Karuna objects to imposition of Hindi

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Raising the pitch against imposition of Hindi, an issue with political overtones in Tamil Nadu's history, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Friday said "it is condemnable" that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's assurance in this regard is being ignored.

Claiming that a circular issued to LIC personnel following a meeting on June 29 had asked them to mandatorily sign at least once in a week in Hindi besides carrying correspondence in that language to promote it, he said "the anti-Hindi agitation started because of such circulars."

"It is condemnable that the assurance given by Pandit Nehru (that the language will not be imposed on non-Hindi speaking states) has been forgotten and it is unnecessarily being imposed again. The question before us is whether the Centre will take note of this and act," he said, responding to a set of questions in the party mouthpiece 'Murasoli'.

The 88-year-old DMK leader, whose party is a key constituent of the ruling UPA at the Centre, expressed doubts if Nehru's assurances will remain merely on paper.

The anti-Hindi agitation, launched against the imposition of Hindi, played a major role in Dravidian politics with an upsurge among the students aiding the DMK in making it a state-wide movement in the 1960s.

Comments

It is really unfair Hindi is

It is really unfair Hindi is quietly being thrust upon the reluctant South. Surprisingly, there has been no resistance.The southerners have been forced to learn three languages while the northerners learn just two. Hindi can be optional in the curriculum, not compulsory, Hindi is causing fear and anxiety, and , the students in the South are faring badly in the other two languages. Their standard of English is degenerating year after year. This is alarming for in these days of globalization the job market demands proficiency in English. Take off Hindi as a compulsory subject. The students will then have more time at their disposal. This measure will allow extra time for the students, and they can utilize that time to concentrate on English and the mother tongue.

Someone proposed, the northerners should be asked to learn one of the south Indian languages. This is not a workable proposition. The strategy should be how to enhance the proficiency of students in English and chosen local language.

Hindi for southerners should be seen as a link, as a means to share information with northerners by speaking. The people in the south have a flair to communicate in Hindi, a gift they got probably through exposure to Hindi films. Class discourse is no requirement to speak a language.

Writing and reading are necessary for those who wish to acquire skills. They can go for reading, speaking and writing.

My point is the importance of Hindi as a link language between the south and the north needs to be recognized, not as a compulsory language but as an option in the class room by conceding the freedom of choice.

It is the duty of the politicians, intellectuals, academics and intelligentsia in the south to dispel any misgivings here and there that Hindi as an option will weaken the patriotic fervour of the people in the south. India is a diverse country, and its unity shall remain intact.

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