New education policy draft triggers anti-Hindi backlash on Twitter

Hindi - The Federal
For representational purpose only. Photo: PTI

The draft of National Educational Policy, which was submitted on May 31 (Friday) to the HRD ministry by a committee led by its chairman Dr. Kasturirangan, triggered a new wave of resistance against the alleged imposition of Hindi, on social media.

The draft suggests several changes including the need for the implementation of a three-language formula in order to promote multilingual communicative abilities. It was submitted to Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Minister of State Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre in New Delhi.

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The report says the formula must be implemented in certain states, particularly the Hindi-speaking ones, where the schools must offer a modern Indian language in addition to Hindi and English. For non-Hindi-speaking states, it says, the regional language will be taught along with Hindi and English.

This is being seen as a move to promote Hindi in the southern states, especially Tamil Nadu, which by large remains a non-Hindi-speaking region, and has triggered resistance among the Twitterati. The micro-blogging site is already on fire with the hashtags ‘StopHindiImposition’ and ‘TNAgainstHindiImposition’ trending on it, with several politicians raising their voice.

Politicians take to Twitter

DMK president MK Stalin strongly opposed this formula on June 1 (Saturday) stating the party will oppose any attempts to impose Hindi on Tamils. “DMK will oppose any attempts by anyone trying to impose Hindi on Tamils. The MPs from Tamil Nadu will raise their strong voice against this,” Stalin tweeted.

Twitter was flooded with similar posts of protest. Sivaganga MP and former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram shared a related article with the hashtag ‘StopHindiImposition’.

“This initiative to impose the Hindi on the non-Hindi speaking people will disrupt the country’s diversity. The non-Hindi speaking people will be converted to second-class citizens. So the central government should immediately drop the project,” tweeted AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran.

According to media reports, Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has already written to the Centre stating that the state will continue to have a two-language mode.

Another report quoted TN education minister KA Sengottaiyan as saying that “only Tamil and English will bravely march in Tamil Nadu.”

In addition, the report also suggested offering a foreign language in secondary school as an elective, and not in lieu of the three-language formula. It said that students whose medium of instruction is not English must start learning science bilingually in or before Class 8.