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Learn local dialect to get hired for state jobs, says Telangana government

The government says the rule is both a necessity and a tool to promote local culture, which has been long neglected under the shadow of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2016 00:03 IST
Telangana government,TSPSC,Telangana state public service commission
Ghanta Chakrapani, the Telangana state public service commission chairman, said that the new rule is to ensure that new recruits do justice to their jobs. (Telangana state public service commission website)

Do you know what Khushki and Tari are? Or Mathadi or Alugu? If you don’t, you aren’t eligible to be employed by the Telangana government, which says understanding the local dialect is compulsory for state recruitment tests.

For record’s sake, Khushki means dry land and Tari is wet land. And “mathadi” is the flow of water overflowing from a tank and “alugu” means the sluice of a tank to let out excess water.

The government says the rule is both a necessity and a tool to promote local culture, which has been long neglected under the shadow of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.

“How can a person who wants to get recruited in the revenue department or the agriculture department do justice to his a job if he does not understand what is Khushki or Tari? That is precisely why we have introduced questions about Telangana dialect in the syllabus for recruitment tests, whether is for Group-I category or Group-II,” Telangana state public service commission (TSPSC) chairman Ghanta Chakrapani told HT.

He said at least 10% of questions in the general awareness section of recruitment tests pertained to Telangana culture and dialect. “The candidates may belong to any part of the country, but they have to invariably study the Telangana dialect, which is essential to be a part of the Telangana administration,” Chakrapani said.

The language spoken in Telangana is Telugu – the same as its neighbouring Andhra Pradesh – but in a distinct dialect mixed with Urdu and Marathi words. This is now being projected as the new state’s own language.

In order to make things easy for people from other parts of the country, including those from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University is now coming out with a dictionary of Telangana dialect and an encyclopaedia of words typical to the region.

“There are thousands of words typical to Telangana dialect and culture, which do not find a place in any Telugu dictionary. The proposed dictionary is aimed at highlighting these words, their usage and their importance in the local parlance,” university vice-chancellor S V Satyanarayana said.

This isn’t the first attempt to focus on Telangana’s unique dialect and culture. “There is a Telangana Pada Kosam (compilation of Telangana words) by writer Nalimela Bhaskar. Since the region was under the influence of Asaf Jahi dynasty and also neighbouring Maratha and Kannadiga rulers, one can find a number of words with Urdu, Marathi and Kannada touch in Telangana,” said popular Telangana poet Juluri Gowrishankar.

The state was carved out of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh in 2014 after a six-decades-long bitter struggle and complaints of neglect. Soon after, the Telangana government embarked on changing the entire curriculum in schools and colleges by introducing chapters on the Telangana movement. At least a dozen pages have been dedicated to the role of Telangana Rashtra Samithi in general and its president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, in particular, in achieving the statehood.

Similarly, the syllabus for the recruitment tests conducted by TSPSC also has been redesigned to include the chapters on Telangana movement, which took place in three phases between 1956 and 2014. “It is a crucial component of recruitment. If a person has to get a job, he or she has to have thorough knowledge of the Telangana movement. It doesn’t matter whether he is from Andhra and does not like the bifurcation,” Chakrapani said.

The Telangana government also planned to introduce Telangana dialect in text books and train the teachers accordingly, but it has not materialised so far.

But not everyone is convinced and many say Telangana doesn’t have a separate language but a dialect, which is the case in many other parts of Andhra Pradesh also.

“This is absurd. There is no such thing as Telangana language or Andhra language. For that matter, there is no distinct Telangana dialect also, as the dialect of common people in Nalgonda is different from that of Adilabad district. Which dialect the public service commission will follow in the recruitment tests?,” asked Kandula Ramesh, editor of Andhra Pradesh, the official magazine of the neighbouring state government.

“If it asks questions in Nalgonda dialect, it won’t be understood by candidates from Adilabad. What is required is standardisation of language.”

First Published: Oct 07, 2016 21:59 IST