The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) which is managed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, have told Urdu writers to declare that they will not be writing anything against the government or the country.
Writers, whose books are approved for bulk purchase by NCPUL, have been asked to fill up a form which declares their content will not cause any disharmony, as reported by the Indian Express.
“I son/daughter of confirm that my book/magazine titled which has been approved for bulk purchase by NCPUL’s monetary assistance scheme does not contain anything against the policies of the government of India or the interest of the nation, does not cause disharmony of any sort between different classes of the country, and is not monetarily supported by any government or non-government institution.”
The form seeks signatures of two witnesses from the authors. It also warns authors of legal repercussions and financial assistance being cut off.
NCPUL director Irteza Karim said, “The council has to face many problems; sometimes books written by one author are submitted under another’s name and we get embroiled in legal issues. Since we do not have the manpower to scrutinise every single line of each book, this form helps us place the onus on the authors.
He added the move was prompted when a book was released the previous year which featured incorrect information on Abul Kalam Azad.
Urdu writers have been appalled at the move, Shahnaz Nabi, head of the Urdu department at the University of Calcutta told The Wire, “Does this mean people writing in Urdu are the ones who will write anti-national things?”