By Syed Rafi
Hyderabad: On the inaugural occasion of yearlong centenary celebration of Osmania University, the demand for restoration of its old emblem is picking up. Telangana activists comprising Muslim intellectual hereby submit the open representation regarding restoration of Osmania University emblem which contained the legend “knowledge is power” in Urdu. "We reiterate that Urdu is an Indian language and inextricably intertwined with Telangana identity. We would like to remind that Osmania University was the first University to have introduced Urdu as medium of instruction, a policy initiative, which was appreciated by Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindra Nath Tagore as well", the representation said.
Osmania University is one of the icons of Telangana. It represents the composite culture of the region, Telangana, 29th state of Indian Union. In this context it is imperative to insert the legend in Urdu to reflect the cultural plurality and harmony for which the region has always been known and stood for and recognized as such. Restoring the legend in Urdu will therefore be an act of undoing the wrongs of the past and will be seen by the people of Telangana as correcting the mistake committed by overzealous chauvinists.
Contrary to popular perception Urdu is not a language of people belonging to a religion. For that matter languages have no religion! Therefore, whoever has caused disappearance of the legend "knowledge is power" written in Urdu from the logo did so with the zeal of a chauvinist little realizing that language and religion are distinct and different. What a pity that such fundamentals are forgotten by the people in high places.
The removal and replacement is an act of misplaced show of love for one's language with hatred towards the other. It reflects the lack of understanding of history of a country like India which boasts of an ancient civilization where many cultures were nurtured and a synthesis of what is called a unique Indian culture took its birth. The Hindusthani culture is quintessential to Indian identity. It characterizes the way Indians think and act. It is expressed in many myriad forms. The logo where the legend stood in Urdu is one such expression.
The removal and replacement of the legend is therefore an act that negates the very culture and identity for which the Indian civilization and culture is known for. Indian culture emphasizes assimilation but not exclusion; it accommodates but does not eliminate or eject.
The restoration of the legend in Urdu, therefore, must be seen as correcting the mistake committed by misguided zealots whose ignorance of History of can only be condoned by its insertion in the logo.
Therefore, I as an Telangana activist urges the government of Telangana and Osmania University authorities to take steps to restore the legend in Urdu immediately only to live up to its image.