More programmes on radio prompt TN parties to allege Hindi imposition
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Chennai on May 26 to launch several infrastructure projects, chief minister Stalin had said: “Tamil should be made the official language of the Union on par with Hindi and recognised as the court language in the high court”
An increase in the runtime of Hindi broadcasts on Prasar Bharati in Tamil Nadu has sparked off a fresh controversy in the state with at least two regional parties alleging that the Centre is trying to impose the language.
On October 2, the Prasar Bharati’s local station in Puducherry’s Karaikal played a four-hour Hindi broadcast, which reduced the runtime of the Tamil broadcast by two hours.
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss said they would launch a protest against the incident. However, Ramadoss announced on Tuesday that the Hindi programmes have been withdrawn from the Karaikal station. The PMK is an ally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre.
“This gives me great contentment,” the PMK founder said.The sentiments of local people should be respected while designing radio programmes otherwise they will earn the people’s angst. Prasar Bharti should realise this and not engage in Hindi imposition if the future too,” he added.
On the other hand, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) led by G Vaiko on Monday announced a protest on October 6 in Chennai against the increase in runtime of Hindi programmes in radio broadcasts and the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020.
MDMK, a party which espouses Tamil sub-nationalism said Vaiko would seek official language status for all 22 languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution — a demand which chief minister M K Stalin and his party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has also made consistently.
MDMK also spoke out against Union home minister Amit Shah’s statement that Hindi should be a unifying language alternative to English.
“India is a land of many languages, different races and many languages, different races and many cultural values,” said MDMK headquarters secretary Durai Vaiko.
We believe in unity in diversity. We don’t hate Hindi. If anyone wants to learn, they can. But you can’t impose it on us. This is the politics of the right wing,” he added.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Chennai on May 26 to launch several infrastructure projects, chief minister Stalin had said: “Tamil should be made the official language of the Union on par with Hindi and recognised as the court language in the high court.”
The DMK was at the forefront of the anti-Hindi agitation of 1965 in erstwhile state of Madras, which snowballed into a riot.