And now Sanskrit on station signs

There are a number of unusual languages which you could see on station signs in India, ranging from Dogri to Maithili to “Manipuri” to Ol-Chiki, which you can read about here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/11/26/unusual-languages-on-signboards-in-india/

But there were no signs in Sanskrit until now.

A little background first. Uttar Pradesh has had Hindi as well as Urdu as official languages for a long time. They had the status of co-official languages since 1989.

Sanskrit has been declared an official language in Uttarakhand as well as Himachal Pradesh. The latter state does not seem to have done much about introducing Sanskrit in signs, but Uttarakhand has.

Official languages in different states can be seen here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_with_official_status_in_India#List_of_scheduled_languages_of_India

And this news item from Uttarakhand:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sanskrit-to-replace-urdu-at-uttarakhand-stations/articleshow/73365137.cms

The replacement of Urdu by Sanskrit in station signs has started. We first look at the state capital:

And another important town:

Rishikesh goes a step further. First the original sign:

Rishikesh-old

A new station will be opened shortly as part of the proposed new line to Karnaprayag. The original name was planned to be New Rishikesh:

New Rishikesh_crop

But it is now going to be:

Rishikesh (YN)_crop0

Not sure if Yogi Adityanath has anything to do with it, although he was originally from Pauri Garhwal district in Uttaranchal. Anyway, this is what the new station looks like.

And this new design of a station sign seems to use more material and space.

Another interesting point is that the Sanskrit inscription is on top unlike in the signs of Dehradun and Haridwar.

It is the normal practice to have the main local language on top followed by English and Hindi, as you can see here:

Does it mean that Sanskrit has more importance than Hindi in Uttarakhand? However, one can see that there is a lot of inconsistency in such matters.

There are numerous examples of places in India which carry languages of other states:

5 languages in this one in Karnataka:

Raichur station-5 languages

Also in Telangana:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Numerous examples of signs with 4 languages, which include those of neighbouring states:

kollengode-4

In Kerala-Tamil in the second row.

Pollachi

In Tamil Nadu-Malayalam on the right side.

Jamalpur station

In Bihar -Urdu still has official status, with Bengali also there:

Sini

Jharkhand -includes Odiya and Bengali

dav

Also in Jharkhand, with Urdu and Bengali

Also in Jharkhand: Bengali was in the old sign but not in the new sign.

Do you see any consistency 🙂

Finally, Himachal Pradesh also has Sanskrit as its official language. But they are not interested in changing the signs. And they have not deleted any language which was already there:

The “official” version can be seen in this news report. But the Sanskrit signs have appeared anyway before the writer noticed them:

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-how-indian-railways-names-stations-and-decides-on-languages-to-use-6505315/

Unusual languages on signboards in India

Dogri in Jammu:

Jammu Tawi (Dogri script)

Maithili in Darbhanga:

Darbhanga station Maithili

Also at Madhubani, although it does not seem to be on the platform signs:

Madhubani (Maithili)

These are in Manipur. While the residents of that state are called Manipuris, there is no language of that name. Experts from there will tell you that the signs are Meitei in Mayek script.

Jiribam-manipuriVangaichungpao-Dholakhal

Here is one language many of us would not have heard of:

Ghaghra (JH)

This is in Jharkhand, midway between Rourkela and Chakradharpur. This is the local script Ol’Chiki. Thanks to Pavel Ghosh.

In the neighborhood, here is a left-over Urdu sign in Bangladesh:

Boira (still trilingual)

And left-over signs in Gurumukhi script up in Khyber-Pakhtunwa province of Pakistan:

Landi Khana station todayShahgai (Khyber)

Remember that no train has been to Landi Khana since 1932, and not to Shahgai since around 2000.