Jayalalithaa opposes Centre's 'Hindi in universities' directive

Given the extreme sensitivity in Tamil Nadu over the issue, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday opposed the Centre's circular on teaching Hindi universities.

By Ajith Vijay Kumar | Last Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 12:36 PM IST

Chennai: Given the extreme sensitivity in Tamil Nadu over the issue, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday opposed the Centre's circular on teaching Hindi universities.

Terming the move as “against law”, the CM said that the decision taken during UPA rule at the Centre is not binding on Tamil Nadu.

The issue pertains to a circular sent by Union Home Ministry's language department to universities asking them to ensure that law and commerce degree courses are also taught in Hindi. The circular also directed the universities to inform back on the steps taken to implement the directive.

While the circular was originally issued by the Central Hindi committee under then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh in 2011, the current circular by the NDA government is a follow up to that decision.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu are up in arms against what they allege is an attempt to impose Hindi on the state.

Those who oppose the move include NDA allies PMK and MDMK. Infact leaders in Tamil Nadu BJP have also voiced their dissent against the Hindi move.

PMK founder S Ramadoss and MDMK chief Vaiko, 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.

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.

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.