May 27, 2011
Linguistic Minorities to get due credit
Calcutta, May 27: Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee granted second language status to a host of tongues, including Urdu and Hindi, in areas where more than 10 per cent of the population speaks any of them, fulfilling a promise she had made before the elections.
“We have decided that Urdu, Hindi, Nepali, Oriya, Santhali and Gurmukhi will be the second language in areas where the population speaking any of these languages is above 10 per cent. These people can carry out their official work in their own language,” the Chief Minister told at Writers`. These will be considered second languages in offices and educational institutes. Mamata, however, did not specify how the geographical limits would be worked out.
“Till now, only religious minorities were recognised but linguistic minorities were not given any recognition. Many Hindi-speaking people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh live in Bengal. In some areas, their population is nearly 30 per cent,” she added. “In areas where the minority concentration is high, social welfare, education, health and employment will be given priority. This is our homage to Kazi Nazrul Islam on his birth anniversary,” the Chief Minister said.
She also announced that in the next five years, boundary walls would be built at all Muslim burial grounds in the state. The government has decided to change the name of the proposed Aliya University to Aliya Madarsa University. “This was a long-standing demand Ms Banerjee said.
“We have decided to set up an academy on Nazrul,” the Chief Minister said. The Academy to be set up in honour of the poet on his birth anniversary will be devoted for research on his music, writings and everything else that will help the new generation understand him better. An award after the poet will also be announced shortly.