Aligarh: The Uttar Pradesh unit of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad has described the Aligarh Muslim University`s move for making Urdu compulsory at the undergraduate level as a "retrograde step" and decided to challenge it in court.
The state president of ABVP, Manvendra Singh told reporters yesterday that the outfit had sent a memorandum to the President, who is also the Visitor of the University, urging him to ensure AMU abandons the move.
He said this move would be a deterrent for those whose mother tongue was not Urdu from joining the University.
AMU Registrar Group Captain (Retd) Shahrukh Shamshad today said it is really unfortunate that the entire issue has been "misconstrued" and "blown out of proportion".
"Elementary Urdu and elementary Hindi are compulsory in AMU at the graduate level for the past half a century or so. The only new measure, which is being introduced from the current academic year, is that marks secured by a student while clearing the compulsory Urdu paper will now be added for the final evaluation," he said.
Shamshad said it was certainly not true that Urdu was suddenly being foisted on non-Urdu speaking students at AMU.
"This corrective measure is being introduced by offering an option of extra-elementary Urdu especially for those with a non-Urdu background," he said.
The Registrar said the other measure being introduced this year for Urdu course at the graduate level was that the 75 per cent mandatory attendance, which is being introduced for all other courses, would also be implemented in this course as well.
"This is to ensure that students treat this course with a certain amount of gravity, which was not being done in the past," he said.
Shamshad said that Urdu is a language "which is born and raised in UP" and all that AMU has done this year is to ensure that those who graduate from the AMU get a very basic knowledge of the language which represents India`s composite past.
"The allegation that we are trying to block the entry of non-Urdu speaking people is patently false and appears to be motivated," he said.