Voices against Hindi imposition grow louder in Tamil Nadu

The state government reiterated opposition to three-language formula

palaniswami-pti Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami | PTI

A day after hashtags against Hindi imposition went viral on Tamil Twitter, an assistant commissioner at the GST commissionerate in Chennai has expressed anguish and grief over Hindi imposition. He alleged “Hindi imposition” on him and his colleagues, complaining that they were posted to a section to promote Hindi within the office, despite them not knowing the language.

"I am not interested in working in the Hindi cell. Posting me there is nothing but imposing Hindi on me. It is like giving Bible or Quran to a Brahmin and directing him to propogate Christianity or Islam," wrote B. Balamurugan, assistant commissioner at the Hindi cell in GST Chennai Outer Commissionerate. Balamurugan, in a detailed two-page letter to the chairman of Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs, expressed his anguish and difficulties working in the Hindi cell. "I have been deliberately posted in the Hindi cell to belittle my Tamil sentiments. I am not interested in working for that," Balamurugan said in a strongly worded letter.

The letter has set the tone among the Tamils working in the Central government offices to voice their sentiments. “I consider my appointment to the Hindi cell without me knowing the language an act of imposition. Hindi imposition is not just asking people to study in the language but also forcing someone to propagate Hindi without his interest,” Balamurugan said in the letter.

In yet another development, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was discussing the prospects of the New Education Policy (NEP) with the governors of states and university vice chancellors, Tamil Nadu reiterated its opposition to the three-language formula suggested in NEP released by the Centre. In a letter to Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K.P. Anbalagan said that Tamil Nadu has already taken a decision to continue with the existing two-language policy, which is a "success".

In a three-page letter he expressed the state’s reservation over several provisions of the NEP like the conduct of national-level entrance exams, institutional restructuring and consolidation, and the three-language formula. "The state of Tamil Nadu has always followed two-language policy which has been a success. The state government of Tamil Nadu has already taken a decision to continue with the two-language policy in future also," Anbalagan said in the letter to Nishank. He said the GER in Tamil Nadu stands higher than the national average.

The letter comes a month after Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami declared that the state would continue to implement the existing two-language policy—Tamil and English—and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the proposal for imparting three languages. Incidentally, the opposition to Hindi and holding up Tamil sentiments are being heard loud in the recent days from Tamil Nadu. Barring BJP, every other political party, including both the ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK, look at NEP as a tool to impose Hindi.


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