Tamil Nadu Rebels Against Govt. Over #HindiImposition: Is Hindi Being Imposed On South Indians?
There have been sparks stirring up in Tamil Nadu after the central government proposed a draft in the draft National Education Policy 2019. The government formulated a draft policy, submitted to the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, which enlists certain important suggestions in the NEP, one of them being the inclusion of Hindi as a third language in all the non-Hindi speaking states of the country.
The 500-page report suggests non-Hindi speaking states to include their regional language, English and Hindi, while states where Hindi is spoken, to include English and another modern Indian language along with Hindi.
The Third Language as Hindi Draft
On Saturday, the central govt, in its draft National Education Policy 2019, suggested to implement the three-language formula throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country. Whilst schools in regional areas would teach Hindi as the third language along with English and regional languages, schools in Hindi speaking areas would offer Indian languages from other parts of India.
The current National Education Policy was framed in 1986 and the three-language formula has been adopted since then. It has been endorsed in subsequent years.
Since research show that children pick up languages quicker between the ages of 2 and 8 and that multilingualism has great cognitive benefits to students, they would be immersed in three languages starting from the foundation stage.
Tamil Nadu has long opposed any moves to give Hindi greater prominence than other Indian languages. Even during the pre-Independence era, the region saw anti-Hindi protests. In 1965, the issue flared once again, triggering riots that killed as many as 70 people. The incident led to an assurance by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that Hindi will not be imposed on non-Hindi speaking states till they want and English would continue as a link language.
Many political leaders, including the Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor have heavily backlashed against the recommendation of Draft NEP 2019, promoting Hindi as the mandatory third language in schools all over the country. CPI(M) said such reforms would stir feelings of linguistic chauvinism.
Politicians from Tamil Nadu slammed the recommendations. The DMK Lok Sabha member Kanimozhi warns BJP sternly to not take any such step, as it would be disastrous. Other strongly reprimanded this move and said that TN will not entertain any other language, except Tamil and English and that if the central government forces such a move, there shall be a “language war”; imposing Hindi on non-Hindi states will destroy pluralism, making non Hindi speakers second class citizens.
Released on Saturday, this draft has been strongly reprimanded on social media too, making #StopHindiImposition and #TNAgainstHindiImposition the top trends on Twitter, with about 1 lakh tweets under the two hashtags, by 5pm on Sunday.
It Is Just a Draft and Not a Policy: It Is Just a Suggestion!
The Central government clarified that the three-language system under the draft NEP is just a recommendation and not a policy. It said that there is no intention of imposing any language on any region and that it wants to promote all Indian languages. There’ll be no discrimination against any language.
It’s a draft prepared by the committee and will be decided by the government only after getting public views and feedback. Facing the backlash, education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said the suggestions were just a report and not a policy yet. Modi government has always promoted all Indian languages. Hence, there should be no misunderstanding on the issue that this is a government policy.
Frankly, this wasn’t an issue that should’ve gained so much negative traction. Politicians furor over such sensitive matters must be on the grounds of thorough research and knowledge of the matter.