The opposition also spoke out in one voice, attacking the policy. “We will oppose Hindi imposition. We are not against any language,” DMK parliamentarian Kanimozhi said.
Hindi should not be made a mandatory third language in schools a clear statement chiefly from Tamil speaking population across world on social media using hashtag #StopHindiImposition goes worldwide top trend in Twitter showing a mark of protest against draft education policy submitted by the BJP led Modi government government at the centre a day ago.
The Draft National Education Policy 2019, says while the “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.”
This has been seen by many as an effort to make Hindi mandatory till Class 8 as Twitter users inundated the social network with messages against the move, making #StopHindiImposition and #TNAgainstHindiImposition the top trends on platform.
By 6 pm on Sunday, there were about 2 lakh tweets under the two hashtags.
Politicians from Tamil Nadu, too jumped the wagon where the subject has long been a highly emotive issue, took the lead to slam the Hindi-focused recommendations by an expert panel led by Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, a former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The school education minister of Tamil Nadu said that the new policy will be shunned by the state. “Tamil Nadu will follow only two-language policy.
Only Tamil and English will bravely march in Tamil Nadu,” said KA Sengottaiyan, whose AIADMK party is an ally of the BJP which rules at the centre.
MDMK leader Vaiko warned of a “language war”. AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran said, “Imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states will destroy pluralism. This would make non Hindi speakers second class citizens.”
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan said, “I’ve acted in Hindi movies… (but) no one should impose anything on anybody. After all, it’s up to the individual to learn any language of their choice.”
It it to be noted the BJP ADMK alliance in Tamilnadu thrashed out in 2019 and lost by 1.3 Crores people votes against them in 39 Constituencies
It is to be noted Tamil Nadu has long opposed any moves to give Hindi greater prominence than other Indian languages.
Even in pre-Independence era, Dravidian ideology Justice party in the region saw anti-Hindi protests in 1937 that went on till 1940.
In 1965, DMK under Anna and Karunanidhi who then become Chief Minsters of Tamilandu who took up protests in streets and the issue flared once again, triggering riots and law and order in state that killed as many as 70 people.
The unprecedent revolt for language cause led to an assurance by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that Hindi will not be imposed on non-Hindi speaking states till they want and English would continue as a link language.
The draft of the new policy, which is accused of tinkering with that promise, was handed over to the Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who took charge of the Union Education Ministry on Friday.
The current National Education Policy was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. A new education policy was part of the BJP’s manifesto ahead of the 2014 general election.