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Cleric Appointed as the Head of Urdu Academy | Ex-IPS Expresses “Astonishment”

Matu 16

The state government decided to appoint a Muslim Cleric as the Chairman of the Karnataka Urdu Academy. This decision has ruffed many people and the Urdu proponents question this decision and its basis.

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Khaleel Mamoon - Wikipedia

IPS Officer Khaleel Mamoon Source: Wikipedia

Retired IPS officer Khaleel Mamoon, a former chairman of the academy, has sent a letter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, expressing “astonishment” at the appointment of Maulana Mohammad Ali Qazi as the academy’s new head. Mamoon, a former Inspector General of Police, argued that the decision runs against the rich legacy of Urdu literature, which is “inherently secular”. 


He dispelled social media posts that the decision would help the Congress government get Muslim votes in the Lok Sabha elections. A well-placed source described the appointment as “Islamisation” of language and culture. “The new chairman has no connection with Urdu literature,” the source pointed out. According to the source, the appointment was finalized by Muslim legislators at the behest of Sayed Tanveer Hashmi, a Sufi leader from Vijayapura. 


Urdu playwright and the dialogue writer for Malgudi Days Zafer Mohiuddin said: “Urdu is a syncretic language. Many of its great poets have been Hindus and Sikhs, such as Munshi Premchand, Raghupati Sahay Firaq Gorakhpuri, and Sampooran Singh Kalra Gulzar. In Karnataka, we had such worthies as Muddanna Manzar, Siddaiah Puranik, Dharam Singh, and Raj Premi. It’s a pity that the academy doesn’t have a non-Muslim member.” 


He also called for reverting the academy to the Kannada and Culture Department. The erstwhile BJP government had shifted the academy to the Minorities Welfare Department. 

The Qazi declined to comment on Mamoon’s letter but argued that his reputation as a religious scholar didn’t mean he had no connection with the Urdu language. “Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Maulana Shibli Nomani, and other Ulema have been Urdu poets and writers,” he said. 

TALK "Exploring the Popular Culture of Urdu Language" 3-day Conference at  School of International Studies-New Building, Jawaharlal Nehru University  (JNU), New Mehrauli Road > 9:30am-5:30pm on 8th, 9th & 10th September 2017 -


A well-placed source described the appointment as ‘Islamisation’ of language and culture. ‘The new chairman has no connection with Urdu literature,’ the source pointed out. 


The academy undertakes various programs for Urdu promotion, including conducting Mushaira (poetic sessions), giving scholarships, and awarding poets and writers.  It has been allocated Rs 1.5 crore in the state budget for 2024-25. 

Read Also:

World Urdu Day: Commemorating Allama Muhammad Iqbal And Urdu Language

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