Meena Menon

“Marathi should be taught compulsorily from standard I to X”

To send letter to all such schools in Maharashtra giving them one-year time

Schools use the State’s resources and hence must teach Marathi, he reasons

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray has intensified his campaign for the Marathi language by giving an ultimatum to English medium schools.

Addressing a press conference, he said English medium schools here and in other places did not teach Marathi as a compulsory language from standard one to ten. “All English medium schools are free to teach German, French and other languages but Marathi is not an option; it has to be compulsory,” he said. He read out a letter he planned to send all the English medium schools in the city and Maharashtra.

Warns of agitation

In the letter, he said not teaching Marathi was going against the State’s ethos and if the language was not made compulsory, the MNS would launch an agitation. The schools have been given one academic year to effect this change.

Mr. Thackeray said the schools used the resources of Maharashtra and so they must teach Marathi compulsorily. If there were complaints from parents regarding this, the schools could forward them to him, he said. If the schools did not respond to this letter, the MNS would react, he threatened. All the Southern States had made their languages compulsory in schools. “Why am I criticised for raising the issue of Marathi — when the Southern States made their languages compulsory in schools, nobody accused them of being divisive,” he said.