Following numerous protests organised by students from the Northeast,the Delhi University has decided to offer an English paper in lieu of the compulsory course in Hindi or other Modern Indian Languages (MIL),under the four-year undergraduate course format,applicable from July.
In a letter,Dean of Students Welfare J M Khurana said,A paper called Literature in English will be offered to any student who has not studied Hindi or any MIL up to Class XII.
The new four-year undergraduate programme will have 11 compulsory papers,which the students will have to study in the first two semesters. One of these papers will have to be in Hindi or one of the MIL.
There are about 22 languages listed as MIL under the Eight Schedule in the Constitution,which include Assamese,Bengali,Nodo,Dogri,Gujarati,Hindi,Kannada,Kashmiri,Konkani,Maithili,Malayalam,Manipuri,Marathi,Nepali,Oriya,Punjabi,Sanskrit,Santhali,Sindhi,Tamil,Telugu and Urdu.
However,students have claimed that the available infrastructure and faculty of the university can facilitate the study of only a few of these languages. The university was not equipped to offer languages of various communities of the country,especially the Northeast,the protesting students said.
According to these students,The imposition of the languages of majority/dominant communities upon students would affect the fates of not just the present lot studying in the university,but also those who will study here in the coming years.
Chinglen Khumukcham,a student of MA History at DU and member of the North-East Forum for International Solidarity,who was among the student protesters,said,Our demand was not just for students of the Northeast but for those from other states,who have not studied any of these languages. We are satisfied that the university has taken measures in this regard,but this is an issue of language discrimination.