. The information about the schools, students and teachers at the elementary education level for the year 2003 – 04 is as follows –


 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Urdu

137

11,000

223

Telugu

202

17,000

438


Hindi

16

4,000

84

Gujarati

3

200

7

Bengali

11

1500

24

 


10. In fact, these statistics are the same as were sent last year except for Urdu. In Urdu the number of schools is given as 137 instead of 119. Similarly the number of students was 8,000 and of teachers 163. It was also stated that the round figures in thousands raises doubts whether the statistics are being compiled actually. In between, some efforts have been done and information obtained from 21 educational districts. Information available is as follows –


 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Telugu

7

808

20

Bengali

1

38

2

Hindi

10

2,605

61

Urdu

56

3,846

98

 


11. Information is still to be received from 34 educational districts.

12. It has to be mentioned that though Kui speakers are 31 % in Phulbani district, there is no action for using it at the primary education level. similarly nothing has been mentioned about other languages.

13. Secondary education is from class VIII to X. Urdu, English, Bengali, Telugu, Hindi and Oriya are said to be the media of instruction. For this, only for the madarasas, the strength is fixed at twenty. What are the norms for other schools is not mentioned. The replies can be written in the above mentioned languages but the question papers are only in Oriya and English. It is said that the number of examinees is very small in other languages and question papers can not be prepared in them.

14. For secondary education, three schools for Urdu have been stated to be there which have 14 teachers and about 300 students between them. Two for Hindi and one for Telugu are also listed. The number of students or teachers has not been mentioned. It appears that this information is also incomplete.

15. It is said that the registers for advance registration are not maintained.

16. In the Three Language Formula at the secondary stage, the first language is said to be Oriya, Bengali, Telugu, Urdu and Hindi. The second language can be English or Hindi. The third language can be Hindi, English, Oriya or Persian. English is taught from class II.

17. In respect of availability of teachers, the information is given in respect of madarasas only where the number of teachers is said to be sufficient.

18. It is said that 47 teachers were trained in the year 2003 – 04. They all appear to be Urdu teachers because the mention is made only of Urdu Training College in which there are fifty seats in all.

19. It is reported that textbooks are available. It is also said that 20,000 Telugu books have been received from Government of Andhra Pradesh. Whether they have been distributed, has not been stated.

20. For promotion of languages Urdu Academy and Madarasa Board have been set up. No information about the budget or the activities is given. The year of establishment of Madarasa Board is 1977. The source of income is the examination fees. There is no scheme to give assistance to any organization or individual for development of minority languages.

21. Oriya and English are the only media for examination for recruitment.

22. The responsibility for implementation of safeguards is with the Home Department. Any problems which are brought to their notice are acted upon. The name of the Nodal Officer has not been given. Earlier the Additional Secretary in the Home Department was designated as the Nodal Officer.

23. It has been intimated that the proposal to give responsibility at the district level is under consideration. The setting up of committee at state level is also to be said to be under consideration.

24. No minority commission has been set up in Orissa. There is no practice of pamphlets and it is said that no complaints were received.

25. To  take up with the last point first, when the commissioner visited Orissa, there were complaints galore. The representations together with a note regarding the visit were sent to the Government of Orissa. Some of the complaints were intimated to the Secretary, Education during a meeting also. At least cognizance of these representations taken and a statement that there are no complaints is unfair. In many cases the parties have gone to courts and obtained interim orders. These would also be known to the authorities. The complaints and demands have been made to various authorities including the Deputy Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha and Education Secretary.

26. Some of the complaints are listed below.

1. The major complaint is about the shortage of teachers. It has been stated that no Telugu teacher has been recruited since 1978. In Berhampur, it was said that many Telugu schools are closing down as a result. Out of 42 sanctioned posts only 18 are filled up at present. Only eight upper primary schools are functioning presently. In Parlakhemundi constituency sixty percent of the people  speak Telugu but only five schools are operating in the area. Main Government Girls High School, Jeypore was deprived of Telugu medium in 1979. In Cuttack, over one lakh Telugus are living. They are deprived of language in their mother tongue. Their school in Pattapur has been denied grants. High Court has also ordered to Government to release the grants but this is not being done.

2. For Urdu, in most of the schools, the number of teachers were much less than required. In the Sayeed Muslim School, there are no teachers in Urdu/ Persian though eight are required. In fact for the past three years no teachers in Urdu/ Persian have been recruited. Any post which falls vacant is abolished. Though there have been proposals to take up the filling up of the posts for Urdu teachers and the Education Department has been favourable but the Finance Department negatives the proposals so that the vacancies remain.

3. Telugu teachers have been posted in tribal schools. The  teachers do not know the tribal language and the students can not follow the Telugu language or even Oriya.

4. Again in Berhampur Commissioner was told that the shortage of teachers is in exclusive as well as parallel Telugu medium schools The calculations are made on the basis of one teacher for 40 students and there is no relaxation for the linguistic minorities. In Government Girls High School Berhampur, there were 325 students but only four teachers, and one of them is going to retire shortly.

5. On April 17, 2003 orders were issued that Swechhi Sevi Shiksha Sahayaks should be appointed but no action has been taken. It was explained by the officers of the education department that there were subsequent orders (dated 23.09.2004) saying that the appointments are to be made as per the 80 point roster. It s interpreted to say that the language teachers (for Telugu) can not be recruited separately. But this does not appear to be the case from the letter under consideration. Para 4 of this letter specifically refers to the filling up of the Urdu teachers posts by Urdu C.T./ B. Ed. candidates. There is no reason to believe that the same distinction would not apply to the Telugu teachers. The State Government should issue necessary directions to the District Officers to interpret the orders in favour of the linguistic minorities. Two questions arise from these orders. If the orders are to make appointment strictly on the basis of merit, how is it that Telugu teachers do not find place in the merit list. It is not possible to believe that their level of achievements will not be able to match the achievements of Oriya knowing teachers and not one of them will find place in the merit list unless there is a provision that formal certificate knowledge of Oriya carries weight which outdoes all other achievements. The Govern-ment of Orissa will like to look into this aspect and seek the reasons for the absence of Telugu teachers from the list.

Second aspect of the problem is that if we need Telugu teachers, how can we recruit Oriya teachers. Does one recruit Geography teachers if the intention is to select a Science teacher merely because the Geography teacher is higher in the merit list than the Science teacher? The only solution is that the number of Telugu teachers, Urdu teachers etc. should be determined and a suitable number of posts be earmarked for them. The merit list, if and when prepared, should be separately for these teachers so that the posts can be filled up.

6.  Another complaint is that despite repeated instructions that test in Oriya is to be passed by Telugu teachers in a period of three years after joining, the teachers are not being appointed due to their not passing the Oriya language test before joining.

7. It is also demanded that Oriya teachers posted in Telugu schools should be withdrawn and Telugu teachers posted in their place.

8. It was stated that there was an agreement between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh that they would train 60 teachers of each other annually. This has not been done since year 2000. Sixty teachers were trained in 1999. But it is a matter of regret that they have not been able to get a job with the Government of Orissa. The reason given was that they did not have a formal certificate of knowledge of Oriya.

It is noted that in 1992 orders were issued by the State Government (N0. 15800/E dated 30.3.92) that Shiksha Karmis should be

appointed in the linguistic minority areas in the primary schools and that, if trained hands were not available, they can be appointed subject to their getting the requisite qualifications in three years. Possibly such provision may have to be made so long as trained hands are not available.

9. Talking further about the shortage of teachers there is no headmaster in Sayeed Seminary School Cuttack as the post is vacant and, for teachers, out of 24 posts, only 14 have been approved by the Government.. It was informed that Urdu Girls School also did not have a head master. There are over 28 posts of teachers lying vacant for the last 5 years.

10. The second aspect of the complaints is about the lack of training of teachers. it is stated that Parlakhemundi Teachers' Training School for Telugu teachers has been closed down in 1976. As a result Telugu teachers are not available and Telugu schools have been closed down. Teachers trained in Andhra Pradesh have not been absorbed on flimsy grounds.

11. It was felt that it was necessary that the teachers should be sent to orientation programmes for teaching aids for teaching in Urdu and through Urdu. There was a one time effort when 80 teachers were trained by NCERT. There was an Urdu section in the training schools which trained persons for primary schools i.e. class I to V. The training material, however. was not in Urdu.

12. The third set of complaints relates to the availability of textbooks. It was found in Cuttack that the teaching is being done without Urdu books in different subjects. The teachers have Oriya books from which they do the translation and teach the students. Obviously this approach is unsatisfactory in that the students can not reinforce the knowledge gained in the schools by working at home. The Chairman of the society running the school said that the teachers are ready to translate the text books into Urdu but the State Government should come forward to get them printed. It was informed that at one time the DPI had agreed to get this done but by the time the books were ready, the officer concerned was transferred and this idea did not find favour with the new incumbent.

13. It was also observed that in the absence of supplied books or the list of approved books, the books from various agencies was being used. The book used for primer was the one published by 'Anjuman Himayat Islam, Lahore'. This has now been reprinted by a Kolkata company. The books for other classes are from Maktab Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi. Some Science books are also from Kolkata. Obviously these books do not conform to the syllabi of Orissa.

14. It was, however, found that the books in Hindi are available. They have been translated by the teachers on their own. The local publishers have printed them. Naturally they cost much more than the books in Oriya which are published by the Oriya Textbook Board. The Government can not claim credit for these books but it will show to what extent the local linguistic minorities are prepared to go to study in their own language. Obviously this effort does not obviate the responsibility of he State Government for supply of textbooks. In any case the vetting of the books should be done by the Board of Education.

15. In Berhampur, it was represented by Secretary, Telugu Sanskritutika Samiti Jeypore that Telugu textbooks are not being supplied to the students. The non availability of textbooks from class VIII onwards was emphasized. Up to class VII they are prepared as per the syllabi

of Orissa and are got printed from Andhra Pradesh.

16. In addition there are other complaints both from general public as well as particular institutions. A specific case of discrimination and violation of Article 30 of the Constitution was cited by Orissa Telugu Samakhya, Berhampur. A high School was opened in Berhampur in 1930 for Telugu knowing students. This school was taken over by the Government in violation of the directives that minority schools can not be taken over. The reason given was that at the time of inception, it was not declared to be a minority school and hence this protection will not be available to them. It has been pointed out that in 1930 the area was part of Madras presidency and there was no stipulation about declaration of the school as the minority school. This distinction came in with the commencement of the Constitution. It is hoped that this will be rectified.

17. Voter lists are being printed in Telugu but are not exhibited in the polling booths.

18. Question papers are issued in English or Oriya to Telugu students.

19. It was pointed out that the mid day meals are not being given to the students in the madarasa. This complaint was also echoed in Berhampur. It was also pointed out that the free books which were being given to other schools were denied to the students in the madarasas.

 

27. There are other complaints (Reference can be made to the minutes of the meeting of the Commissioner with Education Secretary on October , 2004.) The best thing would be to nominate a senior officer as States Linguistic Minorities Officer and let this fact known widely. He should not only coordinate with the Commissioner Linguistic Minorities but also with various departments who deal with the linguistic minorities. it is not intended that all the matters relating to linguistic minorities should be dealt with by him. That would, indeed, be not possible since they cover so many facets of administration. Only the coordination will be done by him.

28. It is hoped that Government of Orissa will be more sensitive towards the problems of linguistic minorities.


6. Uttar Pradesh

 

1. Population of Uttar Pradesh, as per census 2001, is 16,61,97,921 and was 13,20,61,653 as per census 1991. According to the census 1991, the Hindi speaking persons are 90.21 % of the total population whereas Urdu speaking persons were said to be 9.15 %. Bijnor, Rampur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Bareli are the districts where the Urdu speaking persons are more than 15 % of the total population.

2. Hindi is the Official Language. Urdu has been declared as the second official language or the entire state which can be used in all the Government offices and seven specified purposes are laid down for it. These are –

 

a.      Receipt of and reply to the applications and letters.

b.      Acceptance of documents written in Urdu in the Registration office.

c.       Publication of Government rules, regulations and notifications.

d.      Issue of Government orders of public importance

e.      Publication of important advertisements

f.         Publication of Gazette.

g.      For the important sign posts.

