Govt Dismisses Fears as TN Parties Protest ‘Hindi Imposition’

The TN government has said that it would continue with the two-language formula, seeking to cool frayed tempers.

Updated
India
4 min read
Centre’s new Draft Education Policy has received a lot of flak from TN parties, accusing it of imposition of Hindi language.
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The draft of National Education Policy 2019 submitted to the Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on 31 May has once again landed the government into a controversy, fueling allegations of ‘Hindi imposition’ by the BJP in the non-Hindi speaking states.

The draft, formulated by a committee headed by Dr Kasturirangan recommended a three-language formula according to which English and Hindi should be included, besides mother tongue in non-Hindi speaking states.

It further recommended the inclusion of English and one Indian language from other parts of the country in Hindi speaking regions.

Parties in Tamil Nadu including the DMK Saturday strongly opposed the three language formula’s continuation proposed in the draft National Education Policy, alleging it was tantamount to “thrusting” Hindi and wanted it junked.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday, 2 June said that the solution to the three language formula is not by abandoning the idea but to ensure that its properly implemented, news agency ANI reported. “Most of us in South India learn Hindi as a second language but nobody in the North is learning Malayalam and Tamil,” ANI quoted Tharoor as saying.

BJP Govt’s Real Face is Starting to Emerge: Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in a series of tweets in Tamil said: "What is the meaning of three language formula in schools? The meaning is they will make Hindi a compulsory subject."

In another tweet, he said "If Hindi language is a compulsory subject, its import is imposition of Hindi."

"The BJP government's real face is beginning to emerge." he also tweeted.

Meanwhile, "#StopHindiImposition, #TNAgainstHindiImposition trended on the Twitter.

Recommendation Could Divide the Country: DMK’s Stalin

The three language formula which bats for Hindi from "pre-school to class 12 was a big shocker," and the recommendation would "divide" the country, DMK chief MK Stalin said.

Recalling the anti-Hindi agitations beginning as early as 1937 in Tamil Nadu, the DMK leader in a statement here said since 1968 the State was following the two-language formula of learning only Tamil and English.

The DMK would never tolerate imposition of Hindi and strongly oppose it. "Still, I believe that the Central BJP government will not make way for another language stir," he said.

The Dravidian party also said that recommendations like "Gurukula" mode of education, teaching Sanskrit and sending Hindi teachers from Hindi speaking States to non-Hindi speaking States would in due course cause a "big danger" to non-Hindi speaking people.

The recommendations, the DMK said rather than lifting the standards of education has led to doubts that it had "ulterior motives" like imposition of Hindi on non-Hindi speaking States and thrusting Sanskrit in schools.

Recalling Jawaharlal Nehru's assurance that English would continue to be in use till such time desired by non-Hindi speaking States, he also pointed out that the State had enacted years ago a Compulsory Tamil Learning Act.

Demanding the Centre to reject the draft recommendations which was "imposition," of Hindi under the garb of three-language formula, he said his party MPs would voice their strong opposition in Parliament as soon as the House was convened.

Taking potshots at the AIADMK for being what it called a "yes master," to the Centre, he wanted Chief Minister K Palaniswami to strongly oppose it and if not remove the words "Anna," and "Dravida," from his party's name. The AIADMK is an abbreviation for All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

The BJP must never even dream to implement three language formula in Tamil Nadu and such a "greedy dream," would lead to "catastrophic," consequences for them, he said.

‘Shouldn’t Be Imposed if We Don’t Like It,’ Says MNM’s Haasan

Parties including the CPI and BJP's ally in the Lok Sabha polls, the PMK too alleged the recommendation on the three language formula was "imposition of Hindi" and wanted scrapping it.

Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan said "be it language or a project, if we do not like that, it should not be forced on us." He said his party would pursue legal options against it.

Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan told Puthiya Thalaimurai Tamil news channel: “There will be no deviation from the two-language formula followed in Tamil Nadu. Only Tamil and English will continue to be taught in our State.”

The draft National Education Policy, 2019 available on the HRD Ministry website said that the three-language formula will need to be implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country.

Schools in Hindi speaking areas should also offer and teach Indian languages from other parts of India, it said.

The draft policy said India also has "an extremely rich literature in other classical languages, including classical Tamil, as well as classical Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Odia, in addition to Pali, Persian, and Prakrit; these classical languages and their literatures too must be preserved for their richness and for the pleasure and enrichment of posterity."

A choice of foreign languages like French and German, would be offered and available to interested students to choose as electives during secondary school.

‘No Intention of Imposition,’ Says HRD Min Pokhriyal & I&B Min Javadekar

Reacting to controversy the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar on Saturday, 1 June, said that there is no intention of imposing any language on anybody, but the parties in Tamil Nadu beg to differ.

Ramesh Pokhriyal, Minister of Human Resource Department, reported on the proposal and said, “Committee has submitted its report to Ministry, it's not the policy. Public feedback will be sought, it's a misunderstanding that it has become a policy. No language will be imposed on any state.”

Citing the same concerns, Javadekar also explicitly stated, “There is no intention of imposing any language on anybody, we want to promote all Indian languages. It's a draft prepared by committee, which will be decided by govt after getting public feedback.”

Moreover, the HRD Ministry has also issued a clarification regarding the issue, emphasising that it is still a ‘draft.’

The Tamil Nadu government has said that it would continue with the two-language formula, seeking to cool frayed tempers.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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