Row over Hindi refuses to die down in Tamil Nadu

Row over Hindi refuses to die down in Tamil Nadu

Row over Hindi refuses to die down in Tamil Nadu

The furore in Tamil Nadu over the recommendation in the draft new education policy that Hindi be compulsorily taught in schools in all states has refused to die down despite the Centre clarifying that no such decision has been taken. A panel of experts had initially suggested that students in non-Hindi speaking states should learn a regional language, Hindi, and English, and students in Hindi-speaking states should learn Hindi, English and a modern Indian language from another part of the country. His successor Indira Gandhi even got the Language Act amended ensuring that English would continue to be used as an additional official language, "until resolutions for the discontinuance of the use of English language...have been passed by the legislatures of all the states, which have not adopted Hindi as their official language".

A distinct feature though is that these students mostly enrol in a Hindi course when they are in class VI, as opposed to the draft New Education Policy that mandates students to demonstrate proficiency in three languages by the time they reach class VI.

"They put out tweets in Tamil, clearly targeting residents of Tamil Nadu who were vocal about their opposition to the draft policy". State governments will be consulted.

The issue of Hindi becoming a mandatory subject across schools in South India is an emotive one, particularly in Tamil Nadu; the region saw anti-Hindi protests from 1937 to 1940 and again in 1965.

Stalin's comment came in the wake of the draft education policy prepared by the Kasturirangan Committee which spoke about the continuation of the three-language formula in the schools.

What the draft is referring to here is the three-language formula that has been followed since the adoption of the National Policy on Education 1968.

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On Sunday, amidst massive backlash from regional parties over the draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019, two senior ministers in the central cabinet were engaged in efforts to firefight the onslaught of social media uproar.

In a series of tweets, Mr Surya had also said: "The NEP doesn't impose, rather encourages, learning Hindi as a language in school".

The newly-elected young MP from Bengaluru, Tejasvi Surya, also tweeted that the draft has been "twisted, misinterpreted & misunderstood".

The three-language formula has always been controversial. "There is fear that the Indian government is trying to slowly introduce Hindi, which will threaten the status of Tamil", author and journalist Vaasanthi told the BBC.

Several political parties had warned the Centre of a language war over "attempts" to impose Hindi.

While Union Ministers jumped in to defend the Centre, the DMK adopted a resolution on Monday against proposed three language policy.

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