RANCHI: The state cabinet dropping Hindi and Sanskrit from the list of mandatory languages that candidates appearing for exams conducted by the Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (JSCC) for Grade III and IV government jobs have to clear, has sparked controversy in Jharkhand.
This move by the State Government has witnessed a storm of protests over what the BJP termed, is a “discriminatory policy”. Notably, the Soren Cabinet approved a new appointment policy-making knowledge of regional and tribal languages mandatory for Government jobs in the State through the Jharkhand State Staff Selection Commission.
Also, the candidates seeking jobs in the State should have knowledge of local culture, language, and tradition besides attaining at least 30 percent marks in a regional and tribal language which will be added to the scores while preparing the merit list. The regional and tribal languages which any candidate could opt for state-level examination are - Mundari, Kharia, Ho, Santhali, Khortha, Panchpargania, Bangla, Urdu, Kurmali, Nagpuri, Kurukh and Odia. Urdu has been retained as one of the languages in the 12 language papers while Hindi and Sanskrit which were there earlier have been dropped.
BJP National Vice President and former Chief Minister Raghubar Das, raising strong opposition against the decision, calling it 'unconstitutional and against the interest of the people of Jharkhand'. Das further added that the new recruitment policy of the Hemant Soren government is not only unconstitutional but also against the interest of Adivsai-Moolwasi living in the State, who will be actually deprived of employment by this policy.
“Hindi has been left out of the basic languages despite the fact that Hindi is the medium of instruction and teaching in the Schools run by the State Government. Hemant Soren Government is trying to drop Hindi from compulsory paper with ulterior motives so that local students from the State face problems in clearing state competitive examinations,” said Das.
According to Das, the state government had made new service rules complicated so that it faces legal hurdles. Das also said that the new service rules aim at disturbing the social harmony of the state.
State BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo also claimed that the new policy cleared by the state cabinet is discriminatory against Hindi and Sanskrit and is a bid to appease Muslims as Urdu has been retained as one of the languages in the 12 language papers while Hindi and Sanskrit which were there earlier have been dropped.
Ruling JMM, however, claimed that everyone whose umbilical cord is attached to the soil of Jharkhand would benefit from this policy, which is historic. It also asserted that the new recruitment policy actually favors locals, including Adivasi - Moolvasis, Dalits, and Minorities.
“Until now, there were too many shortcomings in the employment policy due to which, it was challenged in the Court at various occasions,” said JMM Spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya.
In spite of appeasing anyone, the new policy aims at assimilation, he added.
Interestingly, domicile criteria for recruitment to government jobs in Jharkhand have always generated controversy ever since the state was carved out of Bihar in the year 2000. The previous BJP government had laid down 1985 as the base year to determine domicile status to which the JMM and the Congress opposed strongly promising that they would change the base year. But the JMM-led alliance government, however, did not notify any new base year after coming to power.
Incidentally, BJP government earlier had formulated a policy to reserve all Grade III and IV jobs in eleven tribal districts of the state only for locals hailing from those respective districts which was hailed by the Adivasi – Moolwasies, but Jharkhand High Court struck it down calling it discriminatory.