The original draft education policy made the students of non-Hindi speaking states to learn Hindi (Photo/Reuters)
The original draft education policy made the students of non-Hindi speaking states to learn Hindi (Photo/Reuters)

Centre revises draft education policy amid swelling protest in south over 'Hindi imposition'

ANI | Updated: Jun 03, 2019 15:40 IST

New Delhi (India), June 3 (ANI): Under attack from parties in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the Centre on Monday revised its new Draft National Education Policy, which recommended Hindi learning mandatory in schools of non-Hindi speaking states, and suggested a three-language formula without naming Hindi.
The changes in the draft education policy, prepared by Kasturirangan Committee, come amid the swelling protest against what was termed as "imposition of Hindi" on non-Hindi speaking states.
"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 Grade 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages (one language at the literature level) in their modular Board Examinations sometime during secondary school," read the tweaked version of the draft policy.
Without mentioning Hindi, the revised draft policy said, "Since the modular Board Examinations for language proficiency will indeed test only for basic proficiency in each language, such a change in language choice in Grade 6 would certainly be feasible if the student so desires and would in such cases be supported by teachers and the schooling system."
The government said that the new changes will enable students to opt for additional languages in middle school.
In the original draft policy, a three-language formula recommended the inclusion of English and Hindi besides mother tongue in the non-Hindi states, while the Hindi-speaking states were to include English and any other Indian language to promote "multilingualism" in the country.
"Multilingualism is a necessity of India as of much of the developed world and must be considered a boon and an opportunity for learning and expanding one's horizons rather than a burden," the original version said.
Keeping up its attack, the DMK on Monday passed a resolution asking the union government not to play with the sentiments of the Tamil people.
"Don't test the patience of Tamils. DMK will fiercely oppose any attempt at any point in time to impose any language policy that could affect the two-language system in Tamil Nadu," the resolution adopted at its meeting said.
"We urge union BJP government not to play with the sentiments of the people. In a diverse country like India we believe that the Central government will not pass any legislation without due consultation with all the parties concerned," it said.
on Saturday, DMK president M K Stalin had said that the BJP government should not even think in dream about the three language policy and warned that such "greedy things" will cause a disaster. He said such a move would amount to throwing a stone at a beehive.
Tamil Nadu Congress president K S Alagiri had said that Hindi will not be allowed to be imposed in the state and that students should decide which language they want to learn.
The Communist Party of India called the original policy "a sinister attempt to impose Hindi in the name of the three-language formula" and demanded its withdrawal.
"The Draft New Education Policy is not all about education, but more about how to impose Hindi as part of its agenda of cultural nationalism," the party said in a release.
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had also said that the Centre cannot force any language.
As the row intensified, former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah joined others to slam the move. Even Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has also joined the chorus and warned the Centre.
Siddaramaiah posted a series of tweets on Monday to slam the Centre with the hashtag #StopHindiImposition.
Siddaramaiah wrote, "New National Education Policy draft imposes Hindi in non Hindi states & this goes against our sentiments. If recognition of regional identity is inconsistent according to few then imposition of Hindi is nothing but a brutal assault on our States."
He added, "Instead of imposing Hindi, the government should focus on recognising regional identities & give more space to the states to express & manifest their ideas through their own culture & language. We are all Kannadigas in India."
Reacting to the criticism, a host of union ministers denied there was any attempt to impose any language on states. They maintained that the NEP was only a draft and any decision the government would take will be after consultations with stake holders, the general public and the states.
HRD Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishak had said: "The committee was formed for drafting New Education Policy. That committee has given its report. The report of the committee is only received by the Ministry. That's not the policy. No language will be imposed on any state."
The ministers incuded Prakash Javadekar, Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Sunday said that the policy would be implemented after a public hearing.
Noted music director A R Rahman was quick to laud the revised policy. "Beautiful solution. Hindi is not compulsory in Tamil Nadu. The draft policy has been revised," he tweeted. (ANI)