 

3. But whether this is being implemented is doubtful. In question 8, it was asked if the rules etc. are published in minority languages, the reply in ‘NO’ whereas it is included in the above list.

4. It is said that representations are received in Urdu and are also  replied to in Urdu.

5. The State Government have said “Not Applicable’ for the registration of the institutes of the linguistic minorities. The reason given is that there are no linguistic minority institutes in existence. When the Vidhan Sabha has passed a bill for establishment of Urdu University, it does not appear to be correct that there should be no linguistic minority institute at any level.

6. The elementary education is from class I to VIII. Primary classes are from class I to V and upper primary from class VI to VIII. Education is imparted in Hindi and Urdu. In the reply, it is said that “Arrangements for teaching Urdu language is made if there are more than five students”. The question was really for adopting Urdu as a medium, not for teaching the language. The number of such schools or that of the number of students and teachers in them is not given where Urdu is the medium. It is also not said whether such schools exist or not.

7. Secondary Education is from class IX to XII. In this Hindi and English are the media. Urdu has not been mentioned. The question of giving the number of schools or students does not arise.

8. It is said that registers are kept for advance registration in all the primary schools. For the secondary education, where Urdu is not described as a medium, the registers are not kept.

9. In the implementation of the Three Language Formula, mother tongue is not shown as the first language. In its place Hindi is mentioned as the first language. The second language has been named as Urdu. In the third language Sanskrit, Punjabi, Bengali,

Gujarati, Marathi, Assamese, Oriya, Kashmiri, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Sindhi, Nepali etc. have been mentioned. In fact, all the languages included in the Eighth Schedule have been listed. Only Konkani and Manipuri are left out (the four languages included by the latest amendment are not yet in mind). It is also said that study of English is started from class III. If seen from this angle, there are four languages. It does not appear that the answer to this question is correct. Where is the place for English in the Three Language Formula.

10. About the teachers, it has been said that 10,999 posts are sanctioned for Urdu but about 3000 of them are vacant. To overcome this shortage, appointment is done on contract on the basis of honorarium. Training programmes are organized under the Urdu Training and Research Institute. But the number of teachers trained last year have not been specified.

11. The textbooks are said to be easily available. The books are not published by Minority Education Council. Instead tender procedure is adopted.

12. An Academy has been set up for development of Urdu. Besides academies have been set up for Sindhi and Punjabi. In addition, Fakhrudin Ali Ahmad Memorial Committee has been set up for Urdu. The date of establishment and the budget for year 2003 – 04 is as follows –


 

Language

Name

Date set up

Budget

Sindhi

Uttar Pradesh Sindhi Academy

1996

5.10 lakhs

Punjabi

Uttar Pradesh Punjabi Academy

1998

1.05 lakhs

Urdu

Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy

1972

77.50 lakhs

Urdu

Fakhrudin Ali Ahmad Memorial Committee

1976

12.30 lakhs

 


13. Some additional information has been given about the Urdu Academy but not relating to the year 2003 – 04. The programmes have been described in general terms, for example, grants to the public libraries, awards for the books, assistance to the writers for publishing their books, publication of the magazines, assistance to the writers, stipends, seminars, calligraphy, classes for typing and Urdu coaching classes. No figures are given. Similarly, Fakhrudin Ali Ahmad Memorial Committee is also giving assistance for publishing (last year 36 books were published), organization of memorial lectures, stipend for Ph. D. etc. (last year eight researchers were assisted). Functions for Urdu Hindi literary awards were also organized.

14. Recently there was a news item about the Urdu Academy which quoted the Chairman of the Academy as saying that the work of the Academy is at stand still and none of its proposals are being accepted. Uttar Pradesh Government will like to investigate into this.

15. No information has been given about the Sindhi and Punjabi Academies.

16. A question was asked whether any organizations other than the Academies are being given financial assistance for development of languages. The answer is in the negative. Previously, there was a mention of Hindustani Academy, Allahabad but not this time. The reasons for this are not clear.

17. For the recruitment, English and Hindi are the medium of examinations. A question asked was whether the knowledge of the official language was a pre requisite for services or posts. The answer is interesting. It is, “The knowledge of regional language is not necessary. The knowledge of national language is required.” In fact, our reference to regional language in the context of Uttar Pradesh was to Hindi only which can also be called the national language (Actually all languages are national languages except those which are foreign languages). Probably what is being said is that knowledge of local languages like BrijBhasha, Avadhi, Jaunpuri etc. is not required. But the intention in asking the question was whether it is possible for a person educated through Urdu to join the services even if he does not know Hindi. But it is not so because the knowledge of Hindi is said to be essential. And it is doubtful if there are Urdu medium schools.

18. It has been said that the work relating to linguistic minorities is allocated to the Language Department though the answer has been received from the Minorities and Waqf Department. The name of the Nodal Officer has not been mentioned. Probably no Nodal Officer has been appointed. The job of the Nodal Officer is not only to maintain liaison with Commissioner Linguistic Minorities but it is also expected that he will be given the responsibility for receiving the complaints from the linguistic minorities and redressal of these grievances. The Government are requested to appoint a Nodal Officer of such seniority that he is competent to coordinate with other departments.

19. A similar set up for the districts as also expected. Presently it is said in relation to the districts that work is not allocated to any one.

20. It is also expected that there will be a monitoring of the implementation of the safeguards, which have been provided for the linguistic minorities, by the senior officers. For this here should be a committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary because many departments are involved with these safeguards.

21. About the pamphlets, it is said that the Information Department publishes a monthly magazine called ‘Naya Daur’ in Urdu language. A copy of the issue of November 2004 has been sent. A perusal of this shows that it is a literary magazine. There is certainly one article about the work done for the minorities but in fact our reference to Pamphlet was for preparing a special booklet containing the information about the facilities given to the linguistic minorities. This booklet will be distributed in those areas where the linguistic minorities live in a large number so that they are aware of their rights and the facilities offered.

22. A perusal of the November 2004 issue of ‘Naya Daur’ magazine shows that the answer given by the Government does not tally with the facts given in the magazine. For example, it is said in the magazine that 76 educational institutions have been given recognition as minority organizations. In the reply to the questionnaire, it is said that no minority  institute has been given recognition. It is expected that the exact position will be intimated. For the Urdu teachers, it is said in the magazine that decision has been taken to appoint 3000 Urdu teachers whereas in the reply, it is only said that arrangements are made for teachers to be appointed on honorarium.

23. Lack of knowledge about the complaints has been expressed and it appears to be correct also. When there is no one to receive the complaints and no information is provided about the rights which have been given, where will be the complaints and to whom.

24. Similarly we had asked about the  problems coming up before the Government. Obviously, when there are no complaints, the Government will not have any problems.

25. It should be mentioned that for getting the reply, there had to be repeated reminders and contact was established at the highest level but only indifference was observed. Somehow the statements has been filled up and sent but it does not have any concrete information. Neither the information from the concerned departments has been obtained nor has any trouble been taken to look at the available information.

26. In these circumstances, whether, in reality,  any thing is being done for the linguistic minorities on the field is doubtful. Once reputed for its administrative structure, the State can not make available even the basic information is a matter of regret. It is hoped that attention will be paid to this at the higher levels.

 


7. Uttaranchal

 

1. The questionnaire sent to the State failed to elicit any reply despite a number of reminders  and personal efforts. Otherwise it is known that the linguistic minorities are limited to two languages and two districts. One is Haridwar where Urdu speaking persons are in considerable number. The other is Udham Singh Nagar where Punjabi speaking persons are in significant number. In the personal discussions, it was informed that there are also many  Bengali speaking persons in Udham Singh Nagar and they are also demanding  that they should be taught Bengali. In the absence of the linguistic profile, nothing can be said with authority in this respect. The census 2001 profile is not yet out and census 1991 figures are also not available because Uttaranchal became a separate State only a few years back.

2. Due to the non receipt of the reply, it is not possible to say any thing more. It is hoped that full information will be available in future and the correct position can be discussed.


 

 

8. Karnataka

 

1. A complete reply could not be received from Karnataka but information about some of the questions has been received. This is being listed here. This information is mostly about the Education Department.

2. The linguistic profile has been described in the previous Reports. This is as follows -


 

Language

Persons

Percentage

Urdu

44,80,038

9-96

Telugu

33,25,062

7-39

Tamil

17,28,361

3-84

Marathi

16,40,020

3-65

Tulu

13,78,779

3-07

Hindi

8,85,251

1-97

Malayalam

7,57,030

1-68

Konkani

7,06,397

1-57

Lamani

5,47,797

1-22

 


3. It is stated that there are no separate rules for the recognition of the institutes, but after the registration the question of recognition as minority institute is considered as per the orders. In fact what we had requested for was information about these orders. The Government is requested to send a copy of these orders.

4. At present all those institutes which had applied for recognition have been granted recognition. The information about these institutes and those getting grants in aid is as follows -

 

Language

Recognized

Receiving Grants

Urdu

426

225

Marathi

214

148

Telugu

  60

32

Malayalam

   8

3

Gujarati

   7

4

Tamil

 118

85

 


5. It has been intimated that all the institutes which had applied for grants in aid have been granted grants in aid.

6. For the primary education, Urdu, Tamil and Telugu have been described as the media. The number of the schools for the year 2003 – 04 is as follows -


 

Type

 

Urdu

Tamil

Telugu

Marathi

Malayalam

Total

Government

Primary

3,811

87

56

917

2

4,873

High School

139

 

4

32

 

175

Total

3,950

87

60

949

2

5,048

Aided

Primary

133

91

21

38

2

285

High School

97

1

6

92

 

196

Total

230

92

27

130

2

481

Un Aided

Primary

165

1

12

19

 

197

High s/chool

65

1

2

67

 

135

Total

230

2

14

86

 

332


 

7. The position of teachers is shown as follows -

 


Language

Primary

Secondary

Total

Urdu

13,549

2,270

15,819

Marathi

5,318

1,261

6,579

Telugu

466

156

622

Tamil

1,048

23

1,071

Gujarati

21

 

21

Malayalam

28

 

28


 

 

8. The number of posts sanctioned and the vacancies for the teachers is as follows but it is not clear which category of teachers it refers to.


 

Language

 

 

Sanctioned

Vacancies

Hindi

3,492

494

Urdu

462

49

Telugu

41

2

Tamil

24

3

Marathi

148

4

 


9. It has been stated that action to fill up these vacancies is to start shortly. In service training for the Urdu, Marathi, Telugu and Tamil teachers is being organised by DIETs. No information has been given about the teachers trained in year 2003 – 04.

10. Karnataka Government have given a note about 40th Report. The point raised therein have been replied to. It states that

 

1. No representations or applications are received in minority languages. Most of the applications are in English or Kannada. If any one applies in minority language, they will be accepted and replied to. (Nothing has been mentioned about the language of reply.)

2. The knowledge of Kannada is not necessary for entry into state services but he has to learn the regional language within the probationary period of two years.

3. The proposals for the printing of the pamphlets will be sent to the Government.

 

11. It is reported that there is no shortage of textbooks.

12. It is informed that Urdu Academy is functioning but nothing has been mentioned about its activities. No information has been given about the Konkani, Kodagu and Tulu academies.

13. Director, Urdu and Minority Languages has been appointed as the Nodal Officer.

14. It is hoped that the Nodal Officer will be able to get the information from all the departments and send it. Without that, it will not be possible to evaluate the activities of Karnataka. It is necessary that the review of the implementation of the safeguards is done by the Chief Secretary where all the principal officers and the chairmen of the Academies are present.

 


 

9. Kerala

 

1. The population of Kerala as per the census 2001 is 3,18,38,619. The linguistic profile as per the census 1991, which is available. is as follows -

 

Language

Persons

Percentage

Malayalam

2,80,96,376

96-96

Tamil

6,16,010

2-13

Kannada

75,571

0-26

Konkani

64,008

0-22

 

2. Kannada and Konkani have been mentioned because its speakers are concentrated in a few districts. It is to be mentioned that in the previous years, Konkani was not included but last year some concessions have been announced and hence it is being mentioned. Kerala Government have mentioned the number of Kannada speaking persons as 48,933 which is the figure for Kasargod district only.

