National » Tamil Nadu

Updated: June 13, 2012 23:25 IST

Jayalalithaa joins chorus against cartoon in NCERT textbook

Special Correspondent
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Lending her voice of opposition also to the inclusion of the cartoon on anti-Hindi agitation in a textbook of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged the Union government to ensure the cartoon's removal from the book.

“Even though the book has carried a photograph published by The Hindu then to underline the importance of the anti-Hindi agitation and portray the true picture, it is regrettable that the publication of the cartoon has offended sentiments of people of Tamil Nadu. I strongly condemn it,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.

The cartoon, which was featured in the 12th standard textbook for political science, also sought to denigrate the role of leaders such as ‘Periyar' E.V. Ramasamy and C.N. Annadurai, she added.

Recalling the background in which the agitation was launched and the eventual outcome, Ms Jayalalithaa stated that for explaining the salient aspects of the Dravidian movement to students, photographs of that era would have been the best tool. It would not be appropriate to hurt the feelings of the people by carrying a cartoon that had content to say as if the assurance was given that the Tamil student was not required to learn Hindi and that he was ignorant of English as the content was in that language.

Unacceptable matter

Another unacceptable matter was that the cartoon presented an impression that those students, who participated in the anti-Hindi agitation, had indulged in violence, she said.

Ok. There a a few in this forum who claim Hindi is the only way for National Integration. Considering the hard fact/truth that India is not a Nation, but a Country, we can achieve National Integration if our North Indian brothers accept to learn English and accept to it being our National Language. For South Indians, North-East and West Indians ,Hindi is as much a regional language of the North as our own languages are to them. Hindi is as much a foreign language to us as English is. South Indians, North East and West are happy to learn English in addition to their mother tongues and wish the Northern cousins also do the same instead of thrusting their pie into our throats which we hate. If this is irrational, then so was our fight for independence from the British. English people ensured India united to fight them out, and I am sure English language is capable of bringing greater integration within India as well as with rest of the world. This is a 2 in one objective. Hail English!

from:  Prakash Srivatsan
Posted on: Jun 15, 2012 at 08:39 IST

Cartoons don't belong in a school text book, that too if they deal with sensitive topics such as religion or culture. And I don't have qualms on supporting both ADMK or DMK on this issue, so those of you who blame politicians please note that they are truly representing a good chunk of the population's opinion. Nobody is resisting hindi, as exemplified by Veeramani's and Karuna's kith and kin's knowledge of hindi, as quoted by someone. It should be voluntary and so long as CBSE schools or prachar sabhas are offering, that's good enough. And one doesn't need to master Munshi Premchand's hindi to make a living in the hindi belt- a bare minimum knowledge will suffice which can be achieved in a few weeks in Eastern UP. People quoting erroneous facts to run down TN are serving their argument at all. One doesn't see the logic of thrusting hindi down TN, what does the nation gain? Would it make TN more welcoming to those people who are already biased? Or would all other misgivings go away!

from:  Gopalakrishnan
Posted on: Jun 15, 2012 at 03:17 IST

The title of this story shows the contempt of the author towards Tamil Nadu politicians. 'The Hindu', being an unbiased newspaper should not have allowed such a title.

from:  Rajesh Aiyer
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 21:43 IST

TOP & Highest reputed private educational institutes among Indian states and Students attending higher education is also highest among INDIAN STATES. TN is only state had more cluster than MHA/GUJ. MHA minus Mumbai is a backward but TN is about 36000 small and medium industries from DINDUKAL TO HOSUR ONE ARC existing with effect of continuous improvement practices on performance. NOT ONLY TEXTILE BUT engineering, pyrotechnic(SIVAKASI 80% firecrackers),Printing, poultry (NAMAKKAL),leather,agri products,home textile(KARUR exporting to WALMART,IKEA,thousand village,Tarpet,JC penny 80% HDPE monofilament produced in INDIA) HOSIRY (ANNUAL EX-BUSINESS IS ABOUT 14,000CR).Jobs availabe in CITY LIKE MUMBAY,DELHI,PUNE,ETC. no need to know hindi. Language is not a barrier for the Job but skill should be developed in the respective fields and just write log/error report/lab report,etc. Chinese are working in EUROPE/AUST/USA without knowing single sentance. Don't impose 3rd language for non-hindi state.

from:  Paraneetharan
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 12:37 IST

