Wondering as to what is the difficulty in making Hindi the third language in educational institutions, the first bench of the Madras High Court said on Tuesday, January 25, that if one doesn't learn Hindi, it would be very difficult to secure a job in north India. The bench of Acting Chief Justice MN Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu said this when a PIL petition seeking to implement in toto the New Education Policy 2020 of the central government came up before it.
The petition by Arjunan Elayaraja, secretary of Aalamaram, an NGO in Cuddalore district, prayed for a direction to the authorities concerned to implement the NEP in Tamil Nadu with requisite modifications accommodating the suggestions of the Supreme Court in various cases on the issue. Citing certain instances where qualified persons from Tamil Nadu had lost the opportunity for being hired in jobs in north India for lack of Hindi knowledge, the Acting Chief Justice said "for taking job in the state of Tamil Nadu, there is no difficulty because the candidates are well conversant with the local language (Tamil), but outside the state, they would face difficulty."
The Acting Chief Justice recalled that one of his brother judges could not get a job in the Airports Authority of India because he did not know Hindi, though selected. "This is the biggest drawback for the people of Tamil Nadu," he added.
When Advocate-General R Shanmugasundaram replied that everyone in the state is free to learn Hindi through institutions like Hindi Prachar Sabha, the ACJ retorted that 'learning' is different from 'teaching.' When Shanmugasundaram mentioned the State was following the two language system (Tamil and English) as a policy, the ACJ wondered what would be the harm if Hindi is introduced in the three-language policy. The AG replied it would overburden' the students. However, the ACJ added that the only thing is to give the option of selecting the languages.
"Tamil and English are already there. I think adding third language (Hindi) would not be harmful," the ACJ said, admitted the PIL and ordered issuance of notice to the authorities concerned, returnable in eight weeks.