3. The strength of the Konkani community, according to themselves, is about four lakhs. For writing the language, Devanagari is used. If we look at the census figures, Tulu speakers outnumber Konkani speakers. Tulu speakers are                  as per the census 1991. Konkani is mainly spoken in Ernakulam (25,272); Kasargod (17,017) and Alpuzha (9,744).

4. The areas where more than 15 % of the population are linguistic minorities are as follows –

 

District

Tahsil/ town

Language

Percentage

Thiruvananthpuram

Thiruvananthpuram

Tamil

17-9

Idduki

Pirumade

Udanban chola

Devikulum

Tamil

39-5

46-39

46-39

Pallakad

Chittoor Pallakad

 

22-27

Kasargod

Kasasgod

Kannada

15-00

 

5. The Official Language of the State is Malayalam. The translation of the important rules etc. are done. In the year 2002 – 03, 15 Acts and 5 Ordinances were translated into Tamil. 13 Acts and 4 Ordinances are translated into Kannada. In the year 2003 – 04, another 34 Acts/ Rules in Tamil and 22 Acts/ Rules  in Kannada were translated. In the same period, four Ordinances/ rules were translated in Tamil and three in Kannada.

6.  There is a translation bureau in the Law Department for the translation. In the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Idduki and Pallakad there are Tamil translation cells. In Kasargod there is a Kannada translation cell.

7. The Government reply to the letters received in minority languages in that language only.

8. For the recognition of the minority institutes, there are separate guidelines. These were issued on 12. 08.68 and were reconfirmed on 4. 7. 74. There are 103 Tamil Primary schools, 27 secondary schools and four TTIs recognised. For Kannada the number is 6 primary and 6 six secondary schools.  In 1986, the Government of India issued guidelines which are being studied so that if necessary, the Kerala rules can be changed.

 9. The elementary education is from class I to VII. Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Konkani are the languages used for teaching. The condition stipulates five students in a class. In these schools. Malayalam is taught from class I only. The district wise number of schools is given. For Tamil, here are nine schools in Thiruvananthapuram, three in Kollam, 54 in Idduki, 6 in Pallakad and two in Wynad. for Kannada, there are 34 schools in Kasargod. In Alpuzha and Ernakulam, there are two school each for Konkani.

10. The total number of the minority language schools is 197 in which, in the year 2002 – 03, the number of students was 7,673 and that of teachers was 265. The language wise number of students and teachers is not given, A detailed list for district wise schools is given. according to it the number of schools is as follows -

 

Language

High School

Primary School

Total

Teachers Training

Schools

Aided

Schools

Aided

Schools

Aided

Un Aided

Tamil

12

18

32

46

111

2

-

-

 

Kannada

2

12

17

47

78

-

-

-

 

Konkani

&

4

&

4

8

-

2

1

 

 

11. Thus there are 202 schools. There are 187 schools even leaving aside the teachers training institutes.

12.  In the last four years, the number of students at the primary level has been as follows -

 

 

 

Year

Students

2000-01

7,877

2001-02

7,768

2002-03

7,673

 

13.  Why is there dwindling of the number of students has to be considered.

14.  In the secondary education, there are classes VIII to X. Malayalam, English, Tamil and Kannada are the media of instruction. Here also the condition is of five students only. The question papers are prepared in all these languages. There are five schools of Tamil in Thiruvananthapuram, four in Kollam and six in Pallakad. Information has not been given about the Kannada schools. In the year 2002 – 03, there were 110 teachers teaching 1,055 students in 25 schools.

 15. The system of maintenance of advance registers to determine the choice of the linguistic preference of the students is in force. All the 1,172 primary and 185 secondary schools are maintaining these registers.

16.  The Three Language Formula is being implemented. In the first language, there are two parts, the first one having Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Sanskrit, Arabic, Urdu, French and Syrian from which one is to be chosen. In the second part, choice can be made out of Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada but those students who take the mother tongue in the first part have to take Malayalam in the second. The second language is English and the third Hindi.

17. The number of teachers, both for the primary and secondary teachers is said to be insufficient. But the number of vacancies is said to be six for primary and 15 for secondary schools. This is not a large  number. It is not clear if the sanctioned posts are considered to be inadequate. The teachers are trained in DIETs and Teachers Training Institutes. 41 teachers were trained in them. There is no shortage of textbooks, it is reported. There is no Academy for the minority languages. 

18. In the matter of recruitment to the services, the information given is that English, Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada are the media of examinations. The question papers are prepared in English but some question papers are prepared in Malayalam also. The Tamil and Kannada versions of these question papers are given to the linguistic minority candidates. The knowledge of Malayalam is not essential for entry into services. There is no restriction about domicile.

19. The departmental heads have been authorized to fix the number of LDCs who should now Kannada/ Tamil in the linguistic minority areas out of the sanctioned strength. The recruitment is done through the Public Service Commission.

 20. The responsibility for the implementation of the safeguards for the linguistic minorities is with the General Administration Department. There is a committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister to monitor the safeguards. This meets regularly. The last meeting was on July 15, 2004 which was the third meeting of the reorganized committee. Kerala Government have given a copy of the minutes of the meeting which shows the proof of its being active. It is hoped that other states can also be motivated by this example. In brief it shows that not only in the field of education, but also in such fields as transport, the linguistic minorities are being looked after. 

21. Similarly in the five districts, committees have been constituted under the chairmanship of the Collector. These committees are meeting regularly. In these committees, MPs, MLAs, officers and three representatives of the  linguistic minority organizations are the members.

22.  In the concerned districts there are Tamil and Kannada cells. In Ernakulam, action has been taken to set up a cell for Konkani. These cells give the necessary information to he linguistic minorities. In the year 2003, a brochure was issued in English for their information. The Tamil and Kannada versions have also been published. copies are sent for information to the Commissioner.

23.  Additional Secretary, General Administration Department is appointed as the State Linguistic Minority Officer. He considers the complaints received from the linguistic minorities. On the district level, the responsibility is given to the Collectors.

24.  In the 40th Report, a recommendation was made that minority languages should be used in the local organizations in the concerned districts. It is reported that this is under examination. A provision for nomination of representatives of the linguistic minorities to the Senate has been included in the proposed Kerala University Bill 2003. Similarly the

nomination in the Academic Councils and General Council also. as has been mentioned before, In some schools, a five percent reservation has been given for the linguistic minorities. In this reservation, Konkani have also been included now

25.  It has been informed that in Culture Department of Kerala, there is an institution on the lines of Bharat Bhavan of Bhopal in which programmes are held for the promotions of the various features of culture and language. But its budget is very limited. The amount is Rs. 1.50 lakhs in Plan and Rs. 1.50 lakhs in Non Plan budget. A senior officer has been appointed in it  and entire amount is spent in his salary only. Its budget should be increased. This organization has a library also which was transferred to Ernakulam some time back but has now come back to Thiruvananthapuram.

26. The representatives of Tamil Sangham informed that in 1956, there were nine Tamil schools in Thiruvananthapuram which number has been reduced to four now. The percentage of Tamil speakers was also 30 percent which is now said to be  17 %. formerly there was no condition for taking Tamil as a subject but now this condition has been imposed. They were of the opinion that even of there is no teacher, if the students wants to write his answer in Tamil, he should be permitted. They were also of the opinion that five percent reservation given to the linguistic minorities in the schools is not enough. Some other institutions should also be include in this list of schools for reservation to admissions for class XI. Another point was about not keeping Tamil as a subject in B. Sc by the Kerala University. It is seen that this issue has not been discussed on merits in the

Academic committee of the University. It should be reconsidered.

27.  A Tamil School in the Chalai area of Thiruvananthapuram city was visited. This school is up to class XII. Tamil is the medium up to class X. Afterwards English is the only medium. This is the situation with all the schools, not only of the linguistic minorities schools. The students are permitted to write their answers in Malayalam but the instructions are all in English. In Class XI, Tamil is being taught as the second language. For this there are 18 students. Rest of the students have taken Hindi as the second language. This facility has been given in this school. The normal is that one language is permitted in a school as second language. There are 49 students in class IX and 44 in  class X. The total number of students in the school is 252. The number of teachers is eight.

28-  In this school, a teachers training course is also being run alongside. There were 50 students in first year and 37 in the second. But for this no teachers have been appointed by the Government. One teacher from the senior secondary school is teaching them. In addition, the services of one retired teacher have been utilized. He is working gratis.

29.  According to the teacher, one of the essential requirement of the institute is a language laboratory. This will enable the trainees to learn about the various aspects of language leaching conveniently and it will be easier for them to teach language to the students.

30.  Another requirement was obviously the extension of he building.

 31. The shortage of Tamil books was also referred to. It is hoped that steps will be taken in this connection.

32.  A meeting was also held with the representatives of the Konkani community. They were happy with the decision of the State  Government that Konkani was also included in the reservation for seats in the schools but they wanted the extension of these facilities. It should also be kept in consideration for admission in the higher educational institutions and the services. The Commissioner said that the Central Government have constituted a Commission which will consider this question. In the personal opinion of he Commissioner, the extension of the filed of reservations. In fact the demand of the time is that there should be reduction in these. Otherwise also, the Government services are not being expanded and there will be a lesser number of appointments in he Government.

33.  The Tamil Sangham was also of the opinion that Malayalam has been made a compulsory subject from class V. Due to this there is burden of learning four languages on the student. In the opinion of the Commissioner, this objection is not correct. Malayalam is the regional language and also the Official Language. It would be a correct step to learn it. However, the burden can be considered by laying down appropriate standards of achievements. This has been discussed in some details in Chapter one of this Report.

34. As has been said above, though some deficiency may have been shown in Kerala, their commitment to the linguistic minorities is a model for other states to follow.

 

 


10. Gujarat

          

1.                Population of Gujarat as per census 2001 is 5,06,71,017 and as per 1991 census 4,13,09,582. The figures about the 2001 census are not yet received but the linguistic profile as per the 1991 census is as follows –

 

Language

Persons

Percentage

Gujarati

3,77,92,933

91-49

Hindi

  12,15,825

  2-94

Sindhi

   7,04,088

  1-70

Marathi

    5,66,191

  1-37

Urdu

   5,47,737

  1-33

 


2. In Sindhi, the figures of Kutchi are also included. According to the Census Commissioner, Kutchi is a dialect of Sindhi but neither the Sindhis nor the Kutchis accept this. Kutchi people believe that their language descended straight from Prakrit. According to the census 1991, the number of Kutchis is 4,35,668 in Gujarat. Thus they are 1.05 % of total population. After subtracting this, the Number of speakers of Sindhi is 2,68,420. This is 0.65 % of the population but it is still an important linguistic minority since they are concentrated mostly in the cities.

3. The State has not informed about the areas where the population of linguistic minorities is more than 15 % of the total population. Previously the State Government have stated Dangs, Surat, Ahmadabad and Kutch districts were declared as the areas where the linguistic minorities were more than 15 % of the population.

4. The Official Language of the State are said to be Gujarati and Hindi. These can be used for all the purposes. There are no arrangements for translation of the important rules etc. in the minority languages. Therefore, there is no facility for replying to the representations in the minority languages. This should be mentioned that in the questionnaire this question has not been answered directly.

5. There are separate rules for the recognition of the minority institutes in the State. According to these, the secondary schools are registered. For this the trustees should be from the minority community and only they should be managing the school. It should be made clear right at the time of setting up that the institute is from the linguistic or the religious minority. The documents regarding this should be attached to the application for registration. The objective of the trust should invariably be the development and encouragement of the linguistic minorities. such institutions have been exempted from certain sections and rules of Gujarat Secondary Education Act and the Gujarat Secondary Education Rules.

6. The State Government have given the district wise information about the registered linguistic minority institutes. According to this, there are 54 institutes for Hindi, 24 for Sindhi, 10 for Marathi, 8 for Urdu, one for Tamil registered. In addition there are 74 schools for English and 282 for Gujarati but these do not come under the definition of linguistic minority institutes.

