The protest against milestones in Hindi on National Highways has gone online, with Twitter users objecting to the Central Government's move to 'impose' the language on non-Hindi speaking states. Overnight the #StopHindiChauvinism has begun trending, with non-Hindi speaking citizens questioning the Centre over its move.
In Tamil Nadu, Hindi has been making a comeback on the milestones on the National Highways at the expense of English. According to reports, milestones on NH 75 and NH 77, which goes through Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts, now have names in Hindi, Tamil or Kannada. English names are no longer used there. This is allegedly putting scores of medical tourists and travelers from other countries or states in a difficult situation.
Several political parties including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) have openly condemned the Centre's move. DMK working president MK Stalin even warned of βnewβ anti-Hindi protests if Centre continued to favour Hindi at the expense of other languages.
PMK founder S Ramadoss meanwhile, threatened to launch a massive agitation if the Centre continues latest attempt to replace English signages with Hindi. MDMK founder Vaiko too warned the Centre of repercussions.
Now, Twitterati have taken to social media, to make their opposition to the move clear. Several of them have even taken to reminding the centre that Hindi is merely yet another official language and cannot be forced upon people.
Hindi is the national language = National Lie of the Indian Union. #StopHindiChauvinismβ Garga Chatterjee (@GargaC) April 3, 2017
If my language is an issue to the Union and the Government then let's revisit the need for such a Union and Government. #StopHindiChauvinismβ Suhruta Yajaman (@syajaman) April 3, 2017
Dear Hindi speakers, this tag is not against you. This is against a bull dozing Govt that takes us for granted. Peace. #StopHindiChauvinismβ N (@nethraa_) April 3, 2017
#StopHindiChauvinism because.. it is 2017 and 50+ years have passed since Gov of India assured non-Hindi speakers about not imposing Hindi.— Manu S (@manuraj1983) April 3, 2017
Majority of us spak, so everyone should speak Hindi. =β Richard Parker (@myRichardParker) April 4, 2017
Majority of us eat meat, so the Vegans also must eat meat.#StopHindiChauvinism
Is anyone asked to learn our languages when they visit for work or tourism?Why is this 'linguistic link' only one way? #StopHindiChauvinismβ NoToSilence (@akdwaaz) April 4, 2017
Great to see #StopHindiChauvinism trending in Tamil Nadu.β Asfandyar Bhittani (@BhittaniKhannnn) April 3, 2017
There were also those who used the hashtag to convey that the divisions over imposing Hindi were being deliberately created.
People who say #StopHindiChauvinism is trying to divide. Hindi Rashtra Bhasha, Malayalam my Mathru Bhasha, Sanskrit Dev Bhasha. All are Oursβ Rahul Easwar (@RahulEaswar) April 3, 2017