Cartoons are figurative speech. They are highly relevant to the current context. Publishing a Cartoon 50 years later is akin to taking a speech out of context. It is amusing that they chose to do it in a textbook. Would the audience be mature enough to appreciate the context? One addition aspect is that we as Indians dont seem to have a good sense of humour. we dont know how to laugh at our own shenanigans. In any case, I hope politicians stay away from critizing cartoon in textbooks.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 11:25 IST

Too all the people who believes that TN not doing well because of not learning Hindi,
1. Tamil Nadu is the 2nd largest contributor to India's GDP. TN's gross state domestic product for the year 2011-2012 is 4.28 lakh crore
2. A survey conducted by the Industry body Assocham ranks TN top among Indian states with about 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in primary and upper primary education
3. India has a human development index calculated as 0.619, while the corresponding figure for TN is 0.736, placing it among the top states in the country
4. TN is one of the highly industrialised states in India. Over 11.2% of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have corporate offices in Tamil Nadu
5. Loyola College from TN was ranked the number 1 college or institution for science degrees in India by India Today magazine in 2003,2004,2005,&2006.

Like this the List goes on!

We had not lost anything by not learning Hindi, as matter of fact we have progressed faster compared to the other states!!

from:  Vignesh
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 10:40 IST

Actually, that Hindi agitation saved India, otherwise India would have gone without English like China, Malaysia who advocated their PutongHwa and Bahasa Malayu just after their freedom. The agitation shook the Center to retain English, and till now, it is retained. Then in the 80's, the Software revolution made English as the only Universal Language. In the 80's most of the Europeans hated English and I had trouble in my travels. But now, English is accepted in Europe and most of them can manage English. China is going all out with English and malaysia introduced English in their schools just 10 years ago, just to catch up with Philipines and India. India cashed on the IT Boom because we had English. That Hindi agitation is wrongly tittled, it should have been "Retain English" agitation. Thanks to the DMK, we still have English and today, no one is talking about replacing English with Hindi as admin language.

from:  kris
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 08:41 IST

Many of those commented here seems to lack knowledge of history of TN and the Dravidian movement .It is a pity that everyone is talking about something they miss by not learning Hindi. The agitation only started when Hindi was forced.It is great that at least for this cause all the parties in TN on the same side.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 08:39 IST

this is pure hipocracy, can Jayalalitha confirm if she can or cannot speak Hindi. Then why not let the state people speak hindi. This will make them more mobile across India and help them settle with ease when they have to go out of TN for jobs.

from:  senthil
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 08:19 IST

As far as national integration is concerned, Hindi can serve as a link insofar as it is sanskritised to an extent that there is no difference between Hindi and Sanskrit. Hindi contains too many borrowals that are detrimental to the growth of a language. As Tholkappiyar said, newer equivalents should be coined to replace borrowals from foreign languages. As far as enrichment of tamil goes, it is terribly lacking in industrial terminology. It would be wise to set up a commission to create new equivalents that would help in the translation of technical texts. There should be a tamil daily that is of the standard of The Hindu to propagate good tamil. Anglicisation of tamil is not desired and should be frowned upon. Finally, the media should help in changing the attitudes of the younger generation towards indian languages. English may be the lingua franca. But poetically, very few languages measure up to the richness of sanskrit and tamil. It is not uncool to talk in tamil.

from:  Sharan Kumar
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 08:14 IST

We in TamilNadu and others in South India owe to the Dravidian movement and the brave Anti-Hindi agitators who sacrificed their education and a few even their lives so that we in the South were not relegated to a second class status. We would all have been forced to learn Hindi, forgo our rich heritage and would have ended up ignorant in the most important language - English. It is not without reason the IT revolution started in the South (Bangalore) and not without reason All south Indian states lead in all social indicators ( e,g. Kerala) and on a lighter note the 'Brain champion' is from Chennai back from his triumph from Moscow.

from:  Sekar
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 06:37 IST

Sadly, no one outside or even inside TN appreciates the greatness, beauty and antiquity of Tamil. The Dravidian parties are as much to blame as people residing in other states. Instead of promoting Tamil as a rich language, it is somehow being associated with a race which only makes people alienated towards it. These parties disown a vast portion of Tamil literature as they feel that it is Brahminical and misinterpret rest of it to somehow show that their twisted ideology is imbedded in it from ancient times! Hindi instructors who come to TN for training sessions imposed on government officials show marked ignorance of Tamil's antiquity. Recently I had the misfortune to hear one say that Tamil's literature is not so vast as Hindi! This utter lack of knowledge would only widen the divide. The truth is Tamil coexisted with Sanskrit and enriched herself a lot without losing her identity. So can she coexist with Hindi.

