Activist pens open letter to KCR, urges support for Urdu language

Hyderabad: In a heartfelt open letter addressed to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, prominent Urdu activist Syed Miskeen Ahmed expressed deep concern over the dwindling support for Urdu in the state. Miskeen, who has known KCR since the early days of his political career, reminisced about the Chief Minister’s initial involvement in Urdu programs and his close bond with the Urdu-speaking community in Siddipet and beyond. However, Miskeen highlighted the disappointment felt by the Urdu community as the promises made by KCR regarding the development and promotion of Urdu have not been fulfilled during his tenure as Chief Minister. Miskeen urged KCR to address these concerns and take immediate action to safeguard the rich legacy of Urdu in Telangana.

The open letter Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao reads as follows:

Dear Chandrasekhar Rao Sahib,

MS Education Academy

I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits. I write to you as someone who has known you since the early days of your political career. Your dedication, secular mindset, and political acumen have been evident since your initiation into politics in 1987 when you were designated as district vice-president of the Youth Congress, you were warmly welcomed by the Urdu community in Siddipet and other places, with public meetings and celebrations held in your honor.

Before your political journey began in Siddipet, a movement to protect the survival of Urdu was already underway, led by me and my friends. I recall the year 1980 when you embraced Urdu and actively participated in Urdu programs as a lover of the language. Your presence in Siddipet’s Urdu mushairas, where you would stay late into the night engrossed in the words of Urdu poets, left a lasting impression. You delivered speeches in Urdu, fostering a strong bond with the Urdu-speaking population. It was during this time that the Urdu community, myself included, recognized you as a distinct politician who appreciates Urdu.

You often commence your political speeches with an Urdu poem, exemplifying the importance of standing alongside your people.


As a leader, it is your responsibility to walk with the people, not only of a specific sect, community, or language but of various schools of thought, religions, and ethnicities within the province. When you initiated the Telangana movement, aiming for the development of the region, the Urdu community stood by your side. Inspired by your political movement, Urdu poets and scholars composed revolutionary, love-filled, and unity-centric poems, songs in support of Telangana. You not only admired these poems but also presented them at various rallies.

However, after the people bestowed power upon you and as you commenced your tenure as Chief Minister, the promises you made prior to assuming office seem to have faded away. The Urdu-speaking community in Telangana, based on your previous friendship with Urdu, had hoped for a new chapter in the development of Urdu under your government. Many Urdu enthusiasts aligned themselves with you, believing that you would prioritize the language’s progress in your political endeavors. It is important to note that the Telangana region has been a stronghold of Urdu, unlike Andhra. Mushairas and Urdu gatherings held here are renowned within the country and even abroad.

Allow me to remind you that previous Chief Ministers, such as Dr. M. Chenna Reddy and NT Rama Rao, despite not being fluent in Urdu, participated in mushairas and demonstrated their support for the language. Chandrababu Naidu also enthusiastically engaged in Urdu lectures. Additionally, the Chief Minister himself has participated in Urdu events on various occasions. Hyderabad and its suburbs are known nationwide and globally for their nurturing of Urdu language, culture, and civilization. All India Mushairas, literary seminars, symposiums, and research work conducted here have earned this city its fame. However, with deep regret, I must convey that during your nearly ten-year tenure as Chief Minister, you have not participated in any Urdu mushaira or meeting. This growing skepticism towards your commitment to Urdu has begun to unsettle the hearts of the Urdu-speaking community. Questions are arising as to whether K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who was once considered a friend of Urdu, now regards Urdu and its speakers as the critics of the language do.

It is unnecessary to mention that while you did issue a decree granting Urdu the status of the second official language in the state of Telangana, you overlooked the necessary measures that should have been taken for its development. Consequently, avenues for promoting Urdu in the state have been hindered. Government buildings, Urdu school buildings, and government RTC buses could have showcased your friendship with Urdu by displaying Urdu signage. Unfortunately, these opportunities were missed, either due to the irony of circumstances or discriminatory practices. If you give your approval, signboards can be installed in Urdu on RTC buses throughout Telangana. These are small and reasonable demands that will not impose any significant burden on government expenditure. Taking such a step would bring happiness to Urdu enthusiasts, promote its growth, and enhance your reputation.

As someone dedicated to serving Urdu, my identity is deeply intertwined with the language. You are well aware of my contributions to Urdu, which have earned recognition not only within Telangana but also among Urdu enthusiasts in India and abroad. There is no corner of the Telangana state unfamiliar with my Urdu movement and services. Whenever I organize an Urdu event, a large number of Urdu lovers participate with love and admiration. My Urdu services hold such influence in the state that Urdu enthusiasts trust my words, which resonate deeply within their hearts and minds.

Allow me to engage in a serious conversation here. There are other political parties and leaders involved in discussions about politics. Matters such as the demand for 12 percent reservation, encounters, or the demolition of mosques will be dealt with by political parties and those with political interests. However, I want to focus solely on the survival of Urdu. Some sectarian parties associate Urdu solely with a specific class, but you have repeatedly acknowledged that Urdu is a language that represents the common culture of India. Urdu is also recognized as one of the ten most spoken languages in the world. I need not reiterate these facts. What I urge is for you to address the Urdu-speaking community, dispel their doubts and concerns, and issue directives to officers to incorporate Urdu prominently on RTC buses and in government offices across the state.

Furthermore, I must bring to your attention the appointment of an individual who lacks proficiency in Urdu as the Chairman of the Urdu Academy. This unfortunate decision has left the Urdu community disheartened. It is the first time in the history of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh that someone incapable of writing his own name in Urdu has been appointed to such a position. It is now difficult to hope for Urdu’s development under the leadership of an individual who lacks a deep understanding of the language. I trust that you are aware of the motivations behind such an appointment, whether driven by political compulsion or other considerations. However, the Urdu community feels deeply disappointed with the performance of your representative in the Urdu Academy. If no serious steps are taken in this regard, it will become my duty to raise awareness among Urdu lovers about the anti-Urdu activities taking place within the state government. Leading this movement is my foremost responsibility. Needless to say, the resentment of Urdu lovers will have a significant impact on the upcoming assembly elections.


Syed Miskeen Ahmed

The open letter serves as a powerful reminder of the urgent attention needed to preserve the rich legacy of Urdu in Telangana and rekindle the strong bond between Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and the language that once brought them together.

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