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Almost every Tamil Nadu leader is against Modi’s draft education policy over Hindi

Both ruling AIADMK and DMK have condemned Modi government’s draft education policy that mandates Hindi as a compulsory third language.

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Bengaluru: Within a day of taking over at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP government appears to have sparked the old ‘Hindi versus Tamil’ war in Tamil Nadu.

And it has united leaders like Kanimozhi, Kamal Haasan, Vaiko and state chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on the issue of Tamil pride.

Both the ruling AIADMK and the newly resurgent DMK have used almost identical language to condemn Modi government’s draft education policy that asks the non-Hindi speaking states to follow a three-language policy in schools, making Hindi a compulsory language in the process.

This plays into the age-old Tamil political fears of what has come to be known as “Hindi imposition” by New Delhi.

On Saturday, social media platform Twitter saw trending hashtags — like TNAgainstHindiImposition — with Tamil Nadu leading the protest.

The ‘three language formula’ was first introduced by the Centre in 1968.

The new draft policy makes if mandatory for all states to follow the formula, including Tamil Nadu. The state currently follows a ‘two language’ policy.


Also read: Modi govt panel wants school fees regulated, Indian languages given prominence


‘Language war’

Speaking to reporters, Tamil Nadu state education minister K.A. Sengottaiyan said the state won’t allow the imposition of Hindi in the state and Palaniswami has already written to the Modi government asking them to reconsider their proposal.

“Tamil Nadu will follow only the two language policy and only two languages will be used in TN, Tamil and English,” said Sengottaiyan.

The DMK too has said it will oppose this move at both the state and the Centre levels. Party leader Kanimozhi told reporters that DMK is not against any language, but will oppose Hindi imposition, and will raise the issue in Parliament.

“This decision is harmful to the people of Tamil Nadu,” DMK spokesperson Manu Sundaram told ThePrint.

“If needed we will move the courts of law as this is a serious issue that goes against the basic constitutional rights. The previous government had assured us that Hindi will not be imposed and this proposal violates that promise.”

Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan also told reporters that nothing should be imposed and those who wish to learn any language should have the freedom to do so.

“I have acted in Hindi movies. I am living here (Chennai) happily believing that everybody’s language is respected. It will be very difficult for Tamil people to learn another language now,” Haasan appealed.

MDMK leader Vaiko joined the opposition bandwagon and warned that there would be a “language war” if the decision is not reversed.

The issue of Hindi imposition has been a sore point in Tamil Nadu. The Congress lost power and aided the growth of the Dravidian movement courtesy this issue in the late 1960s. Since then, the base of the national parties in Tamil Nadu has steadily eroded.


Also read: The future is here, but our education systems are stuck in the past


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14 COMMENTS

  1. Learning Hindi should not be made mandatory in non hindi states.Knowledge of Hindi is not absolutely necessary for the survival of a non hindi Indian.India is Hindustan, not hindistan.Hindi fanaticism would surely lead to the breakup of India

  2. Except this “Hindi imposition’ hysteria these dravidian parties have nothing else to offer.. no water to people in chennai, no cauvery water to farmers and no jobs. Just keep crying about Hindi ..

  3. Aagey Aagey dekhiye hota hai kya. There is a 180 degrees phase difference (completely opposite directions) between what ordinary citizens understand by NEW INDIA, and what Modi and his BJP mean by NEW INDIA.

    The ordinary people like me and you think that the phrase means an India of plentiful prosperity, opportunity, where today’s poor too will be able to lead a comfortable life, with spring in their feet, and a new hope in their eyes for a still better future.

    For Modi and Amit Shah and their BJP it means none of that, or at least such a picture of NEW INDIA is relegated to secondary importance for them. For them, this phrase primarily means a HINDU India, with their concept of Hinduism slapped across everyone’s mind. An India DOMINATED by the Hindi belt, like the master and his subjects, and everyone else, Muslims, Tamils, and others of southern states or northeastern states, ALL, treated as second class citizens.

  4. If you don’t want Hindi, that is fine. The third language can be Sanskrit or any other Indian language. Schools can offer multiple choices for the third language. In case of government schools, the state can decide which languages will be offered in each school. In case of private schools, let the school managements decide what want to offer. It will be in the spirit of promoting Indian languages.