7. Primary education is from class I to V in which Gujarati is the main medium for instruction. In addition minority languages are also the media of education. for this the number of students is fifteen. Regional language is taught from class V in these schools. The State Government have given district wise information for the schools. Most of the Hindi schools are in Ahmadabad and Surat; Marathi in Surat and Ahmadabad; Sindhi in Ahmadabad; Urdu in Ahmadabad, Surat, Kheda and Anand. In addition there are Telugu, Malayalam, Oriya and Tamil schools. The information for the year 2002 – 03 is as follows (Last year the information could not be included in the Report as it was received after the submission of the Report) -


 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Hindi

275

91,397

1,997

Urdu

170

53,365

1,200

Marathi

98

47,261

950

Sindhi

36

5,125

231

Tamil

20

4,863

145

Telugu

9

3,662

70

Oriya

5

1,999

16

Malayalam

1

125

5

 


8. For the year 2003 – 04, the same figures have been repeated except for Hindi. In Hindi the number of students has gone up by 8 to become 91,405. The State Government is requested to get the information from the districts in a set format so that correct information is received.

9. The secondary education level is from class VIII to X. In this besides Gujarati and English, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu and Tamil are stated as media. district wise list of schools is given. The number is same as given for the recognized institutes. It appears that the Government schools where the minority languages are taught have not been included in this. For the year 2003 – 04, only the information about Hindi is given which is as follows -


 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Hindi

54

13,500

324

 


10. For the year 2003 – 04 the number of schools has become 57 and the number of students 14,175. The number of teachers is 340. No information has been given about other languages.

11. The question papers are given by the Board in Gujarati and English only. This creates problems for the students studying though minority languages especially Urdu and Sindhi probably because the technical words in these languages are entirely different. Though all the students know Gujarati, the difficulty is probably due to these words. It should be considered that the question papers can be given in these languages also.

12. The Advance Registers are not being maintained in the State.

13. In the Three Language Formula, only Gujarati, Hindi and English are mentioned. Minority languages are not mentioned. 

14. The teachers are said to be in sufficient number.

15. No shortage of textbooks is reported. These books are published by Gujarat State Textbooks Board. But in Gandhidham, it was informed that the books in Sindhi in Devanagari for the secondary and senior secondary classes are not available in time.

16. No information has been given about the academies. Urdu and Sindhi Academies are functioning in the State but information about their budget and activities has not been given. The State Government are urged to give regular information about them.

17. There is a demand for the development of Kutchi language. There are many persons who are writing in Kutchi but there is dearth of those who would publish these books. I met one writer who is above eighty years of age.

He has written many books but they were destroyed in the earth quake of 2000 without publication. To avoid repeat of this, the people demand that assistance should be given for their publication. An Academy should be created for Kutchi also just as has been done for other languages. Their demand does not appear to be unreasonable. Otherwise a decision to set up Kutchi Sahitya Academy was taken in 1995 but it has not been made active. There is no budget provision for this. It was informed in Gandhi Nagar that its budget is part of the budget for Gujarati Sahitya Samiti. A report about the activities of their work is requested.

18. There is another aspect of development of Kutchi. Presently Kutchi language is not used in the written form though All India Radio Bhuj broadcasts Krishi Jagat (Agriculture World)  regularly in Kutchi. In addition, twice a week Kutchi programmmes are broadcast. Door Darshan’s contribution is only the telecast of Kutchi songs on the occasion of Kutchi new year day (Asadh Dwitya). Kutch Mitra is a daily newspaper from Bhuj which publishes a Kutchi article once a week. But on the personal level, may persons are writing prose and poetry in Kutchi. In 1981, a Kutchi Gujarati dictionary was also published.

19. Though Kutchi is not used at any level in education but at the school level the students are taught in Kutchi because without that the students just can not learn. This is a very powerful argument for using the mother tongue for the first two years of education. In Gujarat there is no arrangements for district level cadre of teachers. Due to this, the teachers from outside Kutch are appointed in Kutch. The people from Kutch do not find a place in the merit list. The teachers from outside Kutch are keen on transfer from here as soon as possible. The correct thing would be to have a district cadre of teachers at the primary level of education so that the teachers are local and know the languages or the dialects  of that area.

20. To give the teachers from outside  Kutch, some idea of Kutchi language education modules in two parts named ‘Kutchi Pathavali’ as been prepared by DIET. Its writer is Narain Joshi and the inspiration comes from Shri Nalin Bhai Pandit, controller, Gujarat Education and Training Institute. They should be congratulated. It would have been even better if an alphabet poster for teaching the alphabet to the children had been prepared so that the children could have learnt the written form of the language in their mother tongue. They would have learnt the Gujarati script also along with this which they can use in class three to learn Gujarati and other subjects through the medium of Gujarati.

21. Shri Narain Joshi has also published a book for teaching Kutchi to the teachers from outside through Kutchi Sahitya Kala Sangh. In this the equivalent words of Kutchi and Gujarati are given. The objective of this book is to practice Kutchi for those whose mother tongue is not Kutchi so that they can teach the Kutchi students.

22. According to the District Education Officer, about 1800 teachers have been trained for using Kutchi in imparting instructions. Apart from two tahsils, the rest of the district is dominated by Kutchi.

23. In this context, it should also be mentioned that In Bhuj, a museum :Bhartiya Sanskriti foundation” has been set up and managed  under the inspiration of one person. It has a good collection of dresses, musical instruments, coins, ornaments etc which are a source of inspiration. It also depicts the love of Kutchi people for the preservation of their culture.

24. Regional Language Gujarati is the medium of examination for recruitment. Knowledge of Gujarati is also essential. for this there are two levels of examination, the lower and the higher one. It is to be enquired in what circumstances the two levels are to be used.

25. No information has been given about the machinery.  and also there is nothing about pamphlets. The linguistic minorities ought to be informed by public notification about the safeguards provided. For this the publication of the pamphlets is requested. There is also a demand by the linguistic minorities that a special circular should be issued to the officers to make them aware of the facilities provided to the linguistic minorities.

26. It is to be mentioned that the information that has been received from the Gujarat Government is mostly about education. It appears that the information is prepared by the Education Department and other departments have not responded.

27. On the other hand, it is a matter of pleasure that in a meeting with the Chief Secretary and other officers, it was assured that the Gujarat Government will be active in respect of the rights given to the linguistic minorities. The Chief Secretary is of the view that the linguistic minorities themselves are losing the attraction for their language due to the attraction for English. Even so the State Government is trying for instruction through these languages. He said that action is being taken to make provisions for maintaining the standards in the light of the decision of the Supreme Court but there is no situation in which adverse action is to be taken against these institutions.

28. The view of the Commissioner is that there is no conflict in so far as the policies is concerned. The minority groups are also confident about it. But in the practical application of the policy, difficulties crop up occasionally which can be removed through mutual discussions. he was of the view that that the discussions of this nature at the district level can solve most of these problems. A six monthly review should also be done at the state level.

29. On the practical level, an example is that the Board of Secondary Education has modified the syllabus of secondary level (class VIII to X) from this year. The new arrangement is as follows –

1. Mother tongue (in the context of medium of instruction)

First Language

2. Gujarati / English

In schools other than the Gujarati medium schools, mother tongue will be the first language and Gujarati as the second language.

3. Hindi

Third Language.

4. Sanskrit / Classical Language

 

 

30. For the linguistic minorities also English is the point of action in the normal circumstances and it is being adopted as the medium. According to the above formula, if they do this than their mother tongue is left out. The linguistic minorities want to preserve their culture and language on the one hand and, on the other hand, they do not want to be left behind in the employment market and, hence, want to have English as the medium. The alternatives provided to them are painful. Commissioner is of the opinion that the linguistic minorities can be helped in this difficult choice. One of the proposals is that

minority language should be allowed as the fourth language where it will be alternative to Sanskrit and classical language. The other  alternative is to have composite course of Hindi and the mother tongue as has been done by Goa and Maharashtra. In Kerala also the first language has two parts. In the first part, mother tongue has to be taken up and in the second part, Malayalam. Chairman, Board of Secondary Education was also approached and he has agreed to place the point before the academic council.

31. Another difficulty faced by the linguistic minority institutes is regarding the recognition. In Gandhidham, it was informed that an institute was running three schools earlier which had been given recognition much earlier. The same institute has started another school but it is not getting recognition. The reason cited is that after 1998, the procedure of granting recognition on the basis of grants has been stopped. The institutions can be granted recognition only on the basis of self financed institutions. The institute says that the linguistic minority students, for whom they want to open the school, are not in a position to pay the kind of fees and other dues that is necessary to keep alive a self financed school. Similar views were also expressed by the office bearers of F. D. College of Arts and Commerce in Ahmadabad. They aver that the college situated in Jamalpura will have to close down its commerce wing if there is no provision of grants. This

college is for girls only and there are 300 girls in it at present.

 32. The Commissioner is of the view that some concessions should be given in the cases concerning the linguistic minorities. In fact each case should be considered on its own merits. It is not denied that some colleges are started only on commercial considerations especially for professional courses like engineering and management, but this is not applicable to the schools and general colleges.

33. Another problem is regarding the exemption of the linguistic minority institutes from some provisions of the Gujarat Education Code. This includes the appointment of their own teachers. It has been intimated that these institutes are directed to adjust the surplus teachers, and on their failure to do so, the grants are stopped. Due to this even the teachers who are working do not get their salaries. For example in the F. D. Senior Secondary School, the science teachers are getting the approval of their teachers. Approval has been given for only one teacher whereas they need eleven teachers. Similarly in Gandhidham, in one school, the teachers have not been able to get their salaries for the last thirteen months because the fifteen percent share of the institute could not be deposited. The Supreme Court decision does require the State Government to monitor the standards and to see that the teachers are trained and have the necessary qualifications.

But for this it is not necessary to encroach upon the rights granted to these institutes. This matter should be considered sympathetically.

34. Attention was also drawn towards another difficulty. In Adipur, Kutch, some schools were granted the certificate for being minority institutes in 1977. These have not been renewed. Some new primary, secondary and senior secondary schools have also not been able to get these certificates. All these schools work as independent units and it is not enough to give the certificate to the organization managing them. Dada Dukh Dayal College has been stated this year 2004 -05. It has also asked for a certificate.

35. According to the Government instructions, the recognized institutions have been exemption from some of the provisions of the Education Code. For example, the roster does not operate for them. They can select their teachers and employees on their own discretion. But in practice, this is not being done. The presence of an officer of Education Department is not necessary at the time of interview. But not only is this being insisted upon but it is also directed that the teachers should be selected at the district selection place in Bhuj. If this s not done, the  Education Officer does not give the no objection certificate and the amount of grant can not be received for this reason.

36. In the primary schools, the amount of grant has been limited to 85 % of the salary of teachers. There is no grant for pay of clerks, peons, farash, the rent of the building, stationary, publications, travelling allowances. The institutes are expected that they will bear all these expenses and also pay the balance of 15 % of the teachers’ salaries. This is very difficult orders to follow. The rule is that only on the deposit of the 15 % of salary, the payment to the teachers will be made. Therefore their salaries are stopped for months on end.  It is said that for secondary schools, the full amount of salaries is paid as grants. They also get sufficient assistance for rent etc. It is expectd of the primary schools that they will deposit the fees received from the students with the Government whereas the idea is that the primary education should be completely free. It is said that a grant of Rs. four per student is paid as grants for general expenses. 

37. A doubt was expressed whether giving encouragement to different languages would not tantamount to creating a spirit of separatism. The Commissioner, however, feels that unity does not mean uniformity. If there are many more other languages , the importance of Gujarati is not going to be any less for that reason. On the other hand by trying to forcefully impose a language will make it difficult to achieve the emotional unity that is being talked about. He cited the examples of Welsh, Romana, Mavri languages which could

not be finished off despite years of restrictions and indifference  and are today again are being used for imparting instructions. In fact, the matching of colours is what lends beauty to the picture.

38. A view was also expressed that the examiners tend to give more marks in Sindhi or other minority languages papers. This helps them in the competition. especially as Gujarat is still giving admission to colleges on the basis of marks obtained in the senior secondary examination rather the marks obtained in a competitive examination. The Commissioner accepts that there is this probability due to the human nature. On this count thee can be moderation system invoked for the answer books in the language subject. But the solution can not be to go to other extreme and completely ignore the language. In that situation, it can be said with some justification that in order to benefit one section, this arrangement is being made.

