TN assembly adopts resolution against Hindi imposition, blames BJP of using ‘language for power’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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TN assembly adopts resolution against Hindi imposition, blames BJP of using ‘language for power’

By, Chennai
Oct 19, 2022 12:35 AM IST

The opposition AIADMK, led by former chief minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami, and BJP MLAs staged a walkout ahead of assembly proceedings

Alleging that the Union government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was attempting to make “Hindi the language that symbolises power”, Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin on Tuesday tabled a resolution in the state assembly against any “imposition” of the language.

The resolution comes in the backdrop of outrage among several states over a report by the parliamentary committee on official languages that allegedly recommends that India’s scheduled languages, including Hindi , get priority in public offices, higher education institutions such as IITs and IIMs, and in local courts (but not high courts) (ANI)
The resolution comes in the backdrop of outrage among several states over a report by the parliamentary committee on official languages that allegedly recommends that India’s scheduled languages, including Hindi , get priority in public offices, higher education institutions such as IITs and IIMs, and in local courts (but not high courts) (ANI)

The opposition AIADMK, led by former chief minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs staged a walkout ahead of assembly proceedings.

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“I am moving a historic resolution on the floor of the House, continuing with the tradition of voicing our opinion against imposition of a dominant language,” Stalin said in his speech.

“Imposition of Hindi has been done continuously since 1938 and we continue to oppose the imposition. The BJP, which is helming the Union Government, is in the habit of imposing Hindi in administration and now, they are extending that to education,” Stalin said.

The resolution comes in the backdrop of outrage among several states over a report by the parliamentary committee on official languages that allegedly recommends that India’s scheduled languages, including Hindi , get priority in public offices, higher education institutions such as IITs and IIMs, and in local courts (but not high courts). The committee’s report, submitted to President Droupadi Murmu on October 9, allegedly paves the way for wider use of Indian languages as medium of education, for office work and proceedings of lower courts.

However, two lawmakers who are members of the committee have told HT that the report does not actually impose the language on non-Hindi speaking regions, and is in keeping with the tenets laid down by the New Education Policy.

Keeping up his attack against the Centre on Tuesday, Stalin said: “The BJP is trying to remove English completely from the administration…They want to prevent people from acquiring English knowledge. They say they give importance to state languages only for the sake of speaking. Otherwise, their heart beats only for Hindi. If the claim that the BJP loves other languages is true, are they ready to declare all languages, including Tamil, under the eighth schedule of the Constitution as administrative languages of the Union Government?”

Following news of the parliamentary report, Stalin had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi twice alleging that such attempts were against the Constitution.

Speaking in the assembly on Tuesday, Stalin further said Tamil Nadu is consistent in its dual language policy — English and Tamil — and that they were seeking the inclusion of all state languages in the list of official languages of the country.

“Tamil Nadu’s people know, which is why they oppose the National Education Policy based on its three-language police,” he added.

“Hindi should not be imposed on non-Hindi speakers at any cost... English should continue as long as non-Hindi speakers want. Preference should not be given to Hindi speakers, such a move will be in contradiction with the Constitution,” he added.

He further said the BJP-led government was trying to divide India into three categories: “Hindi speaking states, states where usage of Hindi is less, and states that don’t speak Hindi. Tamil Nadu comes under the third category. But as rightful owners of one of the oldest languages (Tamil) and its culture, there are efforts to make us third class citizens. We should raise our voice against this,” Stalin said.

He recalled how people lost their lives and were jailed during the 1965-anti Hindi agitation in Tamil Nadu led by the DMK, after which the party came to power for the first time. “Language is our life, our emotions, and our future. DMK was founded to protect our mother tongue and to oppose the dominance of other languages,” he said.

“The BJP is trying to destroy other languages by trying to impose Hindi and make it one language on the basis of its ‘One Nation, One everything’ policy,” he added.

Citing the parliamentary committee’s report, Stalin said: “The report looks like strengthening the dominance of Hindi across the country by projecting it as a move to strengthen the languages where it is spoken... If Kendriya Vidyalaya and IIT can have only Hindi, they are trying to say people who speak other languages have no space in such institutes…”

“We have to think that these recommendations have been made to ensure that non-Hindi speakers don’t get Union Government jobs. They have openly announced that only Hindi speakers can get government jobs by saying all exams will be conducted only in Hindi. Such a move will remove non-Hindi speakers from the national mainstream.” Stalin said, further questioning how it was fair to remove English, which has been in official communication through resolutions passed in 1968 and 1976.

Last week, DMK youth wing secretary Udhaynidhi Stalin, who is the chief minister’s son, led a protest against the Centre’s “imposition” of Hindi in Chennai.

The resolution adopted on Tuesday made three recommendations and concluded that: The House urges the Union Government not to implement the recommendations of the Parliamentary committee’s report on Official Languages submitted to the President on September 9 which are against the State language, including Tamil, and also against the interest of the people who speak those languages.

Although AIADMK leaders walked out, expelled party leader O Panneerselvam, who is an MLA and the deputy leader of opposition, welcomed the resolution.

OPS said AIADMK’s ideology is also the two-language policy. “We will never allow Hindi to be imposed overriding our mother tongue... AIADMK wholly and unanimously supports the chief minister’s resolution on Hindi,” he said.

The BJP’s floor leader in the state assembly, Nainar Nagendran, hit out at Stalin over the resolution saying he was citing incorrect reports about the parliamentary committee’s recommendations. “The chief minister has cited media reports which are incorrect... Even during the Congress’ period, India was categorised into A, B, C where C pertained to states which do not speak in Hindi. It has already been established that in these states, education can be in their mother tongue, whether it is Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada. There is no danger to Tamil.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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