Tamil Nadu Minister’s Jibe At Language ‘Imposition’


New Delhi: Reiterating DMK government’s stand against ‘imposition’ of Hindi in the southern state, Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy on Friday questioned the claim that learning the language would fetch jobs, and referred to the pani puri sellers, the predominantly Hindi-speaking vendors involved in the trade. The minister asserted that the state will continue with its two-language formula, and condemned any attempt of alleged Hindi imposition.

“Many said you will get jobs if you learn Hindi. Is it so…look here in Coimbatore, who is selling pani puri. It is them (Hindi-speaking individuals),” news agency PTI quoted Ponmudy as saying.

The minister was speaking at the 37th convocation of Bharathiar University in Coimbatore, presided over by state Governor RN Ravi, also the Chancellor of the university.

Notably, Ravi dismissed the claim of alleged Hindi imposition and said, “There is no question of imposition of Hindi or any other language on anyone.”

Ponmudy said that he used this platform to speak about the stand of the state government as the Governor would convey it to the Centre.

The minister said that the state government is ready to adopt the good schemes in the New Education Policy (NEP 2020) and added that there should be no imposition of Hindi and the students should have the liberty to prefer any language as the third option. But the state will follow the prevailing system, Ponmudy said.

“We don’t want to agitate against the good things in NEP. We are ready to follow them. But at the same time, in Tamil Nadu we should have our own language. India is a land of unity in diversity. In Tamil Nadu we should follow our own education system…we should follow certain good policies from the NEP,” PTI quoted the minister as saying.

He further added that Chief Minister MK Stalin has formed a panel to formulate an education policy, and based on its recommendations, a policy will be formulated.

Meanwhile, denying Ponmudy’s claims of Hindi imposition, Governor Ravi, in his address, said, “An impression is created by some people that the Central government is imposing a language on Tamil Nadu or anyone. I think that is far from the truth. That is not correct. In fact, the whole thrust of NEP was to do the learning and teaching in mother tongue, the regional language.”

Hailing Tamil as the ‘oldest’ language, Ravi added, “We have to encourage, incentivise, do all that we can to enrich and spread all the languages of the country. Tamil is a very ancient language of the country, very rich language. Thousands of years back our great learned people have created wealth of literature, knowledge. This should be available to the people in the rest of the country as well.”

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