Resistance against saffronisation takes a new turn

Rise of the Resistance against Saffronisation

Tamil Nadu Three Language Rule
A protestor against the inclusion of Hindi language, Photo Source: Scroll.in

After the resistance of the regional parties and citizens of Tamil Nadu over the draft of New Education Policy reflecting saffronisation stance, making the three-language system mandatory in schools all over India, the Centre has decided to tweak the recommended policy and removed any specific references to Hindi, still propounding the three-language rule to be in the policy.

According to a report, the revised draft policy, which says:

“In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6 or 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages (one language at the literature level)”

The first draft said, “In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6, so long as the study of three languages by students in the Hindi-speaking states would continue to include Hindi and English and one of the modern Indian languages from other parts of India, while the study of languages by students in the non-Hindi speaking states would include the regional language, Hindi and English.”

What is the backdrop of the Revised Decision?

A new controversy broke out in Tamil Nadu after the Central government-made Kasturirangan Committee submit a draft of the Education Policy proposing that all the schools in India should follow the three language rule, the languages being English, Hindi and the regional language.

The draft was prepared by the committee led by Prakash Javadekar when he handled the HRD Ministry in the previous government. The 500-page report stated that all the non-Hindi speaking states should include Hindi and English in their curriculum, additional to the regional language and all the Hindi speaking states should include English and another modern Indian language in addition to Hindi.

Protest Tamil Nadu
M.K Stalin President of DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam)

All the regional parties in Tamil Nadu opposed the decision and warned of a ‘language war’ against the draft and the three-language policy. Speaking to reporters in Chennai, DMK leader MK Stalin said, “I warn BJP any such move will cause them a huge disaster.”

The Repercussions

The state government however straight on face rejected the proposal and stated that it would continue to follow the two-language policy. The oppositions in Tamil Nadu reportedly threatened to undergo protests if the plan was implemented.

Stop Hindi Imposition
Stop #HindiImposition is trending on Twitter

Twitter got flooded with hashtags trended as #StopHindiImposition and #TNAgainstHindiImposition since the draft NEP (New Education Policy) has been made public. A protest erupted on Twitter lashing the BJP government stating Hindi should not be made a compulsory language in schools. Senior leader P Chidambaram left a series of tweets after the recommendation came.

“If the Hindi language is a compulsory subject, its import is the imposition of Hindi. The BJP government’s real face is beginning to emerge.”

Said one of his tweets. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, however, took this with utmost patience and explained that the solution to the three-language formula is not to eradicate it but to implement it in a manner that benefits all. He put forward that schools in Hindi speaking areas should also offer and teach Indian languages from other parts of India.

Highlighting the loopholes in the implementation of the policy, he said to ANI agency, “Most of us in South India learn Hindi as a second language but nobody in the North is learning Malayalam and Tamil.”
Reacting to the backlash by the people of Tamil Nadu, Prakash Javadekar clears that there will be no imposition and that all languages will be promoted. “There is no intention of imposing any language on anybody, we want to promote all Indian languages. It’s a draft prepared by the committee, which will be decided after getting public feedback” he told the news agency ANI. The Centre said it is just a recommendation and not a policy decision.

Tamil Nadu Protest against saffronisation
Is this a part of the Saffron Wave

The anti-three-language-policy has turned majorly into an anti-BJP war, criticizing them of establishing and imposing on them a culture which is not really followed by them. Decisions like this have started to make the people insecure about the government and made them feel that the election has endorsed the Hindu and RSS ideologies and created a Hindu majoritarian state and policy.

Our Take

Saffronisation is a bane

Imposing a language on the minority population will destroy the little pluralism in the states of our country. Those who are interested in learning whatever language is always allowed to do so. Nobody would stop them from learning and imbibing more than one or two languages. Is this what we were talking about when PM Modi with his newly elected MPs said that regional languages and regional issues should be prioritized in the country? The Hinduisation of the land, irrespective of being under the leadership of whichever party, be it Congress or BJP, is a harmful step towards the national integration of the nation.

Harshita Malik
Harshita Malik

Trained in journalism, fights for gender and human rights issues. Open to talks and criticism. Believes in individual wishes and opinions. A mediocre reader of non-fiction.

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