39. On the other hand, it was also said that the answer books in Sindhi were given to the evaluator who did not know Sindhi and who allotted marks only on the basis of his imagination. In fact, the problem is of mutual confidence.

40. In this context examples of Indonesia, Russia etc. were cited but their situation is different. Indonesia did not have a language which had its own script and a literary tradition. But in India, there are developed languages which have been there for centuries and which

have a long literary tradition. In Russia all the languages are given equal treatment. The scripts were also different and scores of books have been published in those languages.  Only a few months ago, a bill was moved in Duma (Russia’s Parliament) that there should be a single script for all the languages. But the law has not yet been adopted. It is hoped that it will not be possible to have such a law. In India also it was thought at one time that there should be the same script for all  the languages but this did not happen. In fact, if there is one script, it does not confer any advantage nor does it cause any loss. Manipuri and Bengali have the same script but the languages are entirely different. Marathi has Devanagari script but it has not adversely  affected its development. Konkani, Santhali etc. are written in more than one script. In course of time, there is a change in the languages and they can come nearer or drift further apart. Sindhi has many Arabic words and it has moved away though its origin was from Prakrit and in normal language is not much different from Punjabi or Gujarati.

41. A question was also raised about the definition of language. The Commissioner is of the opinion that Kutchi and Bhili are also considered as languages but they are not being used in the field of education. It is possible that some people deliberately give information about their language which is different from their reality so that they can make use of the facilities provided. But it is difficult to make rules about it. Only the individual can say what his language is. And only on the basis of linguistics, it can be said whether a language exists on its own or  is a dialect or a variant of another language. Census Commissioner has prepared his statistics on the basis that Kutchi is a dialect of Sindhi but neither the Kutchis nor the Sindhis consider these to be the same language. Sahitya Academy had given independent recognition to many languages like Maithili etc. but the Government treated them as a single language. The languages which were considered to be dialects till yesterday have now found a place in the Eighth Schedule. In fact the eighth schedule should be deleted because it only increases differences and all the languages should be treated as  equal.

42. It was attempted that the linguistic minorities which are living in small groups should be considered. In Okha tahsil of district Jamnagar, discussions were held with persons from Sindhi and Kutchi community. It was intimated that all the Kutchi people know Gujarati and, therefore, there is no demand for education through Kutchi. In Sindhi community also, the preference is for the English medium schools. In these circumstances, their interest is limited  to maintaining the customs and traditions only. For this Sindhi panchayats have been constituted which are operational at different levels. Regular meetings are held. The community understands that the preservation of culture is entirely their concern and they can not expect help from outside. The maximum expectation is that they will be given occasional help to organize cultural programmes. Probably for this some scheme can be drawn up by the Government. The scheme can be operated through the concerned Academy.


 

11. Goa

 

1. Goa has a population of 13,43,998 as per 2001 census and 11,69,793 as per 1991 census. The linguistic profile is as follows –

 


Language

Persons

Percentage

Konkani

6,02,626

51-52

Marathi

3,90,270

33-36

Kannada

54,323

4-64

Urdu

39,944

3-41

Hindi

37,073

3-17

Malayalam

12,962

1-11

 


2. There are no areas where the linguistic minorities are more than 15 % of the population of the area. Obviously Marathi is not taken into account for this purpose. The position of Marathi is unique as it is almost treated on par with Konkani for all purposes.

3. Konkani is the official language of the state. There is no second official language. However, as per notification, Marathi will be used for the purpose of reply by the Government whenever communications are received in that language. In the Official Language Act, it is provided that "the Marathi language, shall also be used for all or any of the official purposes". Further it is provided that "nothing contained in this sub section shall be deemed to affect the use of the Marathi language in educational, social or cultural fields". The Act directs the State not to make any discrimination in the matter of grants to the institutes on the ground of language.

4. The answer to the question whether the Acts, rules, notices etc. are made available in Marathi language is in negative. In discussions, It was explained that this is done though there is no regular machinery for translation. In fact almost everybody knows Marathi and there is no need to have a separate agency for this purpose. The Department of Official Languages looks after the job.

5. There are no specific guidelines for the recognition of the linguistic minorities institutions. They are governed under the provisions of Goa School Education Act 1984 and Goa school Education Rules 1986. All the institutions which have applied for grants/ registration have been sanctioned irrespective of the medium of education provided. It was intimated that private parties are encouraged to adopt government schools and help in their development. But there are not many private schools as such.

6. The information about the linguistic minority schools in the State were provided. There are 25 Urdu medium primary schools and one middle school. In addition there are 2 Government aided primary schools and 5 middle schools. In Kannada there are 15 Government primary schools and 2 middle schools. There are also 2 aided high schools.

7. Marathi, Konkani, Urdu, Kannada , Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi are the media which are allowed for the elementary level i.e. class I to VII. In the case of Government schools, the minimum of students for each class is 19 but this is reduced to 10 for the linguistic minority students. The data is as follows  -


 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Urdu

6

1,477

56

Kannada

2

2,036

69

Malayalam

1

11

2

Telugu

1

79

2

Hindi

1

396

18

 


have to go to Ulga, Karwar to appear in the examinations. It is difficult for the students to go there. The teachers have to accompany them and they are also reluctant to do so. From class I to VII, Maharashtra Board syllabus is used. For class VIII to X, Karnataka Board syllabus is use. There should be one syllabus to be followed. They wanted that Goa Board should grant recognition for Kannada medium.

10. The data is for Urdu and Kannada schools. it is as follows –


 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Urdu

4

1,042

45

Kannada

2

842

30

 


11. At the primary stage, the first language is Marathi, English, Urdu, Kannada or Telugu. Second language is English where it is not the first language. There is no third language.

 12. Regarding the Three Language Formula, at the secondary stage, the first language is English, Marathi, Urdu or Kannada. The second language is Hindi introduced in class V. Composite courses are introduced from class VIII. These can be Sanskrit – Marathi; Sanskrit – Hindi etc. The third language is English if it is not the first language. If the first language is English, the third language is a language other than English. From standard VIII, Indian classical language or a foreign language are allowed to be selected from the list.

13. No shortage of teachers is reported. This was at variance with the representations that there were shortage of teachers in Urdu schools. Interviews have been held in October but appointments were not made. It was informed that due to the inability to find the qualified teachers for all the posts, there is delay in appointments. But action will be taken to appoint the persons who have been found fit. The representatives said that there is condition of domicile in the State for fifteen years and only the persons with this qualification are called for interview. In addition the benefit of the domicile of the husband  to the women marrying into Goa has also been withdrawn. If the teachers in the minority languages are exempted from these conditions and the candidates from Maharashtra and Karnataka are allowed to compete, this shortage can be overcome. (In Pondicherry, there is a provision that of the local residents are not available, the outsiders are given a chance. Goa can also adopt this method.)  For the training of the teachers, D. Ed., a two years course, is the qualification. In the neighbouring states, there are B. Ed courses for one year after graduation. It was suggested that, to overcome the shortage, this qualification can be temporarily given recognition.

14. It was informed that the State Government is considering various alternatives. The teachers in Goa can take leave or can keep their lien for six years. In this period, no substantive appointment can be made but a substitute teacher can be employed. A suggestion was under consideration that Short Term Commission teachers (on the pattern of army) can be employed in the state. These short term teachers can take the place of those who take leave for a long period and can be subsequently absorbed, if interested, and subject to the availability of vacancies. It is felt that an authorized list can be kept for appointment of substitutes for the teachers who go on leave so that the students do not suffer.

15. Another suggestion was that, in order to remove the shortage of teachers in Urdu and other languages, a D. Ed. course should be run in the State specially for these candidates. It was felt, in the discussions, that such a course can not be run on an annual basis as the question of employment of the trained teachers will arise. However, a course like this can be run every five years or so in which only the teachers for the minority languages will be trained.

16. No shortage of textbooks is reported. It is said that books are procured from Maharashtra. But some representatives of linguistic minorities were of the opinion that these do not conform to the syllabi of the Goa State. The representatives of the schools stated that earlier there were not enough experienced teachers in the State and there was the custom of getting the books from outside. Now there are enough teachers in the State whose services should be utilized for the translation and the books should be published in the State itself. It was informed that it has been decided to have translators in the State Education Institute to overcome the problem.

17. Academy for development of Konkani has been in existence for the last ten years and is working for the enrichment of the language. Marathi Academy is also functioning. It is requested that a copy of the annual reports of these academies may be sent for information.

18. In the matter of recruitment, knowledge of Konkani is compulsory while that of Marathi is optional. This is being done to encourage the local candidates and the practice was started after Goa attained the full statehood. It was intimated that Mumbai High Court has upheld the validity of this provision as also the residential conditions for the candidates. It was requested that a copy of these orders may be made available. It appears to be at variance with another orders quoted by the Chhatisgarh Government which is reported to have said that insistence on the knowledge of the local language is not legally correct.

19. In the meeting held with the representatives of the linguistic minority schools, some suggestions for better services were made. Some of these are –


1. Separate ADEI should be appointed for Kannada medium school as is done in the case of Urdu. It was intimated that, arrangements have been made  to inspect the linguistic minorities schools. This is a welcome step and it is hoped that minor local out as a result of such inspections.

 2. Relaxation should be granted in respect of staff appointed by the minority institutes.

3.  Posts which have continued for a long time should be made permanent instead of giving permission on year to year basis.

  4. A plea was made for the use of minority languages for the pre school education. These should be looked upon as the feeder institutions for the schools. The rationale for giving the instructions in the mother tongue at the  primary stage of education is that it is easier to learn through it. To use any language other than the mother tongue at the preschool level runs counter to this basic principle. This is very important and it is hoped that this would be ensured.

 5.  New school may be allowed to be opened wherever necessary. Some schools which have gone defunct should be given another chance.

6.  In GHS Vaddem Nagar, Vasco, there is no Urdu teacher. When the issue was raised with the authorities but no teacher was provided. Instead of that Urdu subject is withdrawn. Plea was made for appointment of a teacher.

7. A subject inspector in Urdu may be appointed in the State Institute of Education (SIE).

8.  It was a general demand that representatives of linguistic minorities should be appointed to the Educational Advisory Committee.

9. The question paper for the tenth class is set in Urdu but the question paper is first prepared in English and then got translated in Urdu from Maharashtra or Karnataka. There is a variation of the technical words used in these states and in Goa. As such, the students find it difficult to understand the questions. It was suggested that the translation of the question paper should be got done in Goa. If there is any difficulty in this, then the books used in Goa should also be sent to the translators and they be requested specially in regard to the use of the technical terms.

10. It was informed that when a student from takes a minority language in class V as a third language, he is obliged to read the books which were prescribed two years earlier. For example in class VI, he has to read the book prescribed for fourth class for the schools with that language as the medium. In the seventh class, the book for class V is used. This provision appears to have been made so that easier books can be given to the students who are starting the language in class V. A distinction should be made between the students from the two streams. What alternatives can be provided has to be considered in depth.

11. A. M. School at Madgaon imparts instructions through Urdu. There are 66 students in class IX. But there is only one section. It was demanded that one more section should be sanctioned. It is an accepted principle that a section should have a maximum of 44 students (40 plus ten percent extra). The demand, therefore, appears to be justified.

12.  A general problem of non admission of students without birth certificates were raised but the officers explained that there are alternate methods to prove date of birth.


 


20. An enquiry was made about the provision of annual grant of the Sarva  Shiksha Abhiyan to the teachers for the preparation of the teaching material. The Commissioner is of the opinion that this amount can be used to prepare the charts etc. for the minority languages. It was informed that Goa is not benefiting from the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The State has to comply with certain conditions of the scheme which can not be implemented in Goa. It was said that earlier the benefits of the District Primary Education Scheme also could not be availed of by Goa as the percentage of the literacy rate of women was higher. The Central Government should consider how separate norms can be fixed for  the smaller states so that the weaker section in these states can also be benefited by this Abhiyan. In this scheme there are provisions for utilization of funds for preparation of books in the local languages which provision can benefit this state also.

