The railway stations in Uttarakhand has come to a decision to replace Urdu language on signboards with Sanskrit on state railway platforms. Therefore the signboards which have the stations name in Hindi, English and Urdu would now be written in Hindi, English and Sanskrit.
The Railway Manual says that the names of the railway stations should be written in Hindi, English and the second language of the state. According to the railway officials the decision was taken to follow this provision in the manual as in 2010, the state government of Uttarakhand gave Sanskrit the status of second official language.
The former chief minister of the state Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that he intends to promote Sanskrit in the state. Himachal Pradesh followed suit in 2019.
Moradabad railway division issued this order for the change after a local neta pointed it out. According to the chief public relations officer of the Northern Railway Deepak Kumar, the railway signboards should include the state’s second language along with Hindi and English and they are making the change now as someone has pointed this out.
It took around a decade to come to this decision after the language change in 2010. According to Kumar as Uttarakhand was part of Uttar Pradesh, hence the signboards retained the Urdu language as Urdu was the second language of Uttar Pradesh. But now as the division happened and Sanskrit was made to be the second official language of the state, the change is needed.
The state’s promotion of Sanskrit just does not end here. Last year it was made compulsory for schools in Uttarakhand to teach Sanskrit as a mandatory subject for students from 3rd standard to 8th standard in both private and government schools. In this hill state, where Sanskrit is already compulsory for children from classes 3 to 12 in government schools, there has been an allocation of Rs. 242 crores as grants to Sanskrit Pathshalas to promote the Sanskrit Language. Along with that, there were an additional 30 crores allotted to provide grants to aided Sanskrit schools and degree colleges.