South Indian States Fight Mandatory Hindi Lessons in Schools

  • 04 Jun 2019

There has always been a lot of contention between Hindi speaking states and non-Hindi speaking states in the past.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has been forced to release a revised draft version of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 after the first draft caused a massive uproar for making the study of Hindi mandatory in non-Hindi speaking states.

This was done after politicians and citizens alike united and protested strongly especially in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. They saw the draft as an attempt to slowly remove regional languages in the future and impose the usage of Hindi instead.

The revised draft states, "In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6 or Grade 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages (one language at the literature level) in their modular Board Examinations some time during secondary school (see P4.9.5)."

The revised draft does not mandate which specific languages students must study in primary school. However, the revised draft still advocates for the three-language formula, stating that it needs to be 'implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country.'

The original draft wants to implement a study of Hindi and English in addition to the regional language in non-Hindi states. It read, "In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6, so long as the study of three languages by students in the Hindi-speaking states would continue to include Hindi and English and one of the modern Indian languages from other parts of India, while the study of languages by students in the non-Hindi-speaking states would include the regional language, Hindi and English."

The MHRD was forced to issue a clarification stating that the first document was merely a draft after it received a massive backlash, "It is not the Policy announced by Government. After getting feedback from general public, and after consulting State Governments, the National Education Policy will be finalised by Government." (sic)

Newly-appointed Union Ministers like Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar gave statements that the government was still seeking feedback in San attempt to resolve the issue.

The DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is an Indian state political party in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry) has passed a resolution on Monday against the imposition of Hindi in Tamil Nadu. In it, it warned to not challenge the Tamil people by imposing the three-language formula on them. It also resolved to strongly oppose any threat to the two language formula in the state.

Source: The News Minute

Photo source: education.

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