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Tamil Nadu MP Elangovan: Hindi language of underdeveloped states, will make us ‘shudras’

The DMK lawmaker also claimed that those who want to impose Hindi are ‘trying to bring manu dharma’ to the southern state.

Tamil Nadu MP T K S Elangovan

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP TKS Elangovan has been accused of making a casteist remark at a public gathering held against alleged attempts to impose Hindi in Tamil Nadu.

“Hindi will make us shudras. It will do no good to us. If it enters our land, it will cause harm and spoil our rich culture, and our existing brotherhood will be destroyed,” he said on Saturday.

Elangovan said that before Independence, if a person wanted to become a king in the northern parts of India, he had to be a Kshatriya as they believed in the varnashrama dharma. However, that was not the case in southern states, he said.

“If ever there was one civilisation in the world that treated everyone equally, it was Tamil culture and now they are planning to destroy it. They are trying to impose Hindi to bring the manu dharma here. We should not allow this. If we allow it, we will become slaves—shudras,” he said.

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To argue there is no need to learn Hindi, the DMK leader identified a few “developed” states where Hindi is not the first language and compared them with the “underdeveloped” and Hindi-speaking states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. “Why should I learn Hindi then?” he asked.

On his list of developed states were West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Punjab.

Referring to Amit Shah’s alleged remark last year that if Hindi became India’s common language, it would become the country’s identity globally, Elangovan said he doubted whether the Union home minister was an Indian.

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“For the past 70 years, unity in diversity has been India’s identity. People across the globe are astonished how united we are despite having diverse cultures. Before 1947, India was not a single country. After we got Independence, states were formed on the basis of languages as each of them has its own culture and civilisation. They (former rulers) believed that only if we safeguard the language can we safeguard the civilisation. These people (BJP) don’t even know that,” he said.

Elangovan said if a country needed to develop, the language of each state needed to be protected.

Last month at a convocation, Higher Education minister K Ponmudy stirred up a controversy saying the people who spoke Hindi in the state were pani puri sellers.

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“In Tamil Nadu, there have been two languages, English and Tamil. English is an international language and Tamil is a local language. Many people say that if we learn Hindi, we will get jobs. Are we getting them? You can see in Coimbatore, people who are selling pani puri are Hindi speakers,” he had said.

First published on: 06-06-2022 at 06:05:22 pm
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