Social media, specifically Twitter was filled with a campaign to not make Hindi a mandatory third language in schools. A draft education policy was submitted to the new BJP led government at the centre a day ago.
In Tamil Nadu, where the subject has long been a highly emotive issue, politicians slammed the Hindi-focused recommendations by an expert panel led by Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, a former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The Draft National Education Policy 2019, says that a “three language formula” followed in a section of schools since 1968 should be continued, “children will now be immersed in three languages early on, starting from the Foundational Stage onwards.”
Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal who was facing backlash said the suggestions was just a report and not a policy yet, “It’s not the policy. Public feedback will be sought. It’s a misunderstanding that it has become a policy. No language will be imposed on any state.”
KA Sengottaiyan from the AIADMK who is an ally of the BJP at the centre said, “Tamil Nadu will follow only two-language policy. Only Tamil and English will bravely march in Tamil Nadu.” The opposition also spoke out in one voice, attacking the policy.
DMK leader MK Stalin said, “I warn BJP any such move will cause them a huge disaster” and MDMK leader Vaiko said that language impositions would create a “language war”.
Tamil Nadu has opposed Hindi since the pre-independence era, in the 1965’s the issue triggered riots and killed over 70 people. Therefore, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru made an assurance saying that Hindi will not be imposed on non-Hindi speaking states till they want and English would continue as a link language.
The BJPs’ 2014 manifesto makes a promise of new education policy.
Below are a few reactions from social media on the subject :-
— விஜயராகவன் (@TVijayarahavan) June 1, 2019
— Truth is Bitter (உண்மை கசக்கும்) (@bitter_truthis) June 1, 2019
Source : Various