21. There was an objection made on behalf of Aminiya High School. It had asked for transferring the services of a teacher Mrs. Rodrigues but it is not being permitted. This, it was alleged, was an undue interference in the administration of the linguist minority institute. On the other hand, it was informed that Mrs. Rodrigues was the senior most teacher and was due for promotion as Head Mistress but the management did not like the idea. The management, for this reason, decided to wind up the English section of the school. The other teachers were absorbed elsewhere but Mrs. Rodrigues was not adjusted. It was felt that she should continue with the Institute for teaching of English in the school being run by the Society. Overall it appears that whereas the management wants

protection for its rights, it should have same considerations for its own teachers.

22. Goa appears to have done well by the linguistic minorities. The problems presented are not insurmountable. The very fact that this kind of demands can be made is a sign of healthy attitude of the State Government.

 

 

 

 



 

12. Chhatisgarh

 

1. The population of Chhatisgarh according to the census 2001 is 2,07,95,956. The population as per the 1991 census was 1,76,14,928. Regarding the linguistic profile, only this much is said that the Hindi speakers are more than 80 percent. Which linguistic groups are comprised in the remaining 20 %, nothing has been motioned about it. Otherwise if some attempt is made, it is not difficult to know it. Commissioner Linguistic Minorities, in his Thirty Ninth Report has given full details about it. It is being repeated here.

 


Language

Persons

Percentage

Hindi

1,12,11,592

80.33

Gondi

7,08,530

5.08

Oriya

5,71,911

4.10

Halabi

4,08,798

2.93

Kurukh/ Oraon

3,49,332

2.50

Bengali

1,33,182

0.95

Telugu

1,16,585

0.84

Marathi

1,09,532

0.78

 


2. Similarly which areas have more than 60 % or more than 15 % of the population as linguistic minorities, has also been discussed in the Thirty Ninth Report. But no efforts have been made to find out these areas.

 

3. When these areas have not been identified, the question of publication of important rules etc. in a minority language does not arise.

4. It is stated that no representations are received in any minority language and, therefore, obviously the question of replying in that language does not arise.

5. It is also stated that no concessions are given for registration of the linguistic minority institutes and no list is kept for this purpose.

6. While talking about the primary education some positive reply has been received. It is said that Primary education is given in Urdu, Oriya and Sanskrit considering them as mother tongues. The information about Sanskrit as mother tongue appears strange. There has been no demand for this from anywhere and Chhatisgarh is not expected to be an exception.  There may be some schools in which the children may be learning Sanskrit but it can not be called as education through the mother tongue. and that appears to be the reason why it is not mentioned in the statistics. The data is for Urdu and Oriya only. It is as follows –

 


Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Urdu

88

5,623

84

Oriya

1

157

4

 


7. The number of the Oriya speakers is about ten times that of Urdu speakers but only one school has been shown for them. This shows that either the information is not correct or the system is not alright. The above figures are for elementary education which is for class I to VIII.

8. The Secondary education is from class IX to XII but here the media are Hindi and English. Therefore the information is Nil.

9. In a meeting at Raipur, it was discussed that that absence of script is not important because any script can be adopted at any stage by a language. In Chhatisgarh Halbi, Gondi or Kurukh can adopt Devanagari. Thereafter it will be easier to changeover to Hindi. It was informed at that time that a workshop  will be organized for preparation of books in Halbi, Gondi and Kurukh for primary classes. it has not been intimated if such conference could be held or not.

10. Similarly information was given about the setting up of Madarasa Board and it was said that those madarasas will be registered which agree to upgradation. It was requested that the information about such schools should be sent to the Commissioner Linguistic minorities. But no information has been sent in this respect. At that time the information was that 25 madarasas have been registered but only twelve have received one teacher each. Madarasa Board is arranging its own examinations.

11. Obviously action to register the choice of the language is not taken at any stage.

12. In the Three Language Formula mother tongue has been described as the first language. The second language is shown as General Hindi and English. The third language is shown as ‘Sanskrit, Urdu and other languages’. The answer is not clear. Can the person whose mother tongue is Bengali can take Bengali, General Hindi and Sanskrit as the three languages. It appears that mind has not been applied while replying o this question.

13. In the teachers the information is given about only the Urdu teachers who number 473. The number of vacancies has not been given but it is said that action is being taken to fill them up. No mention has been made of Oriya. For the training also the information is ‘nil’. but there is no doubt about the availability of the textbooks. It is stated that the textbooks are prepared and published by State Council for  Education Research and Training.

14. The reply says that two Urdu Academies have been set up, one on 1.10.2003 at Raipur which has been given budget allocation of Rs. 20 lakhs in year 2003 – 04; and the other on 5.5.2003 at Durg/ Rajnandgaon whose budget s shown to be ‘nil’. No report has been sent about their activities. The need to set up two academies (or even one) when the number of those who speak Urdu is so small is not understood when there are other languages with many more speakers who would be needing it. It is not that it is incorrect to do some thing for Urdu but same, if not more, should be done for the other languages .

15. In reply to the question as to which department is concerned with the linguistic minorities, the names of both the Education and Tribal Welfare Departments are given. The Chief Secretary had ordered that the Director Public Instruction will be the Nodal Officer and the Education Department will be the Nodal Department. If there is only one department, it will be easier for the linguistic minorities to contact them. Any one can do the work but the coordination department can be only one. At the district level, the work has been entrusted to the district Education Officer.

16. It has been mentioned that State Minority Commission has been constituted and the work relating to the linguistic minorities has also been assigned to it. It includes the work relating to registration and renewal also. The Report of the Commission has been received. It mentions only one item about encouragement to Urdu language (and that is also doubtful) which is announcement of awards in the names of Maulana Abdul Kalam, Maulana Rauf and Maulana Hamid Ali.

17. While discussing the recruitment of the teachers teaching the language or through the medium of the language, a reference has been made to the decision of the Supreme Court in which it is said that while selecting the candidates, the knowledge of  local language should not be insisted upon. It is not clear in which context the orders were passed. Obviously these can not apply to the appointment of the language teachers that they should know the language for which they are to be recruited. It was requested to send more information about the case but no information has been received.

18. During the visit to Bilaspur, some schools were visited. Telugu, Oriya and Bengali schools were included in them. At some point of time, these languages were the media of education but now it is Hindi medium schools. Only the name is still the old one. Telugu school was started at primary level in 1930. In course of time, it became senior secondary school. The medium was Telugu and it was recognized as such by the Board of Secondary Education. This status remained till 1993. Thereafter the sanction for Telugu medium was withdrawn and the students were deprived from appearing from the examination through that medium.

19. With this the period of decline of the school began. At one time, the number of students from class I to XII was 1000. In year 2002, the number of students was reduced to 56 in the primary education. But the medium remained Telugu till class VIII. After that it was limited to primary section but even that did not appeal to the guardians of the students. In year 2002, it was completely switched to Hindi. Telugu remains only as a subject till class VIII. Presently there are about 300 students in primary section.

20. There is no shortage of Telugu teachers. They were recruited from Andhra Pradesh. but the difficulty was about the books. This difficulty still continues. One of  the reasons is that the syllabus is not revised by the Board of Secondary Education for years together. The books which have been prescribed for prose and poetry have been removed from the syllabus for Andhra Pradesh years ago. They are not available in the market. In support of this the current syllabus was shown. he books which are prescribed are of the year 1988. In the syllabus the position about Tamil, Malayalam etc. is similar. This creates difficulty not only for the students but the paper setters also have to face the same problem.

21. The secret behind the ending the medium is also surprising. The custom is that the answer papers of one district are sent to other districts. Normally the answer books were sent from Bilaspur to Bhopal. There were Telugu teachers there and they  could check them. Once these books were sent to Gwalior. There were no Telugu teachers there and it was difficult to check them. The solution was that the medium was stopped.

22. Is there a probability of Telugu becoming the medium again? The teachers and the office bearers both of the view that it can be done. But for this it must be kept medium till senior secondary level. The people staying in this area still have social contacts with the people in Andhra Pradesh. By getting the education through Telugu, they can stay in Andhra Pradesh after marriage. But if the medium is kept only up to the primary level, it will be difficult to get the students because the guardians do not want to burden the child with the problem of changeover of the medium.

23. A suggestion was given that if the Chhatisgarh Board of Secondary Education can not adopt Telugu medium, the school can be affiliated to Andhra Pradesh Board. Though it is doubtful if  Andhra Pradesh Board will like to set up an examination centre so far away.

24. The Bengali school was started in 1942. At that time it was affiliated with Bengal Board of Secondary Education. In 1973, it got affiliated to Madhya Pradesh Board. The position is similar to that of Telugu schools. Bengali is not the medium at any stage but Bengali language is being taught from class VI to class VIII as a language subject.

25. The main problem here also is the non revision of the syllabus. Non available books are still in he syllabus. In one class, the book published in 1978 was still prescribed.

26. It was also informed that Bengali is being taught in some schools in Kanker and Mana. There was a one teacher school in the railway department in Bilaspur but it has been closed now. Here also probability was expressed that if Bengali can be kept as medium till senior secondary, the medium will attract more students.

27. Oriya school is from class I to VIII only. It was started in 1971 and was run with Oriya medium till 1981. The number of students was limited and hence the medium had to be changed. Presently only the alphabets of Oriya are taught. The Government assistance was given for all the purposes till 1987 but now it is given for the salary of the teachers. There is no provision of free books  because that is limited to the aided and the government schools.

28. There is one Punjabi school also in Bilaspur. It could not be visited due to lack of prior notice. In addition there are Punjabi schools in Baikunthpur, Raipur and Durg.

29. There is nothing else to comment upon. As was to be expected State does not face any problems in the implementation of safeguards. When the work is started, only then the problems will be there. In Bilaspur, some complaints like the necessity of revision of syllabus, need for mid day meals for the non Government schools came up. More complaints were received when they are enquired for . But for this there is need for change of mentality. The linguistic minorities  will have to wait for some time.




13. Jammu and Kashmir

 

1. The population of Jammu and Kashmir, as per the census 2001, is 1,00,69,917. In 1991, the census could not be conducted in the State and it has only been estimated which was about 78 lakhs. so far the linguistic profile of the State as per census 2001 is not available. Therefore no break-up is available about it.

2. Amongst the languages spoken in the State are named Urdu, Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, Ladakhi, and Balti. In fact the percentage of people speaking Kashmiri as per census 1981 was 52.38 %; Dogri is 24.29; Hindi is 16.92; Punjabi 2.72; Ladakhi 1.20; and Balti 0.80 %. The number of those who had Urdu as their mother tongue was negligible.

3. It is informed that there are many areas where the minority languages are spoken by more than 60 % of the total population. In all the six districts of Kashmir Kashmiri is spoken, and in all the six districts of Jammu Dogri is spoken. In the areas where the speakers of minority language are more than 15 %, the areas of all the tahsils in Leh and Kargil are mentioned where Ladakhi is spoken.

4. The Official Language of Jammu and Kashmir is Urdu. Kashmiri and Dogri have not been this privilege whereas looking to the percentages, they should be declared as the Official language and Additional Official Language.

5. It is reported that the representations and applications are received in the minority languages but the replies are not sent in the same language. The reason given is that all the work in the offices is done in English.

6. There are no separate rules for giving grants to the linguistic minority institutes.

7. The Primary stage of education is from class I to V, of Upper Primary from class VI to VIII and of secondary education from class IX to x. For the Class IX and X the media are English, Hindi and Urdu. No information is given for the primary education. It is said that the information is being collected from the Education Department.

8. for the Three Language Formula, it is stated that the first language is the mother tongue. The second can be Hindi or Urdu. The third is English. Earlier the teaching of English began from class VI but now it is being started from class I.

9. In the year 2002, a training programme for the teachers was organized in which training was given in Kashmiri, Dogri and Punjabi so that the teachers can impart instructions in these languages. The number of teachers has not been given.

10. It is said that the textbooks in the minority  languages are published by the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Council.

11. The only medium for the examinations for recruitment to the State services is English.

12. The Chief Education Officer in the district has been assigned the job of looking after the affairs of the linguistic minorities. There is no committee for monitoring. The question regarding the state level committee has not been replied to.

