Ladakh, Jan 14: Expressing concern, the representatives of different religious organisations of Ladakh have written to Home Minister of India demanding withdrawal of SO-3 for the larger interest of the people of the region saying that It can create a vacuum and confusion with tremendous miseries to general public
Notably, in a notification issued on 7 January, Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur amended the Ladakh Revenue Service Recruitment Rules, 2021, through which the qualification of knowing Urdu for getting the job of Naib Tehsildar and Patwari in the Revenue Department was abolished.
Showing concern related to same, a number of prominent faces from the region have written to Home Minister of India Amit Shah, which reads that “with due respect we the representatives and stake holders of the Union Territory of Ladakh wants to draw your kind attention towards the Notification issued by the Revenue Department of the Union Territory of Ladakh vide. SO-3 on 07 January, 2022 in which the UT administration has shown an un-reasonable approach towards the Urdu language. “This was a biased and undemocratic step towards the majority population of our region”, the letter reads.
The representative have put forth four point demands. “Historically, Urdu was introduced in Ladakh as one of the official languages by the then Dogra Maharaja Partap Singh in 1889. Under the Dogra regime, the First Settlement Operation was conducted in the Ladakh, Baltistan and Gilgit Wazarat, in the early years of 20th century (Ref. Ladakh Archives). All these records and their entries, maps are entered in Urdu language.” the letter reads. “Urdu was made medium of teaching in schools by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1940. The records continue to be maintained till now by Urdu knowing officials in the revenue department. Presently Revenue Records of more than hundred thirty-year-old are in Urdu in their offices.”
It reads that Urdu is the medium among the ethnicities and is one of the important international languages largely spoken in the Sub Continent, was known to Ladakhis by the 19th century. “Historians have stated that it was Urdu which was Lingua-Franca among locals and outside traders,” reads the letter.
It further reads that an abrupt shift or posting people / officials not familiar with Urdu as the entire records being in Urdu may create a vacuum, Chaos and confusion with tremendous miseries to general public as well as functioning of the Revenue Department in UT of Ladakh. It also reads that besides such a paradigm shift in age old system may need to apply serious thought and pre- planning as well as a period of preparation.
The letter furthermore reads that “since Ladakh is the Muslim majority UT and there are approximately 75% Urdu speaking population while as there are 100% Urdu speaking population in Pakistan Occupied Ladakh (Gilgit Baltistan)”. “So, this would be a disastrous step to ignore Urdu in the Union Territory.” the letter by representatives’ reads.
“Therefore, We appeal to your good self to kindly intervene and direct the UT Ladakh Administration of Ladakh to revoke this controversial and unjust SO-3 at the earliest,” the letter reads.
The letter has been signed by the representatives of prominent religious organisations including Jamait Ul Isna Asharia Kargil, Imam Khoemini Memorial Trust, Anjuman Sahib Zaman, Anjuman Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Anjuman Sofia Noorbakshia, Anjuman Imamia, Anjuman Moinul Islam and Anjuman Sofia Noorbakshia. kno