North India

Yogi govt.’s axe falls on officer Tabassum Khan for promoting Urdu

Since 1989, Urdu has been the second language of Uttar Pradesh.

Tabassum Khan, joint director in the health department has been suspended by the Yogi Adityanath government a week after she ordered that Urdu be used along with Hindi on the signboards of community and primary health centres and on nameplates of government doctors.

Without elaborating further, Raja Ganpati R, director (administration) of the health department told that Tabassum had been suspended for “dereliction of duty”.

Since 1989, Urdu has been the second language of Uttar Pradesh. Periodical reminders would be issued by the government encouraging its use. However, such reminders stopped after Yogi Adityanath became chief minister in 2017, Telegraph India reported citing sources.

According to a senior health department official, who preferred to remain anonymous, Khan’s suspension letter states “she has been punished for dereliction of duty as she didn’t inform senior officers of her department before issuing the notice”.

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He further informed that Tabassum had sent the order to the chief medical officers and heads of community and primary health centres on September 1, 2022, after Mohammad Harun, a resident of Unnao district, submitted an application. Harun had cited the Uttar Pradesh government order of October 1989 which gave Urdu the status of second state language after Hindi.

However, Tabassum Khan’s order was never implemented and was withdrawn within a week.

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