13. It is said that the information about the remaining questions is being obtained. Looking to this that in the previous years, no information was received and in the reply to the questionnaire for 39th Report, it was said that Kashmiri and Dogri are not being used in the primary education, the information received now is encouraging. It is hoped that the information to be sent by the Education Department will confirm this. The Kashmir Arts and Culture Academy is


 also working for the development of Kashmiri and Dogri. It is hoped that this will further strengthen  these languages.




14. Jharkhand

 

1. No reply  to the questionnaire sent in connection with the Forty Second Report despite reminders at various levels from Jharkhand. The Deputy Commissioner has been to Jharkhand and contacted the officers there. Last time, though the answer was not very clear but from the documents attached, we could find out lot of information being done for the linguistic minorities. Specially it was found that good work is being done for education though the tribal languages. It is hoped that this has made further progress.

2. We will try to get the information from Jharkhand so that we can share it with others.


 

 



15. Tamil Nadu

 

1. The population of Tamil Nadu is 6,24,05,679 as per the 2001 census whereas  it was 5,58,58,946 in 1991 census. The number of speakers of main languages are as follows –


 

Language

Persons

Percentage

Tamil

4,84,34,44

86-71

Telugu

45,18,109

8-09

Kannada

12,08,296

2-16

Urdu

10,36,660

1-86

Malayalam

6,61,137

1-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. In addition, there are a fair number of speakers of Sourashtram language. Their number as per census 1991 is 2,16,364. They mainly reside in Madurai where heir number is 91,265. Others are in Tanjavaur and Dindigul districts. Urdu speakers claim that their number is much more than that reflected in the census figures but the claim is doubtful. Likewise the Telugu people in Krishnagiri also had doubts about the census data. The figure compiled by Telugu Federation shows a high percentage of Telugu speakers but the basis of this data not clear. But the figures given by district officials were also at variance with other data.

3. There are no districts where the number of linguistic minorities is more than 60 % of the total population of the districts. For the areas where they are more than 15% of the population, a list is given. These areas have Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam  as their languages. The list can be seen on our website.

4. Tamil is the official language of the State. There is no other official language.  Important rules etc. are said to be published in the minority languages. It is said that the electoral rolls are published in Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam in their respective areas. The number of rules, regulations, if any, published in minority languages is not specified.

5. It is said that the representations are received in the minority languages. But the replies are sent in Tamil or English. It is said that all the people know Tamil language, both written and reading. Also that no arrangements have been made for translation.

6. It is said that for he recognition of the linguistic minorities institutions, the guidelines have been framed. The schools have to make an application within three months of opening (which means that prior permission is not required). A certificate is to be enclosed that they will not ask for any Government grants or aid including teaching grants from the Government forever (since all grants have been withdrawn since 1-6-91). It is stated that the minority schools are exempted from reservations and the roaster register is not required to be maintained. The minority institutes are not expected to create an endowment of Rs. one lakh which other institutes have to do.

7. While the guidelines are welcome, it should be examined if the stipulation about not giving grants to the minority institutions can be relaxed in the case of elementary schools. They are the part of the basic facilities and the Government is committed for the universalisation of education at that level.

8. The number of linguistic minority institutions being given grants in aid is 98 (Telugu – 22; Urdu – 44; Malayalam – 26; Hindi – 4; Gujarati – 4).

9. For the elementary stage of education (class I to VIII), the minimum number of students is 15. It is said that the regional language is started from class I in these institutions. This, however, does not appear to be correct as the State is going by the two language formula which means the mother tongue and English.

10. The number of students at this level are as follows -

 


Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Telugu

391

37,793

985

Malayalam

122

12,159

176

Urdu

306

35,283

761

Kannada

54

3,367

164

Hindi

4

691

15

Gujarati

2

70

2

 


11. The secondary stage of education is said to be High Schools for class VI to X and Higher Secondary Schools for class VI to XII. But from the statistics, it appears that class VI to VIII are taken as part of elementary education.  The statistics for secondary schools (Presumably for class IX to XII) are given as follows –

 


Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Telugu

29

6,576

153

Urdu

22

9,797

141

Malayalam

11

2,048

51

Hindi

9

1,302

60

Kannada

5

1,316

41

Gujarati

2

33

5


 

12. These statistics are for the linguistic minority schools. Last year the information about general schools was also given but this year they have been left out. Their number last year was Urdu – 38; Malayalam – 66; Telugu – 88; Kannada – 13; Hindi – 36; and Arabic – 6. Why these have been left out is not clear. Their strength should also be taken into account.

13. It was informed that the medium of instructions at the class XI and XII are Tamil and English only. Telugu and Kannada are there as language subjects.

14. One of he safeguards provided that three months prior to the admission to the schools, a register should be opened in the linguistic minority areas wherein the students (or their guardians) can enter the choice of language in which they will like to be educated. This would have enabled the Director of Education to make such adjustments of teachers as may be necessary. It was also intended that, if necessary, some inter school adjustment will be done so that the students can get the language of their choice. But the reply does not appear to be based on this sort of registers. It is merely sad that rule 21 does not mention such a register. The rules can be amended to include this provision so that this information is available to the Government and the Director of Education. The village Education Registers under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan are for a different purpose. However, if by some insertion of columns, this choice of language can be included, there is no need to maintain a separate register.

15. The State follows the two language formula i.e. Tamil and English. For the linguistic minorities, it is presumably mother tongue and English. It has been suggested earlier that they may be allowed to take Tamil in addition to the other two languages so that they can learn the regional language which is also the official language. The point has been further considered from another point of view later on in this Report.

16. There is no shortage of teachers. It is reported that Government permitted to fill up all the secondary grade vacancies in the primary schools, including the minority languages vacancies during the year 2003 – 04. Accordingly proper steps have been taken to fill up all eligible vacancies.

17. However, in Krishnagiri district, during the visit, the shortage of teachers who can teach through minority languages was referred to by many of the participants. Sometimes, it was pointed out, the persons are transferred along with the post. The vacancies, arising out of the retirement of teachers, are not filled up. The reason sometimes given is that the teacher pupil ratio does not justify the number of teachers. It was pointed out that the Government have accepted that there will be minority language teachers if there are 10 students at the primary level and 15 students at the subsequent level on the average for the classes in the school. The strict application of the 1:40 ratio is not proper under the circumstances.

18. It was pointed out that in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, 8000 posts of the teachers have been sanctioned but there are no Telugu teachers in this sanction. This needs to be looked into.

19. Facilities exist for the training of the minority language teachers in

 Krishnagiri, Vellore and Salem districts for Telugu; Chennai for Urdu (one for women and one for men); and Kanyakumari for Malayalam with a total intake of 200 candidates. The number trained in year 2003 – 04 is 130 for Telugu, 80 for Urdu and 50 for Malayalam. This should take care of he retiring persons.

20. It is reported that Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation has ensured the availability of the minority language books at the primary and secondary stage of education and there is no shortage. The subject books are translated by expert committee appointed by the Director of School Education. It must be acknowledged that in the visit of the Commissioner to various places, the shortage of textbooks was not reported.

21. The Academy for Urdu has been set up in year 2000 but it is not yet active. In the year 2003 – 04, no budget was allotted for it. Last year the Academies for Telugu and Malayalam were also mentioned but they were also not active. This time, their names have been dropped. It is hoped that all the Academies ca be made active to promote the minority languages.

22. The possession of adequate knowledge of Tamil is not insisted upon at the time of recruitment to public services. However, after appointment, they have to pass a test of proficiency within a period of two years. The standard prescribed is that of the VIII standard for those whose qualifications are VII standard and above and of the class V for those under it. In Krishnagiri district, this standard was also found be too high.

23. At the secretariat level there is a department for looking after the welfare of the Backward classes, Most Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Department which looks after the linguistic minorities also. It has its field officers in the districts who are in charge of the linguistic minorities also. State has constitutes a States Minority Commission. It monitors the implementation of safeguards for linguistic minorities also. The tasks allocated to the Commission include all the points which have been mentioned in the list of safeguards given in Chapter 3. Some of these are tasks which can only be done at the Government level. It would be better if these are given a fresh look and monitoring is done for the tasks which are performed at the district level like availability of schools, teachers, textbooks; reply to representations in minority languages; acceptance of documents in minority languages in the courts and for registration.

24. Though it would not be proper to suggest who should be the members in the Commission, it is just mentioned by the way that in Maharashtra, a suggestion was given that if the work is allotted to the Minority Commission, it should have members representing such communities.

25. The Commission has been meeting regularly. The Commission is submitting annual reports to the Government and these are placed before the Assembly. Some of the recommendations of interest to the linguistic minorities are –

 

1.         Grant of minority status to the Thiruvenkada Vilas Middle School, Rasipuram, Nammakal district managed by a Sourashtram Trust.

2.         To appoint teachers for Geography, History,Economics and Physical education in

 Government Hobart Higher Secondary School, Chennai by relaxing the reservation rules.

 

26. It is reported that the linguistic minorities are made aware of the their rights through website, citizen charter and brochures. However, the citizen charter enclosed does not say anything specific about the linguistic minorities. It is expected that the concessions given to them in respect of lesser number of students. Non requirement of permission for opening more schools, concessions for recruitment to services should be listed.

27. During the visit of the Commissioner to some areas, representations were received and certain demands made in the meetings held. The notes regarding these meetings and visits have been sent to the Government separately. It is proposed to list here certain points which were repeatedly mentioned.

 

1. Telugu New Year Day should be declared a holiday. (Probably this can be done as a local holiday in those areas where Telugu people are in good number.)

2. Telugu should be declared as a classical language. (It is not clear what purpose is served by such declaration or what is the criteria for such declaration. Nowhere it is mentioned what privileges a classical language gets over other languages.)

3. In some schools both Telugu and Kannada students were being taught in the same section though their strength justified opening of separate sections for the two linguistic groups.

4. In Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the material for training is in Tamil and the trainers also know Tamil only.

5. In balvadi schools, Tamil is being taught. Minority languages should be used for linguistic minorities in balvadis also. (This is indeed an important point. The raison d’etre of teaching in primary section is that learning through mother tongue is easier. It is all the more essential for the pre school era.)

6. In Villipuram, Urdu speakers pointed out that the strict appliance of 1:40 ratio in calculating the number of teachers to be provided is not fair. This ratio does not work for the linguistic minorities where the number of students is less than the normal intake of the students in Tamil schools. It was informed that Supreme Court has said, in year 2002, that a class for the linguistic minority can be opened for four students also. (The Commissioner is not aware of such a judgment and further information will have to be sought.)

7. Books and magazines supplied to libraries should be in minority languages in proportion to their population.

8. Gujarati has been discontinued as second language by the Board for Secondary Education. Though the number of students is small but for the sake of the students coming on migration from Gujarat, Gujarati as a second language should be allowed.

9. Documents in minority languages should be accepted for registration.

10. Electoral rolls in minority language have many defects. Care should be taken to compile these correctly.

11. Ballot papers for elections to local bodies should be published in minority languages.

12. Agenda of panchayats and panchayat unions should be in Telugu language.

13. Officers with knowledge of minority language should be posted in the linguistic minority areas.

14. Sign boards on government offices, temples etc. are in Tamil only. Telugu should also be used for these.

15. Correspondence in minority languages is not being accepted in the taluk and Collector offices.

16. Transport department gives the destinations etc. in Telugu in some buses only. It was also pointed out that the two wheelers and the three wheelers are queried about their knowledge of Tamil. (But this is not fair. There may be Tamil passengers who don’t know other languages. Their interest is also of importance.)

17. Police Department especially and other departments generally are not allowing candidates for various posts to use languages other than Tamil as their medium for recruitment. (This was a persistent demand and it goes against the declared policy of the Government and needs looking into.)

18. In Krishnagiri, it was informed that in 1992, a meetings were held to consider the grievances of the linguistic minorities and certain decisions taken. such meetings should be regularly held. (This is recommended for all the states and all the districts in a state. It will take care of the minor problems.)

19. Pamphlets regarding the welfare schemes should be published in the minority languages.

20. Safeguards for linguistic minorities should be publicly displayed on notice boards in taluk offices. (This may be a sure method to make people aware of the safeguards.)

