New Delhi: Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Sunday said that the Centre ‘respects all languages’ and ‘no language will be imposed’. He also stated that the general public and state governments would be consulted before taking a final call on the 3-language system.
“The National Education Policy as submitted to the Minister HRD is only a draft report. Feedback shall be obtained from general public. State Governments will be consulted. Only after this the draft report will be finalised. GoI respects all languages. No language will be imposed,” he tweeted amid the increasing protests over the issue.
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In a similar move on Saturday, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had issued a clarification over the matter. Addressing the media, he said that the committee had only prepared a draft report and no decision has been taken on implementing it, asserting that no language should be imposed on anyone.
“The committee has submitted its report. The draft has been prepared but government has not taken any decision. It is just a misunderstanding. We will only take a decision after feedback on the draft has been received,” he reportedly said.
Adding, he said, “The Modi government’s policy has always been that all languages should be developed and no language should be imposed on anyone. There should be no unnecessary apprehensions about it.”
Notably, the draft of the new National Education Policy (NEP), proposed by the panel constituted by Javadekar when he was HRD minister in the previous Modi government, had suggested teaching of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states. Javadekar is the Union minister for information and broadcasting in Modi government 2.0. The HRD portfolio has been allotted to Ramesh Pokhriyal this time.
Notably, several political parties in Tamil Nadu are protesting over the decision by the HRD ministry. The DMK, the PMK, AMMK, AIADMK, MNM among other political parties stand united against the matter.
Terming the move a ‘big shocker’, DMK chief MK Stalin had claimed that if implemented, it would divide the country.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Education Minister and AIADMK leader KA Sengottaiyan told a Tamil news channel that the state will not deviate from the two-language formula and only Tamil and English will continue to be taught in the state.
The NEP was also opposed by AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who said that imposition of Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states will destroy pluralism. “This would make non-Hindi speakers second class citizens,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan spoke over the issue. “I have acted in many Hindi films, in my opinion Hindi language should not be imposed on anyone,” he said while speaking to news agency ANI.
Echoing the similar sentiment, DMK leader T Siva said that if any attempts were made to enforce Hindi language on people of Tamil Nadu, then they would oppose it fiercely.