Chennai: DMK chief M Karuanidhi on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to honour the promise made by his predecessors that Hindi won't be imposed on non-Hindi speaking people.
In a message to his partymen ahead of the Language Martyrs Day on January 25, Karunanidhi recalled the anti-Hindi agitations in 1938 and 1965 in Tamil Nadu and said late Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi had assured that Hindi will not be imposed on non-speakers of the language.
Language Martyrs Day is observed to honour those who had sacrificed their lives in fighting against the alleged imposition of Hindi.
Quoting Nehru's assurance in 1959 in Parliament that English would continue as an alternative language, Karunanidhi said his successors Indira Gandhi and Lal Bhadur Shastri too had made similar assurances.
"Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi honour the assurances made by his predecessors or will he become a prey to those who want Sanskrit and Hindi to be thrust?" he asked and added that such an apprehension prevailed.
He exhorted his partymen to observe January 25 as a day to "urge Prime Minister Modi to give an assurance that Hindi won't be imposed."