Trouble brews over lack of Urdu-medium books

Maharashtra Education Board has said that it is not possible for the board to bring out books for optional subjects in Urdu language. The board said in a letter to the Student Islamic Organisation (SIO), the students' wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, which had demanded for Urdu-medium books for optional subjects in class 11 and 12.

"For science stream, the board brings out text books only in English. For Commerce and Arts, books are available in both Marathi and English. But it is not possible to publish books of optional subjects in Urdu. But if any private publisher wants to publish books in Urdu medium, we will give the permission to them," Sarjerav Jadhav, president Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, said in the letter.

SIO, however, is not happy with the board's decision. "This is unfair. Over 45,000 class 11 and 12 students in 168 colleges across Maharashtra are affected due to lack of text books in Urdu medium. All the students who study in Urdu medium till class 10 suffer a lot when they come to class 11. Their marks get reduced drastically because it is hard for them to translate and study," said Mohammad Ali, Secretary, SIO.

"The argument of not having terminologies in Urdu holds no water. If books can be translated in Marathi, why can it not be ranslated into Urdu, too?" Ali asked.

SIO is planning to take the matter further. "We will meet the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Education Minister Rajendra Darda next week. In case our issues are not resolved, we will go on a statewide agitation," Ali said.

Earlier, Jadhav had said that it is due to lack of resources that the books are not being translated into Urdu. "We do not have enough Urdu experts to translate these textbooks. We have sent a proposal to the government asking for permission to be given to private publishers who wish to publish books in Urdu. We are waiting for their reply," he said during a press conference on Monday.

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