 

28. Another point which agitated the representatives was the delay in recognition of the institutions as minority institutions. In some cases the earlier institutions run by the same agencies had the status granted to them but the newer institutions were not being granted that status. The Commissioner pointed out that Tamil Nadu is the pioneer in framing the rules following the decision of the Supreme Court and apart from Andhra Pradesh, he is not aware of its being done by other states. In view of this there should not be any problem in disposal of the applications for recognition.

29. In Madurai, the linguistic minority belongs mainly to Sourashtram Community. A reference has been made earlier to them. Their main  grouse is that their language is not being given the recognition it deserves. They do not want it as a medium but only as a subject so that this language is not lost. It was stated that this request was not accepted on the plea that this language has no script of its own. It was strongly urged that this is not the case. Sourashtra has a script which is quite old and quite different from Tamil. A reader was prepared in this script and submitted to the Director Public Instruction as far back as 1961. But there has been no response even after all the repeated requests during all these years. It was stated that not only this language, and the script, are there but are used in the printing of invitations, letter heads and also in private letters. The Samaj is publishing a magazine in Sourashtra language by the name Bhashabhimani. This is in Tamil script though some of the pages are in Sourashtra script. One of the characteristics of the Tamil script is that it has fewer letters than Devanagari,

Telegu or the Sourashtra script. The publishing in Tamil script means introduction of diacritical marks to distinguish the letters not found in Tamil script.

29. A distinction has to be made between the minority languages which are the regional languages of some other state and the languages which are confined to a small area. These minor languages can not draw sustenance from other sources and have to depend upon their own resources and the assistance of the concerned State Governments. These languages may not be in a position to be adopted as a medium even at the primary stage of education immediately but can be developed, in time, for such role. These can be adopted to introduce the children to education, gradual change over to the regional language as medium for the subjects but continued as a subject. This is all that the Sourashtra Samaj demands and the demand is justified. The principle of 'all or nothing' is not applicable to these languages.

31. There are some teachers from the Sourashtra Samaj who are taking up the teaching of Sourashtra language after the school hours to such persons who are desirous of learning it. This is done at the level of spoken word. Transition to written documents is expected.

32. The question is who should take the initiative to propagate the minority language. Commissioner believes that it is the primary responsibility of the protagonists of the language. It is urged that the individuals who have committed themselves to the development of the language should prepare the necessary material with the help of the teachers and then submit it to the authorities. Those who use and teach the language are the best judges as to complexity of formation of sentences and grade the teaching of the language accordingly.

33. The Government have the responsibility to encourage such groups and ensure that their efforts are rewarded. Financial resources can be a stumbling block. Grants have to be given for the development of the languages to appropriate organizations. In Karnataka, academies have been set up for the development of Tulu and Kodagu. The Government of Tamil Nadu can also do so, or in lieu thereof help the local organizations. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan provides funds for the development of study materials and this funds can be used for the purpose.

34. A reference is to be made to the teaching of Arvial Tamil. It is expected to teach the students the technical words in Tamil so that they do not have problem in changeover at a later date. But the problem is that there are no teachers and no examinations. A lot of effort has gone in to prepare and publish the books. Without an examination to judge the achievements, the purpose may not be served. The students, it is found, find it difficult to follow. It would be much better that simple Tamil is taught to these students so that they can pick it up better and can use it in normal life. The scientific and technical terms can be picked up later but not the basic nuances of a language at a later date. This might mean amendment to the two language formula but it will be to the advantage of the people of Tamil Nadu.

35. One interesting comment passed was that these established schools are losing out to the matriculation schools. There are in all five schools here within a small area. The difference is that these established schools believe in teaching while the other schools are interested in coaching only. They prepare the students for examinations and for rote. The teaching means involvement with the students and much more than merely learning answers by nothing more.


36. Overall, though it will appear from the long list of demands that much is amiss in Tamil Nadu, but this will be a wrong interpretation. The saying is that the bickering is between those who care for each other. If they were indifferent to each  other, northing will happen as indeed is the case with some of the states. When nothing is available, what is the point in asking for more. But the way more is asked for is the assurance that they will get what they are asking for. We hope that Tamil Nadu will be able to remove these small irritations and carry on with its tradition of being in the vanguard of the movement for fair play for the linguistic minorities.

 

 

 

 



 

16. Tripura

 

1. The population of Tripura in the census 2001 is 31,91,168. In the census 1991, it was 27,57,205. The position of the various languages is as follows -


 

Language

Persons

Percentage

Bengali

18,99,162

68-88

Kokborok

6,47,847

23-50

Chakma

95,250

3-46

Hindi

45,803

1-66

Mogh

27,966

1-01

Halam

24,123

0-88

Manipuri

19,737

0-72

Bishnupriya Manipuri

18,996

0-69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

2. But the speakers of Bishnupriya Manipuri say that their number has been shown less than what it is.

3. It is said that there are no areas  where the proportion of the linguistic minorities is more than sixty percent. But there are areas where it is more than 15 percent. Kokborok (or Tripuri) is spoken by 28.82 % in South Tripura; 23.22 5 in West Tripura; and 18.15 % in South Tripura.

4. According to the Official Language Act 1964, Kokborok will be used along with Bengali  for all the bills and the amendments to be produced in the Vidhan Sabha;  for all the Acts; for all the rules and regulations. Rules, regulation or the notifications are published in Kokborok, the answer to this question has not been given. This has been referred to in earlier Reports also. Eve if it was not written so in the Official Language Act, even then it would have been correct to do so for information to the general people. here it is not being done despite the directions of the Act to do so.

5. It is said that no representations or applications are received in the minority languages and the question of replying in them does not arise.

6. There is a separate provision for the registration of the linguistic minority institutes. The main difference is that these schools can have lesser number of students than the normal schools. The list is kept with the Director, Education. %87 institutes of Kokborok language have been given recognition. Nothing has been said about other languages.

7. The primary education is from class I to V and upper primary from class VI to VIII. In these, besides Bengali, Kokborok, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Manipuri, Halam and Chakma are used for teaching. Bishnupriya Manipuri and Manipuri are taught from class I to III; Halam from class I to II; and Chakma in class I. Kokborok is taught from class I to XII. For starting the minority language there should be ten students in a class and 40 in the school. But the Commissioner was informed that in the orders for starting the classes in Chakma, there should be at least 30 students for starting education in Chakma. This is not fair. Agreeing with the contention, the Commissioner had forwarded the representation to the State Government. No reply has been received. It is hoped that the orders would have been amended in keeping with the orders for other minority languages.

8. The teaching of Bengali is from class I only. For the primary education the information s given bout Kokborok only in which there are 72 Government schools and 515 run by the local bodies. No information i given for other languages whereas last year this information was given. Even for Kokborok, the information about the students and teachers is not given.

9. In the secondary education whish is limited to class IX and X, Bengali, English and Hindi are the media of instruction. In 2 schools Kokborok is taught where there are 12 teachers, and 258 students . Obviously looking to the fact that the population of Kokborok speakers is almost one fourth, the number of schools is too low. A Commission has been constituted for development of languages. It is hoped that they will enquire into the reasons for this.

10. No registers are maintained in the schools for ascertaining the choice of the students for language.

11. In the Three Language Formula, mother tongue is the first language. English, Bengali, Hindi, Kokborok and Lushai are there as second languages. Bengali and Hindi are there as the third languages. English is taught from the first year itself. The State Government have said that there are enough teachers to teach these languages. Seats have been reserved in DIETs for training of teachers. In Kokborok, 300 teachers were trained last year. There is o information about other languages.

12. The question is how many students choose which language. This information will show how many persons adopt the mother tongue as their first language and then only it can be seen if the number of teachers is sufficient or not. It will be proper to collect this information.

13. It is said that there is no shortage of textbooks and they reach the students in time. The textbooks are published by Board of Secondary Education.

14. The State Government have set up a tribal cell in the State council of Education, research and Training (SCERT) for development of Kokborok. Its budget is part of the normal budget of the Council. The Council also works for other minority languages also. There is no academy for any language. Neither is there any scheme for assistance to any non official organization.

15. The media for recruitment examinations are English and Bengali. The knowledge of Bengali is essential for entry in to service but its standard is different for different level of posts.

16. State Education Department looks after the arrangements for the safeguards. Director, SCERT is the Nodal Officer. There is no committee for review of the safeguards The review is done by the Department itself. Assistance is also sought from the people knowing these languages.

17. No officer has been nominated at the district level for this work. Neither is there a committee. There is no Minority Commission in the State.

18. It is reported that district administration and the Panchayati Raj Institutions are used for giving information to the linguistic minorities. Information is also given through notice boards at important places.

19. The State Government have informed that there are no problems in implementation of the safeguards. Last year, it was informed that the State has constituted a Commission to consider the development of the minority languages in future. A doubt was then expressed in this context that its members are those persons who are known for their opposition to the tribal languages. It was pleaded that representatives of the linguistic minorities should also be kept in the Commission. It is hoped that the Commission will discharge its duty impartially. It is also hoped that the Commission has completed its work and has submitted its report.  Commissioner will also like to be aware of the conclusions as they may be useful for other states also.

19. Overall, it is difficult to say, in the absence of statistics, how much is being done for the linguistic minorities. But some thing is being done is apparent from the previous Reports.

 


 

 

 

 



17. Nagaland

 

1. Nagaland is another State which has not been able to reply to the questionnaire sent in connection with the 42nd Report despite a number of reminders at all the levels. The State has a large number of tribal languages  and is known to be using many of them at the first stage of the education. The work is done at the level of the tribal communities which is the best way to do it. But due to the non receipt of the reply, we will not be able to throw light on the latest position. It is hoped that we can get some information which will help us assess the situation and to share it with others.

2. We will keep on trying for getting the information and it is hoped that next Report about Nagaland will be more meaningful.


 

 


18. West Bengal

 

1. No reply has been received from West Bengal in respect of the questionnaire sent in the context of the Forty Second Report. Last year also the Report had to be prepared on the basis of incomplete information. Afterwards they had sent the complete reply on the basis of which, this Report is being prepared.

2. The population of West Bengal as per 1991 census was 6,80,77,965. The position of the various languages is as follows -


 

Language

Persons

Percentage

Bengali

5,85,41,519

88-98

Hindi

44,79,170

6-81

Urdu

14,55,649

2-21

Nepali

8,60,403

1-31

 


3. The State Government have stated that there are no areas where the minority language is spoken by more than 60 percent of the population. But there are areas where it is spoken by more than 15 percent. These include district of Darjeeling where Nepali is spoken. Jalpaigudi and Kolkata are the districts where Hindi is spoken. In the previous Reports, some towns were also named where Hindi and Urdu speakers are  spoken by more than 15 percent of the total population but these have not been included this time.

4. Bengali and English are the Official Languages of the State. But in Darjeeling district, Nepali has been recognised as the Additional Official Language. As per the Official Language Act, this language can be used for the specified purposes as included in the notification. The officers of Darjeeling district have been directed to publish all the important rules, regulations and notifications etc. in Nepali language also. But information about  how many such orders etc. have been so published is being collected. for translation there are Hindi and Urdu translation offices in the Secretariat. For translation from and to Nepali, Nepali Academy is doing the needful.

5. The State Government have intimated that the representations and applications which are received in minority language are being replied in the same language.

6. There are no specific guidelines for the recognition of the minority institutes in the state. The registration is done on the basis of merit. Earlier it was said that the guidelines of Tamil Nadu are being studied with a view to adopt them. Probably this study has now been given up. The position of the various registered organisations is presently as follows.


 

Language

Primary School

Secondary School

Other Institutions

Hindi

801

&

71

Urdu

219

&

12

Oriya

14

&

&

Telugu

18

&

&

Nepali

775

&

1

 


7. Primary Education is said to be from class I to IV. But it is also said that adopting the all India pattern, while calculating the students, those of class V have also been included. In the instructions Hindi, Urdu, Oriya, Telugu and Nepali are also used in addition to Bengali. In the linguistic minority institutes, the teaching of Bengali is introduced in class VI. The number of minority language schools for the year 2002 – 03 is as follows -


 

Language

Schools

Students

Teachers

Hindi

801

1,97,656

3,855