Jaishankar says no language will be imposed, will consult states
Amid raging controversy over the draft national education policy, which favours making teaching of Hindi compulsory up to Class 8, Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Sunday reiterated the government’s stand that it respected all languages and no language would be “imposed”.
“The national education policy as submitted to the HRD Minister is only a draft report. Feedback shall be obtained from general public. State governments will be consulted. Only after that the draft report will be finalised. The government of India respects all languages. No language will be imposed,” he said in a tweet.
The minister’s remark comes in the wake of apprehensions expressed by political parties and academicians in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal over the draft education policy. They have cautioned the Centre against imposing any language against the wishes of states.
Earlier, the central government said it had not taken a decision on the draft education policy and had no intentions to impose any language.
The Kasturirangan Committee has recommended teaching of Hindi, English and one regional language in the non-Hindi states; and Hindi, English and one modern Indian language from other parts of the country in Hindi-speaking states.
Vice President MVenkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged all stakeholders to go through the entire report, instead of reacting hastily. “I urge everybody... don’t be hasty before coming to conclusions. Go through entire report, study, discuss and analysis and react so that government can act after the discussions,” he said while addressing the “Industry Academy Interaction for Improvement of Quality of Academics” organised by the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) here.
He said that the core issues of education agitating minds of the people were very important and they deserve attention by all concerned.
“In our country some people for political or other reasons have the habit of immediately saying something by seeing newspaper headlines,” he said in an obvious reference to reaction by political parties from Tamil Nadu, which alleged that the proposed policy is aimed at imposing Hindi.
“We should not be seen quarrelling on languages,” he remarked.
“Children are able to understand basics better in mother tongue. Learning English is also required but that should be after laying the foundation,” he said.
He suggested that north Indians should learn south Indian languages and south Indians should learn north Indian languages for national integration.