The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu on Saturday organised a state-wide agitation against the Centre’s alleged Hindi imposition and the introduction of a national level common entrance test.
The demonstrations were led by Udhayanidhi Stalin, MLA, and son of Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin. Udhayanidhi warned the Union government of an intensified stir if the Union government continued to impose Hindi upon the people, and said if necessary, the agitation would be held in New Delhi next.
Udhayanidhi said the Union government should not think that the DMK cadres would protest for a day and vanish. The agitation would be expanded and would continue as long as the Union government tried to thrust Hindi upon the people.
He recalled that the DMK had come to power in Tamil Nadu in 1967 after conducting an anti-Hindi agitation from 1965. For the DMK, protests against Hindi imposition have been held by the party whether in power or in the opposition.
If anyone tried to impose Hindi on Tamil Nadu, we would simply say, “Engalukku Hindi Theriyaadhu, Po Daa” (We don’t know Hindi, go away).
Several MPs and MLAs, including former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran, were among party leaders who participated in the demonstrations.
The agitation was held in all the district headquarters of the State.
A joint statement issued by DMK youth wing secretary and MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin and party’s student’s wing secretary CVMP Ezhilarasan had asked partymen to hold demonstrations in all the district headquarters on October 15, with the recent provocation being the recommendation of a parliamentary panel headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to make Hindi the medium of instruction in central educational institutes.
A few days ago, chief minister Stalin had also warned the BJP-led Union government of DMK’s continued opposition, and asked the government not to force another language war by imposing Hindi.
The DMK functionaries said the move was against the feelings of the non-Hindi speaking states. They claimed even in all union recruitment examinations, there is a recommendation to provide preference for Hindi over English which will eventually lead up to a situation where only people who know Hindi alone can participate in such tests thereby blocking the opportunity for youngsters from non-Hindi speaking states.
The statement further pointed out that the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution has 22 languages, including Tamil, and all of these are entitled for equal rights. “The attempt by the Union government to make Hindi the Common language of India is against the constitution, deprives the rights of the states and is against social justice,” it said.
The DMK leaders noted the common entrance test is an injustice to the socially backward and economically challenged students, since it destroyed the basic principle of equal rights and opportunities for everyone.
Stalin claimed that the proposals made in the 11th volume of the report of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language were a direct onslaught on India’s soul.
“If implemented, the vast non-Hindi speaking population will be made second-class citizens in their own land. Imposing Hindi is against the integrity of India. The BJP govt would do well to learn lessons from the Anti-Hindi agitations in the past,” he tweeted.
தமிழர் உணர்வுகளை புறக்கணித்து மொழி திணிப்பு தொடர்ந்தால், மொழி-மாநில-கல்வி உரிமை காக்க தமிழ்நாட்டில் திரண்ட இளைஞர் கூட்டம் ஒன்றிய தலைநகரான டெல்லியில் திரளும் என, @dmk_youthwing-மாணவர் அணி சார்பில் சென்னையில் இன்று நடைபெற்ற கண்டன ஆர்ப்பாட்டத்தில் உரையாற்றினேன். #StopHindiImposition pic.twitter.com/sKrfAYIK2S
— Udhay (@Udhaystalin) October 15, 2022