Alleged spelling mistakes in the Urdu lettering on the new Rs 2,000 banknotes has miffed a section of scholars across the nation. Language experts say the new pink-coloured notes have at least three spelling mistakes.
The first Urdu alphabet ‘dal’ has been written in a way that it reads ‘laam,’ thus changing the entire word and the meaning of the word ‘do’ (two) to ‘lo’. The second word ‘hazaar’ (thousand) has a dot underneath the ‘ha’, so it is read as ‘bay’, making the word ‘bazaar’ instead of ‘hazaar.’ The words together reads ‘lo bazaar’ instead of the intended ‘do hazaar.’
Some have pointed out that the dot under the Urdu word ‘pay’ in ‘rupay’ is also unclear.
“The note has errors and it is a grave one considering that it is a trusted national document. How can they mix up the two things? We have 14 national languages and also departments who have expertise in them. They could have easily consulted some expert,” said professor Zameeruddin, a Madhya Pradesh-based academician.
Senior journalist Pervez Bari said: “The entire sentence ‘do hazaar rupay’ has three errors. It is clearly a printing error. The ‘nukhtey’ (dot) under the Urdu word ‘pay’ are also not clear. What is disturbing is that the errors are sending mixed signals to a huge population who speak and read Urdu. It looks like the government does not care about the language.”
Delhi’s Deeba Jameel, a housewife, said the mistakes should be immediately rectified. “Already the language is on the decline and not much is being done by the government (to popularize it). We now have notes which have wrong Urdu letterings.”
A senior government officer, without wishing to be named, told HT that the fonts were quite small hence there was a possibility of error. “But when one compares it with the previous Rs 1,000 banknotes, it can be seen that the font it the now demonetised notes was very clear and had no errors,” he said.
‘Note has no errors as font is Arabic’
A section of Urdu scholars, however, have maintained that the font used to write ‘do hazaar rupay’ in Urdu had triggered confusion, but there were no real errors on the new Rs 2,000 banknotes.
“The note has no errors as the font is Arabic. There are multiple fonts (that can be used) to write certain things. The font which is used here is not the ‘Nastaleeq’ font which is commonly used. It is a computer Arabic font. It is for this reason that people are getting confused,” said Urdu research scholar Aziz Irfan.