  5. Vaikos, Kanimozhi, Kamalhassan of the world have enough and more money and they can live happily in Chennai forever. I have suffered enormously living in Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai with very little knowledge of Hindi but later on when I learnt Hindi it was very easy to communicate and get the work done. Learning a language should not be considered as imposition. Imposition is a misnomer and used recklessly by politician to confuse hapless common man in TN. All of us don’t get to work in US, UK, Australia and Canada. And trust me even there if you go to embassies Hindi comes into play. So learn Hindi. I did and survived , and that too survived well. Tamil is our mother tongue and nobody is forgetting or hiding that fact.

    • Problem is not learning hindi to talk, problem is with official language being hindi. SBM was a bangalore headquatered bank merged with SBI, old pensioners and poor people are now left in thd lurch as SBI has only hindi speaking staff and we in namma bengaluru cannot use kannada in our bank. Official letters are addressed as mahodaya and in pure hibdi text. Why should we suffer this for no fault of ours? At least TN is putting forward a protest, hindi heartland should not impose their language on us. Kannada has old culture and was celebrated in the reign of many dynasties, but alas we are being overruled.

    • You learnt Hindi of YOUR OWN FREE VOLITION. That is the entire point. Like you, Tamil students in Tamilnadu will definitely choose Hindi as their third language if they themselves or their parents think it necessary. I once met a Kerala lady on train who was working in Punjab as a nurse, and she spoke excellent Punjabi! She learnt it on her own. Her Hindi was as sloppy as any other Malyali’s. What if she goes back to her Nursing college in Kerala, and tells the Principal to introduce Punjabi as an optional subject for students because Punjab has good hospitals and Punjabis are nice people to work with?

      No body is suggesting that Hindi should be BANNED in schools in Tamilnadu or other southern states. Only that the students (and indirectly their parents) should have a RIGHT TO CHOOSE their third language. Forcing it on them by Narendra Modi only reflects the elitist Hindu brahminical attitude of the BJP (Gujarat). Yes, that’s how I would describe the present avatar of this party. It should be resolutely opposed by all those who believe in the idea of our beautiful india, with all its diversities living nicely in harmony with one another.

      • Thus you want privileged lot of Tamil Nadu to have all the fun of languages but want to deprive the TN masses of it ? Jokes aside, think about labor class or poor class who get restricted to certain geographies or regions due to this ‘Language politics’. Always remember Choice is a term for privileged but for most people of the world instead ‘Identity’ is the source for privilege claims & that’s exactly what South politicians have exploited with regards to ‘Language issue’ where they mixed Language issue with Identity issue with emotional claims to do the ‘Language Politics’.

        Diversity & Modernity are completely opposed to each other while you may prevent Hindi from coming into Southern states but English & Western homogenization has already happened in most parts of the world & is only accelerating & what is the source of this homogenization – ‘Modernity’.

        • What exactly is “depriving” learning of the Islamic origin language Hindi ? Hindians have been commit fraud for the last 60 years and follow a 1 language formula – which is Islamic origin language Hindi, essentially the same language as Pakistan and that of Islamist terrorsts. There is a so-called ‘Prachar’ Sabha which teaches the Islamic origin language???

          And what exactly is the third language in the Pakistani language states ???

          We already know the differential justice system which is followed by Hindians – which exempts Hindian criminals from prosecution for their crimes.

          Thanks but no thanks, learn the Islamic language states first implement 3 language formula in their Islamized language states.

  6. This is the usual nonsense. Everyone knows nothing will be imposed but the same political drama has to be played by regional parties again and again. The same thing was said right at the beginning of the previous government, i expect all the same scripts being repeated. Opposition parties and media have lost people’s trust, if they keep shouting about non-issues like this then people will ignore them again.

  7. If we want Indian children to have a brighter future, force feed them English. From Class One. Their parents will be eternally grateful.

    • Ashok only straight America. If your child gets a job even in Bengaluru you will ask them to reject that is it.

  8. Hindi has been leaching into different parts of the country through a gradual process of osmosis. The film industry has played a role, as has internal migration. That would appear to be the harmonious way forward.

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