from:  Venkat Raman
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 06:36 IST

Who said that tamilnadu is lagging behind by not learning Hindi? when you compare with most of hindi speaking states tamilnadu is way ahead in every department. If you want to learn hindi, learn it don't wail.Respect of one's mother tongue does not mean that he is a chauvinist. The people who comment badly on tamil should not be called as tamils.

from:  Palvannan Thayumanavan
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 06:20 IST

Yes ths is critical for Tamil Nadu and India. The economy is tanking, we have global competitiveness, we are worst of the BRIC nations, the Chinese are learning Gujarati, and taking over much of the African economies, and we are sitting here talking about our global aspirations while tearing apart this country.

from:  A. Raja
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 06:13 IST

Mr A.Natarajan, Tamil Nadu despite being one of the biggest and most populous states has achieved 80% literacy rate, which is 5% above national average, whereas states like Karnataka have yet to reach the 70% target. As many people have pointed out, Dravidian parties oppose the imposition of Hindi, not Hindi as a language.If you think you need to learn Hindi for whatever reason, go for it. But don't expect others people to be forced to study it when students like us already have more than enough to study. As the second largest economy in the country after Maharashtra, TN creates job surplus actually employing people from northern states. If you want to go seek job elsewhere, don't blame the Dravidian parties because they have made TN what it is today.

from:  Tamizhan
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 01:39 IST

Well said Joseph Arnold. Add to it TN is one of the few staes that has 2 language policy with no pressure on anyone to learn Tamil. I personally learnt Tamil in an English medium school till 7th std, and later switched to Hindi just because it was easier to score for me. personally I don't see any advantage in learning Hindi fro the cause of National Integration - that's an illusion, and Prabhu if you are good at what you do Hindi is never the criterion for a good job.

from:  Param
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 01:14 IST

It is a pity that even great scholars like Professor Chellappa have not understood that there is no restriction to anyone learning Hindi or for that reason any language of their choice.What chaste Tamils during the anti Hindi agitation fought against was the blatant imposition of Hindi,a lustreless language and one incomparable to Tamil,truly a classical language in many ways on the non Hindi speaking people,particularly the Tamils by the Hindi fanatics ably supported by some stooges in our state.As rightly pointed out by Sridhar,Hariharan and Arnold,we only fought the imposition of Hindi at that time and would continue to do so with added vigour if the Hindi fanatics try to impose Hindi on us in any way!As such,there is nothing wrong in the siblings of Veeramani having learnt Hindi like any other language and there is no fun in them conversing in different languages including Hindi which they would have learnt on their own volition.Don't get confused between imposition and learning!

from:  Tharcius S.Fernando
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 22:08 IST

Sir, I find that the main contention, as observed by tamilnadu regional parties, is the cartoon, as they claim that it portrays the 'Anti Hindi' agitation. Well, if TN was against the imposition of Hindi, the agitation should have been named technically correct as 'Anti Imposition of Hindi Agitation'. Next, Imposition of a language is as bad as banning other language, both being two extremes. TN has already banned Hindi in state government curriculum of subjects. This is sure shot hypocrisy. Third, If TN government and the erstwhile dravidian stalwarts protested against the imposition of Hindi, which means, Hindi, otherwise, has to be included in the state government and its school curriculum, I have a solution wherein, the Hindi language need not be imposed but at the same time, shall be made as choice. Let there be only 1 2nd language, and students can select from { tamil, telugu, Hindi,.. all indian languages} like the system in singapore.

from:  S Parthasarathy
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 21:50 IST

My take on making Hindi as 'National Language': Hindi is spoken by 40% of Indians. What about the rest 60%. Do we want to disrespect the sentiments of 60% of Indians? Do we find happiness in disrespecting and humiliating others? Even though imaginary, consider the following situation: If India and China together is a single country and 'Chinese language' being imposed upon us. How will we feel if all government exams and documents are in Chinese language? Won't we feel the uneasiness? In fact, we will feel that we do not belong here. We proudly say that in India, we have 'Unity in Diversity'. Do we really uphold it? Looking at our (Indians) own behaviour, I wonder whether 'Diversity in Unity' is by mistake represented as 'Unity in Diversity'.

from:  Janakiram
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 20:57 IST

This cartoon row once again proves that we (Indians) are not matured enough to exchange mutual respect. In India, we fight within ourselves for petty reasons forgetting that there is something called as 'International Arena' where we are missing even the participation.

from:  Janakiram
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 20:54 IST

each and every tamilans must know the hindi for getting the job anywhere in India. so one request to TN government please understand the Tamilnadu people career.

