With intentions of competing with private players in promoting the language of Urdu, the government is planning to rope in top tier Bollywood stars such as Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. According to the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s autonomous body National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), superstars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif could be brought on board to endorse the language.
NCPUL has been facing competition from private players that organise events for promotion of Urdu and draw massive crowds of young people.
Aquil Ahmed, director of NCPUL said that they are going to approach Bollywood actors, prominent names like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan and make them say a few lines in Urdu, and then then use these videos in their events.
Reportedly, the government body received a budget of Rs 332.76 crore from the Modi government for 2014-19, almost double of what it received during the previous UPA-II government, where it received Rs 176.48 crore.
NCPUL publishes books in Urdu, organises conferences at national and international level and runs diploma courses in Arabic and Urdu to promote the language.
However all the responses to this move of the government, were not very positive. One Twitter users wrote, “ha ha ha humor of the day : salman khan & Katrina kaif !!!!”, while another wrote, “Before asking katrina to promote urdu please make sure she can speak hindi properly”. A few others alleged that Salman and Katrina cannot write/speak Urdu properly, and therefore questioned the move.
It remains to be seen whether with this move Government succeeds in making Urdu a popular language across religions once again.