Less than a month after the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) launched its revamped website, a railway users’ association from Tamil Nadu has alleged that website imposes Hindi on its users.
A statement released by the Kanyakumari District Railway Users' Association (KKDRUA) on Wednesday states: “We found a lot of Hindi imposition in your IRCTC English version web site service. If we type travel source and destination it is coming Hindi first then English. Already full Hindi version website is available. Why imposed Hindi script in English version website. The Hindi speaking people will book the ticket from Hindi version website.(sic)”
The website, launched on June 13, enables passengers to check for trains, likelihood of ticket confirmation, etc. without having to login with an IRCTC User ID. However, when one keys in the name of a location, the dropdown menu throws up the name of the place in Hindi, English and the station code — in that order.
Claiming that the Official Language Act 1976 is not applicable to Tamil Nadu, KKDRUA Secretary Edward Jeni slammed the IRCTC arm of the Ministry of Railways.
“People of Tamilnadu don’t know read/write/speak Hindi. As per The official language rules act 1976 Tamilnadu is located in “Region C”. Hindi is not a National language of India. Further, may I request you to ensure that Hindi is not imposed on non-Hindi speaking Indian nationalities. You have got facility from Ministry of railways only for ticket reservation purpose. Your job is not to promote the Hindi language,” the statement reads.
Requesting the government not to impose a regional language in the state, the letter also calls for native languages to be included in products of IRCTC.
“Imposing Hindi is against Linguistic equality and consumer rights. We hope you will respect our sentiments and stop imposing Hindi on non-Hindi natives,” the statement further adds.
Further, the Railway Users' Association also called on the IRCTC to create a Tamil version of the website.