from:  Prabu
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 20:07 IST

The dravidian parties never opposed the learning of Hindi but were only against the imposition of Hindi. India is a multicultural country and if it has to remain as a nation then all languages and cultures must be respected. And to say that TN is educationally backward because of anti Hindi agitation is an argument that absolutely lacks sense and that which is totally laughable. Look at any of the national surveys or national figures, TN is undoubtedly a top performing state and the contribution the people of the state have made to the nation's progress is unparalleled. Hindi can be learned when deemed necessary by a non Hindi speaking citizen. Fighting for the survival and respect of one's mother tongue does not amount to chauvinism rather imposing a language on a community does.

from:  Joseph Arnold
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 20:05 IST

Well said Dhiwakar B. Hindi Prachar Sabha provides hindi lessons all over TN. Those who are interested are free to join their weekend classes.Nobody stops!! I don't agree to loosing ones identity in the name of unity. Unity in diversity is what we follow for several decades in India and it WORKS!!! Someone mentioned above that TN is under-developed and 70% uneducated....guys please check the facts. Btw, unemployment in TN!!!...then he/she should be LAZY.

from:  Hariharan P
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 19:54 IST

1) Claim - Anti Hindi movement made TN backward. Truth - TN is one of the the top 3 performing states. (Source - Wikipedia) Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, MP, UP are in the bottom and people flock to South India for jobs, so much for the value of Hindi. 2) Claim - TN people are chauvinistic. Truth - If asking for respect one's language, one of the oldest living languages is chauvinistic, what is imposing a language without approval of the respective groups. The state which elected a Malayalee as CM and a Marathi as a Super Star is definitely not parochial. 3) Claim - TN politicians are opportunistic. Truth - May be true. 4) Claim - Hindi is must for National Integration. Truth - Hitler would have agreed if he were born in (Hindi belt) India. Replace Hindi with Hinduism and let us see the reaction. Live and let live. Politcal cartoons don't belong in schools. TN people don't object Hindi, only imposing and using tax money to promote one when we have many others as big as French.

from:  Sridhar
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 19:38 IST

Kudos to Chief Minister for her timely intervention for the removal of the cartoon which is not only venomous but an insult to the Tamils. While the entire world is aware of the fact that even the rikshaw pullers in Tamilnadu understand and speak good English, it is atrocious to depict the enlightened students of our state as ones ignorant of English. The anti Hindi agitation of 1965 is indeed a sacred one in the sense that many real Tamilians gave up their precious lives and immolated themselves in supreme sacrifice to safeguard our Mother tongue and the self respect of Tamilians. Those who look at the anti Hindi agitation with contempt can only be likened to ungrateful siblings spitting on the face of their own mother and deserve to be treated with contempt as out castes. The diatribe and mud slinging of persons like Natarajan, Ramlak and Nataraj is understandable as they are willing to pawn their self respect and honour for the sake of money in the altar of the north Indian Hindi fanatic

from:  Tharcius S.Fernando
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 19:27 IST

This is real fun. Recently, I met Mr.Veeramani´s siblings in one of the social parties given by the Indian communities in USA. His siblings conversed very well in English, Hindi and Tamil within the heterogenous Indian communities of US. This is a fun isn´t to have our National integration better outside India than within. The life long devotee of DK party should realise language issue is very serious, not a hypocritical game.

from:  Prof. N T Chellappa
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 19:06 IST

As a person who has spent considerable part of my career in north India,i can safely tell that learning hindi is not a must to survive out of Tamil Nadu.Any language can be learnt as and when necessary.It would be really weird to say that only Hindi speaking people in India are Indians.We are all Indians irrespective of the language we speak.Learning other language is a matter of choice rather than an imposition.The cartoon might have made sense to people who were for imposition of hindi at that point of time.But inclusion of the same now demeans the sacrifices made by lot of people during the anti hindi agitations.Please understand,hindi is not the National language.It is one of the two official languages(hindi and english).saying that we remain backward without hindi knowledge is height of foolishness.TN is one of the top performing states in India and far advanced than lot of other hindi speaking states. Never create hatred and plant idea of hindi supremacy in young minds.

from:  Dhiwakar B
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 17:34 IST

What has come over our Politicians/Regional Gropus that they fail to
appreciate the genuine humour/caricature of certain events/persons in
the right perspective. First it was the cartoon of Mamta Banerjee, then
of Ambedkar and now of anti-hindi agitation of TamilNadu. The
Politicians should desist from the constant habit of making something
out of nothing and engaging the attention of Nation on such trivial
innocuos matters, which should best be left to the wisdom of the

Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 17:24 IST

Such senseless parochialism and chauvinism have been the bane of TN politics.
There are some who want to add race also into this as if Tamil are a race by
themselves. At the current rate of competitive and one-upmanship practised in TN
by these so called Dravidian parties, this will be a serious threat to the unity and
integrity of India in near future.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 17:16 IST

If someone wants to learn Hindi either he/she can attend a CBSE school or attend Dakshina Bharatha Hindi Prachar Sabha.
It is not the responsibility of Tamil Nadu govt to teach Hindi.

from:  Sriram Iyer
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 16:46 IST

NCERT to look over all cartoons to avoid such kind of incidents in future.

from:  SeetharamanK
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 16:32 IST

Tamil people never opposed to learn Hindi as a optional language but opposed the compulsory implementation of Hindi to suppress Tamil.

from:  Balamurali
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 16:30 IST

God save Tamilnadu from the present set of Politicians!

Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 16:29 IST

Hopefully this would send a clear message to those people with anti-Tamil agenda. India is built up on multicultural and multi-linguistic foundations, and the Dravidian movement highlighted that one culture cannot seek to dominate another.

from:  Eric Selvaraj
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 16:03 IST

CM is bothered about the cartoon hurting tamil centiments. Does she ever recognize the students who score the first mark in 10th and 12th exams irregardless of what 2nd language they choose. Only a student with tamil as 2nd language is declared as State first. Do you know how many people who have taken 2nd language as Tamil suffer when they move to some other part of the country? The Dravidian parties should change their attitude towards Hindi and it should be made as one of the official languages of the state. People learning Hindi should be encouraged. Only then they will be able to survive not only anywhere in India but also in any other countries like Middle East.

from:  Nataraj
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 15:04 IST

It is really insensitive of the text book designers to use such cartoon in school text book. This would create long lasting deep hatred about people from south in the mind of school kids.

from:  Karthik R
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 14:32 IST

can any one of the so called 'leaders' say that "none of my family members are not educated with hindi" Every member of these leaders family - grand children or childrens are motivated to learn hindi . As a tamilian , i felt the anti-hindi movement had pushed back us to land well behind the hindi speaking /learned states. As tamilian , we should take a oath that we will speak only in tamil, when counterpart tamilian. ( as we always love to show our knowledge by speaking ENGLISH)

from:  ramlak
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 14:08 IST

All political controversial topics, cartoons, pictures etc should be removed from NCERT or any other state board books. This is first step towards national integeration.

from:  Bharat lal
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 14:00 IST

we have caricature on GODs; great patriots; public figures; etc; why are these regional parties trying to make political mileage on these non-productive trivial issues; come on, do something to provide uninterrupted energy; adequate food; shelter and health amenities;

from:  karpakarajan
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 13:56 IST

As usual CM Jayalalitha is spot on with her comments. The North Indians who run the NCERT should learn to respect regional languages and their cultures and not indulge in disruptive activities impacting the nation's harmony.

from:  Senthil
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 13:48 IST

Very late reaction. Better later than never

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 13:38 IST

It's a pity or paradox that we Tamilians lack sense of humor.Save handful Tamil nadu members of parliament,most of them can neither speak nor understand Hindi and English as well.Language is a vehicle of expression whether Tamil or otherwise-what matters is the potentials of the system. Any language to survive must be adaptability. Ancient languages like Latin,Greek and Sanskrit were rigidly grammarian lacking colloqualism became obsolete over a period of time. Tamil is more or less heading for the same fate.

from:  subramaniam sankaran
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 13:37 IST

Cartoon is not for criticizing but to open the eyes of those who are in power. To understand a cartoon reader need humour sense and wide mind. Removing a cartoon from text books may be right. Cartoon shall be published through news papers.But seeing the cartoonist as an enemy is criticized.Even Hitler had a wide mind to understand a cartoon. An Indian politician must get a broad mind to understand the extract of humour in it.

from:  Hariharan.D
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 13:27 IST

TN people in politics always create problem.They were responsible for backwardness of the state in education especially in the study of HINDI. As a Tamilian I want to read /study Hindi and who are they to object to it. For National Integration HINDI is a must.TN can't provide jobs to all TN people and we are one Nation we have to live in harmony with all. These dravidian parties failed to remove illiteracy in TN. Still 70 % are uneducated in TN. You go and see the villages.

from:  a.natarajan
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 13:09 IST
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