Chennai: PMK and MDMK, constituents of BJP-led NDA, on Sunday protested against a Home Ministry circular to varsities that Hindi be taught along with English as a primary language, calling it another attempt to "impose" Hindi and sought its immediate withdrawal.
PMK founder S Ramadoss and MDMK chief Vaiko, both BJP's Tamil Nadu allies, said in separate statements that Union Home Ministry had issued a circular to universities saying Hindi should be taught along with English as a primary language in all educational institutions. Besides, the circular had asked that Law and Commerce be taught in Hindi medium, they said.
"There is no doubt that this is a blatant imposition of Hindi," Ramadoss said.
While such a decision had been taken at a meeting presided by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2011, persisting with it and trying to implement it was not proper, he said.
Both parties opposed the order calling it as another attempt at imposing Hindi and sought its immediate withdrawal.
Ramdsdoss said just because many universities, including those in Tamil Nadu, received UGC grants, they cannot be used as "tools of Hindi imposition" and flayed other issues like using Hindi on the social pages of central departments, Sanskrit week celebrations and the recent controversy surrounding Teachers' Day being called "Guru Utsav."
He said it was not clear if Centre consulted states on this issue and urged the Centre to "drop" its efforts to "impose Hindi".
Vaiko, while referring to the use of Hindi on the social pages of Central departments, Sanskrit week celebrations and "Guru Utsav," said these "made it clear" what was Centre's approach towards the language issue.
He alleged that besides the advisory to the universities, central departments including Railways and insurance companies have been asked to promote Hindi.
Recalling the anti-Hindi mood in Tamil Nadu, he said the agitation against its 'imposition' was 75 years old, with Dravidar Kazhagam first protesting against it in 1938.
"Centre's decision to impose Hindi with the help of authority would have its own repercussions," he said while demanding for withdrawal of the latest order.
It is a sensitive issue in Tamil Nadu, with DMK under its founder CN Annadurai successfully leading the anti-Hindi agitation in 1965.