Charging the BJP government at the Centre with imposing Hindi, Chief Minister and DMK president M.K. Stalin on Wednesday said his party’s language struggle today was to protest against the language dominance, being pushed by the BJP.
“It has become a routine for the BJP government, ruling the Indian Union, to impose Hindi. From imposing Hindi in the administration to imposing it in education, they think their primary aim after coming to power is to impose Hindi,” he said.
Addressing a public meeting of the party in Tiruvallur, Mr. Stalin said in the line of one nation, one religion, one election, one exam, one cuisine, one culture, the BJP was attempting to wipe out other native languages in the country by promoting Hindi. “The BJP government is openly imposing Hindi. The Union government, which observes Hindi Day does not observe the days for other State languages. The importance given to Hindi is not only sidelining other languages but wiping them out,” he added.
Besides using Hindi as an administrative-official language, the BJP was using the language to impose authority, Mr. Stalin said, and added that the BJP national party was trying to replace English with Hindi as the link language.
Referring to the two-language policy in Tamil Nadu, he added that Tamil should be accepted as one of the country’s administrative languages, along with other State languages, and reiterated that Hindi should not be imposed. While the Union government spent over ₹643 crore between 2017 and 2020 for promoting Sanskrit, it spent only over ₹22 crore for promoting Tamil, he said, and added that the amount spent for promoting Sanskrit was 29 times higher than the spending for promoting Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Odia.
“We are not the enemy of any language. One can learn as many languages as they want. But at the same time, we will not accept if it is imposed with an intention to dominate,” he said. “The debate now is not whether to learn Hindi. It is up to everyone to learn any language they want.”
Mr. Stalin said Tamil Nadu had faced five phases of language struggle — in 1938-40, 1948-50, 1953-56, 1959-61 and in 1986 — and recalled the contributions of various Tamil scholars and reformer leaders, and those who ‘sacrificed’ their lives. Recalling the contributions of the DMK for Tamil language, Mr. Stalin said it was during the first DMK government when the Madras State was renamed as Tamil Nadu.
Only because of the ‘two-language policy’, he said, youth from Tamil Nadu have excelled across the globe.
(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050).