DMK chief MK Stalin Saturday condemned the statements made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah which endorsed Hindi as the common language in India. He said the ‘One Nation One Language’ policy was a “deliberate attempt” to make non-Hindi speakers feel like “second-class citizens” of the country.
On the occasion of Hindi Diwas 2019, the Home Minister had said it was important to have a common language in the country that becomes the “mark of India’s identity globally”. He added that Hindi had the ability to “string the nation together in unity.”
Shah’s statement drew a sharp response from the Dravidian leader, who said it was an attempt by the BJP to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states.
“Our Constitution clearly says India is a union of states. The plurality of India is our strength. With various hidden agendas, the BJP is trying to destroy that identity from the day it came to power. Union Minister Amit Shah’s ‘One Nation One Language’ policy is seen as a deliberate attempt to make the non-native Hindi speakers feel as the second-class citizens of this country,” Stalin said.
Stalin quoted former Tamil Nadu chief minister Annadurai, who once said that if the central government is trying to make Hindi the official language on the grounds of numerical superiority, then the common crow would have to be India’s national bird, not the Peacock.
“DMK had always protested against Hindi imposition and safeguarded the Tamil language. When our Constitution says all languages must be treated with equality, the Home Minister’s statement which upholds Hindi above other languages is disrupting India’s Integrity and I strongly condemn that,” Stalin added.
Stalin urged Shah to withdraw his statement for the country’s sovereignty and integrity. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi should clarify his stand on this issue or else DMK would prepare itself for another language war. Not just with allies in Tamil Nadu, but also with other states that will lose their linguistic independence due to Hindi imposition, DMK will not hesitate to enter the democratic battlefield,” the DMK chief warned.
He accused the Centre of imposing Hindi in Civil Works, Railways, Postal Department and the banking sector. ”DMK is ready to protect the integrity of the country and we are warning the government that this country is India and not Hindhi-ya,” he said.
This statement comes from the DMK leader just a few months after his party, alongside other opposition parties, had targeted the NDA government for recommending the three-language systems in schools.
A draft on the New Education Policy suggested that Hindi be included in all schools, including in non-Hindi speaking states. The volatile protest had forced the Center to announce that the NEP was only a draft and that the Centre would decide upon implementing it based on feedback from the public.
This June, the Southern Railways issued an order stating that communication between the Divisional Control Office and the Station Masters should be in either Hindi or English. This, the Railways said, was to prevent “either side not understanding what is being said”. Following the protest from Railway employees, DMK and others, the Railways withdrew its circular.
AIADMK reiterates two-language policy
Tamil Nadu School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan has reiterated that Tamil Nadu will follow two-language policy. Taking to Twitter, he wrote “As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, in the footsteps of Arignar Anna, only two-language policy will be followed. Honorable TN Chief Minister has briefed Honourable Prime Minister and Home Minister regarding this,” he tweeted.