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Nobody in North is learning Malayalam and Tamil: Shashi Tharoor on row over Hindi ‘imposition’

Tharoor's remark was in reference to the recent furore in Tamil Nadu over the recommendations of the Draft National Education policy 2019 promoting Hindi as the mandatory third language in schools all over the country.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 3, 2019 7:20:54 am
shashi tharoor, shashi tharoor on hindi, shashi tharoor three language policy, three language policy india, tamil nadu hindi, tamil nadu hindi protest, stalin, prakash javadekar, hindi mandatory in schools, tamil nadu protests hindi Congress MP Shashi Tharoor (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor Sunday said the solution to the three language formula is not by abandoning the idea but by its better implementation, ANI reported. Tharoor’s remark was in reference to the recent furore in Tamil Nadu over the recommendations of the Draft National Education policy 2019 promoting Hindi as the mandatory third language in schools all over the country.

“The solution is not to abandon the three languages formula but to implement it in a better manner,” ANI quoted Tharoor as saying.

Tharoor said that the three-language formula dates back to mid-1960s but it was never properly implemented. “Most of us in South India learn Hindi as a second language but nobody in the North is learning Malayalam and Tamil,” he said.

Read | Govt dismisses fears of Hindi imposition in Tamil Nadu

Earlier Saturday, parties in Tamil Nadu, including the DMK, strongly opposed the three language formula’s continuation with add-on features proposed in the draft National Education Policy alleging it was tantamount to “thrusting” Hindi and wanted it junked.

A committee led by former ISRO chairman Dr K Kasturirangan recommended the teaching of Hindi, English and one regional language in the non-Hindi states. For Hindi-speaking states, the committee recommended the teaching of Hindi, English and one of the modern Indian languages from other parts of the country. Tamil has been put into the category of classical languages by the ministry and it has not been made clear which languages fall into the modern language’s domain.

Reacting to the controversy, the HRD Ministry issued a statement clarifying that the policy made public Friday is only a draft and will be finalised after incorporating public feedback and views of state governments.

“Government under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi is committed for equal development and promotion of all Indian languages. There will be no imposition of any language in educational institutions, nor discrimination against any language,” the ministry press release stated.

CPI(M) opposes three-language formula, says it invokes ‘linguistic chauvinism’

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) Sunday said such forcible imposition of language will lead to feelings of “linguistic chauvinism” detrimental for the country’s unity.

In a statement, the CPI (M) said, “The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) is unequivocally opposed to the imposition of the three-language formula from primary level of school education as proposed in the Draft National Education Policy released by the HRD ministry.”

The party said it is of the “firm opinion” that the “opposition is not to any particular language but for ensuring the opportunity for all Indian languages to develop and thrive”.

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