New Delhi: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday issued a clarification after a controversy over the recommendation of an HRD Ministry panel to teach Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states erupted. 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.

The reaction came in the wake of opposition by several political parties in Tamil Nadu. Besides the DMK, the CPI and BJP’s ally in the Lok Sabha polls, the PMK, also alleged that the recommendation on the three-language formula was ‘imposition of Hindi’.

DMK chief MK Stalin termed the move a ‘big shocker’, claiming that 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.

About National Education Policy 2019 Draft

The National Education Policy 2019, drafted by an expert committee, states that while the Hindi-speaking states of the country will include English and one of the modern Indian language in addition to Hindi while the non-Hindi speaking states in India would also include Hindi along with a regional language and English. The Draft National Education Policy 2019 further said that “children will now be immersed in three languages early on, starting from the Foundational Stage onwards.”

A committee led by Chairman Dr K Kasturirangan on Friday submitted the Draft National Educational Policy 2019, which recommends among other things the overhauling of education structure and expansion of Right to Education (RTE).

(Inputs from agencies)