"Can we telecast Tamil news bulletin in north Indian states too?", leaders in TN have asked.

 Why Sanskrit bulletin for all states TN leaders oppose Prasar Bharati order
news Language Monday, November 30, 2020 - 18:56

A directive by Prasar Bharati to its regional channels including Podhigai TV to run a Sanskrit news bulletin for 15 minutes everyday has sparked a controversy in Tamil Nadu. Several political leaders have dubbed this as ‘Sanskrit imposition’ and demanded that this directive be withdrawn.

The directive, issued on November 26, instructs the regional channels of Doordarshan to either telecast the Sanskrit bulletin at the same time as Doordarshan (7.15 pm to 7.30 pm everyday) or to provide a 15-minute time slot in the next half hour to telecast the same. It also asks the regional Prasar Bharati channels to telecast the weekly Sanskrit news magazine at the same time as Doordarshan or to provide a separate time slot for it. 

Political leaders from Tamil Nadu including Thol Thirumavalavan (Member of Parliament, Chidambaram), D Ravikumar (Member of Parliament, Villupuram), Su Venkatesan (Member of Parliament, Madurai) and MK Stalin (Leader of Opposition, Tamil Nadu) have objected to this.

Thol Thirumavalavan tweeted that the move is an ‘agenda of the RSS and sangh-parivars’ and is ‘anti-people’ and against the Constitution that provides for federalism. In a statement released on Monday, he said, “According to the 2011 census, only 24000 people claim that Sanskrit is their mother-tongue. Statistics reveal that there are only 803 people in Tamil Nadu. If news has to be read in Sanskrit for the 803 Sanskrit speakers in Tamil Nadu that has a population of 7.5 crore Tamil speaking people -- then, by the same yardstick, will they also broadcast news in Tamil for 15 minutes in each and every Indian state where thousands and thousands of Tamils reside?”

D Ravikumar also asked if the BJP government will order news bulletin in Tamil in states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi where there are thousands of Tamil people.

Su Venkatesan, meanwhile, asked what is the need for extra efforts for something that does not even have adequate consumers. “There are not even five people to listen, why do we need a six inch conch to announce it,” he tweeted. 

“Why is there a need for a Sanskrit news bulletin in DD Podhigai? Why is the union government imposing a language that is not mainstreamed anywhere in the world?,” tweeted Stalin. He added that this will break the unity and that the ruling party’s arrogance will be broken if the directive is not withdrawn. 

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