Sanskrit to replace Urdu at Uttarakhand stations | India News
According to railway officials, the decision has been taken as per provisions of the Railway Manual, which says that names of the railway stations should be written in Hindi, English and in the second language of the state. In 2010, the Uttarakhand government had become the first in the country to give Sanskrit the status of second official language of the Himalayan state. The then chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had said that he intended to promote Sanskrit in the state. Himachal Pradesh followed suit in 2019.
The order to this effect was issued by Moradabad railway division after a local neta pointed this out, said officials. Deepak Kumar, chief public relations officer, Northern Railway, told TOI, “As per the railway manuals, the names of railway stations are to be written on signboards in the state’s second language other than Hindi and English.”
Asked why it took the railways a decade to decide on this, Kumar said, “Earlier, Urdu was used on signboards since Uttarakhand was part of UP where Urdu is the second language. We are now making the change after someone pointed this out.”
Rekha Sharma, senior divisional commercial manager (DCM), said, “It was pointed out to us recently that Sanskrit is the second language of Uttarakhand. Hence, names of railway stations should be in Sanskrit too. However, it is a daunting task for us to know how the names of cities will be written in Sanskrit.”
SK Agarwal from the commerce and tax department at Dehradun railways said, “We have written to all the district magistrates of Uttarakhand where railway stations exist to give us the right spellings of their railway stations in Hindi, English and Sanskrit. We are awaiting their replies.”
A local Sanskrit teacher, however, pointed out the names of railway stations in Hindi and Sanskrit will mostly be the same but for an ‘m’-sound in the end since both languages use a common Devanagari script. “So, Dehradun will become Dehradunam, Haridwar Haridwaram and Roorkee Roorkeeh,” he added.
The names of railway stations which will be changed from Urdu to Sanskrit are Dehradun, Haridwar, Roorkee, Laksar, Raiwala, Doiwala, Rishikesh, to name a few.