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Learn Urdu, or out you go! Andhra official warns staff

The Nalgonda district registrar has decided to teach his probationary staff a lesson. And they better learn it, if they want to keep their jobs!

The lesson is actually more than a lesson -- it is a whole language: Urdu.

Learn it within two years, that's the registrar's ultimatum.

A recent memo, issued to all junior assistants, section writers and shroffs, makes it mandatory for them to "produce evidence to the effect they have acquired basic knowledge of reading and writing Urdu, besides Telugu, as it has been declared the second official language in the district".

And if the staffers don't? Or, simply, just can't? Well, tough luck, they will have to quit!

"There are a large number of Urdu records to be handled in the course of their duties," the memo continues. "Lack of knowledge in Urdu is resulting in administrative as well as public inconvenience."

The employees concerned, naturally, are downright unhappy. "This cannot be a ground for terminating service," they argue. "The government service rules do not mention anything of this sort."

"There are several IAS officers who do not even know Telugu, leave alone Urdu. Will similar action be taken against them?" they ask.

Neither the registrar nor any senior administrator cared to comment on that.

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