The issue of compulsory imposition of Hindi has hit the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus with all the hostel mess rebate forms being printed only in this language now. These forms are usually available in Hindi as well as English. Further enquiry has revealed that this was done following the “friendly advice” by a delegation of Members of Parliament, that had visited the campus a few days ago.
“When we got to know that all the hostel forms were being printed only in Hindi, we thought it was a one time mistake and informed the hostel authorities. They told us that henceforth all their official communication and forms would be in Hindi. We then approached the Rector who informed us that this “change” had been made after an “advice” by a delegation of MPs that visited JNU a few days ago,” said Lenin Kumar, who hails from Tamil Nadu. “The Rector told us this was a small issue and not one to be upset about. However, we do not see this as a small and an isolated issue. It is very obvious that these changes have been made at the behest of the new government. A few days ago the Prime Minister had issued an order to his officials to use Hindi in social media. The imposition of Hindi has to be seen in consonance with the politics of the ruling party,” added Lenin.
This however, was not confirmed by the Right-wing student unit the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. “If a delegation of MPs comes to meet the university administration, why will they only make this suggestion? Everyone knows that the university has a huge international and South Indian presence, and instead of talking on education they will only talk about printing hostel forms in Hindi? This is mischief-making, that is all,” said Sandip Singh, who is in charge of the ABVP JNU unit.
Another student Ishan Anand, who is from Jharkhand, said: “They are trying to impose Hindi despite the fact that it is only one of the two official languages of the Central Government. The State Governments are free to have their own official language. The JNU administration must immediately take back this decision and print bi-lingual forms,” added Ishan.
The students also said that they believed that the government was trying to attack the identity of the campus as the bastion of Left politics.
University spokesperson Poonam Kudesia said the official papers and receipts of the administration were bi-lingual and that she had not heard of the Hindi imposition issue. The university Rector was out of the office on Wednesday evening and could not be reached over the phone.