The DMK has hit out at the Centre’s decision to promote the use of Hindi in routine conversations in government offices and in the North East and in South India to make the language popular. Calling it an “imposition”, DMK spokesperson A. Saravanan said, “Language is a very sensitive subject. People’s sentiments should not be hurt.”
Saravanan said that the BJP government was giving undue importance to Hindi and Sanskrit since it came to power and the Centre’s move went against the federal structure of the country. “There is no reason to promote Hindi and Sanskrit. This will derail the growth trajectory of the country. The BJP should concentrate on basic issues of the people which remains unresolved,” said the DMK spokesperson.
According to a press release issued by the Personnel Ministry, the decision was taken at a Hindi Advisory Committee meeting chaired by
Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who stressed the importance of promoting the use of Hindi in regions like the North East and South India where it is not commonly used. Singh said the approach should not be to impose Hindi but to inspire to voluntarily adopt the language for larger interest of administration and ease of governance. The Union Minister also said that Hindi has the capacity to serve not only as a common medium of communication for the whole country, but would help youngsters who aspire for jobs in the corporate sector.
Former bureaucrat and Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi told Telegraph that although he welcomed the promotion of colloquial Hindi, he feared that it would create undue antipathy towards the language. “Anything that sounds innocent and innocuous has to be viewed with doubt as nothing they do promotes plurality...What the minister said has nothing to do with Hindi per se. Hindi is being used to bring about an assault on plurality and I hope other linguistic groups see through this," said Vajpeyi to Telegraph.
Tamil Nadu witnessed anti-Hindi agitations in the 1960s after the Congress government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru attempted to make Hindi the sole official language. While Hindi and English continue to be India’s official language, DMK’s Trichy Siva had in 2013 moved a private members bill in the Rajya Sabha demanding that all regional languages including Tamil be used at the Centre for official purposes.
(With inputs from PTI)