Veteran Congress leader and former Karnataka CM Siddaramaih on Monday lashed against a proposal for teaching Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states. He claimed that learning a language should be by choice and not be imposed. In a series of tweets he said: "Ours is a land that exhibits Unity in Diversity. Peaceful coexistence is the need to establish harmony &any force shall work against the laws of society. For us Kannada is an identity, &learning any other language should be by Choice & not by imposition."
He also claimed that the imposition of a language is a brutal assault on states which have a regional identity. "New National Education Policy draft imposes Hindi in non Hindi states & this goes against our sentiments. If recognition of regional identity is inconsistent according to few then imposition of Hindi is nothing but a brutal assault on our States," he tweeted.
He added that instead of imposing Hindi, the government should focus on recognising regional identities and giving more space to the states to express and manifest their ideas through their own culture & language. "We are all Kannadigas in India," he said.
The draft of the new National Education Policy, proposed by the panel constituted in the previous Narendra Modi government, had suggested teaching of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states. The proposal has drawn strong opposition from parties who alleged it tantamount to "thrusting" Hindi.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy also said that one language should not be imposed on others in the name of three-language formula. "I am aware of the draft education policy released by the HRD Ministry yesterday. One language should not be imposed on others for any reason in the name of three-language policy. State governments stand will be known to the Centre after gathering more information on this issue," he tweeted on Sunday.