T.N. BJP won’t allow imposition of Hindi, says Annamalai

‘No need to learn a language under compulsion to prove one’s Indianness’

April 12, 2022 08:58 pm | Updated 08:58 pm IST - CHENNAI

K. Annamalai

K. Annamalai

The Tamil Nadu BJP will never accept or allow the imposition of Hindi on the State, and there is no need to learn a language under compulsion to prove one’s Indianness, State BJP president K. Annamalai said.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Annamalai said, “We will never accept the imposition of Hindi. We will oppose it. None of us here (on the stage) speak Hindi. But if you want to learn it for your career, business or education, you can,” he said.

Mr. Annamalai’s comments come in the wake of severe opposition to Home Minister Amit Shah’s remark that Hindi should replace English as the link language among the States.

Mr. Annamalai accused the Congress of politicising the Hindi language issue for the last 40-45 years. “But Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not approve the draft of the National Education Policy that had Hindi as the main language. He gave the go-ahead only after the Cabinet examined the final report that made Hindi an optional language,” he claimed.

He recalled then Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statements during Hindi Diwas on the need to give importance to the language. At that time, the DMK was a member of the UPA-II government, and had Ministers in that government, he said.

Mr. Annamalai said Tamil could be the link language of India, as stated by musician A.R. Rahman, if due importance was given to developing the language. “Tamil being the link language of India will be the greatest pride for all of us. But have we made efforts to help the language grow? Consider this statistic: In 2010, 68% of students wrote their Class XII exams in Tamil. In 2020, it fell to 51%. It would fall below 50% soon. So, we are saying we should help Tamil grow as a language, but no effort has been made towards it,” he said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin should write to the Chief Ministers of all other States, asking them to teach in Tamil in at least 10 schools in each State, and provide the funds for it, he said.

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