New Delhi: Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Tamil by tagging it as 'rich and diverse' and said it is the oldest language of the world, DMK chief MK Stalin urged the Prime Minister to make it as the official language of the country. Welcoming the Prime Minister's gesture of glorifying Tamil in the United Nations, Stalin accused the BJP-led central government of imposing Sanskrit and Hindi languages on Tamil-speaking people.
"As all central government schemes are coined in Hindi or Sanskrit. Even when the schemes are publicized in Tamil, the pronounciation of the words are in Hindi or Sanskrit. Naming the schemes in Hindi or Sanskrit makes it difficult for Tamils and other language speakers to understand the schemes and their purpose," a statement from the party read.
"The DMK has been emphasizing that all 22 languages in the 8th schedule of the Constitution be made the official languages. In the first step to that initiative, the oldest language Tamil should be made the official language of India and Tamil should also be made the official language of the Madras High Court. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is certainly duty bound to recognize Tamil, which is spoken by over 8-crore people globally, as an official language. It is to be brought to the notice of our Prime Minister that Tamil is one among the official languages of various other countries, whereas it is not an official language in its home country India", it added.
Referring to the PM's comments of Tamil cuisine and hospitality, the statement read, "Tamils are not only known for our hospitality, but also for our loyalty. If the Prime Minister can sincerely try to grant the official language status for Tamil and enact the necessary legal provisions for the same, it would be appreciated forever by the Tamil people. Granting the official language status for Tamil language would also be in line with the vision of former Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers Annadurai and Karunanidhi."
The statement by the Dravidian party also needs to be seen in the light of Home Minister Amit Shah's recent call for Hindi as a common link language to unite the country. The Home Minister’s comments had drawn flak from regional leaders of non-Hindi speaking states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The DMK too had announced a state-wide anti-Hindi agitation, which was later cancelled after Stalin met state Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who him Hindi would not be imposed in Tamil Nadu.