Jayalalitha refuses Hindi to be taught as the main language

September 18, 2014

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has said her state will not comply with the University Grants Commission or UGC order that Hindi be taught as a main subject along with English in all colleges at the graduation level.

 Ms Jayalalithaa today said that universities under government control in her state would continue to offer Tamil or other languages instead under Part 1; and termed the UGC circular received by the Anna University and Alagappa University on the 16th of this month as "unacceptable and illegal".

She put into effect the Official Languages Act, which provides that Hindi will not be imposed in non Hindi speaking states. The Act says the centre should communicate in English with such states.


Tamil Nadu parties like the DMK  and also the PMK and MDMK, both constituents of the BJP-led NDA that rules at the Centre, too have protested against the UGC circular. They have called it another attempt to "impose" Hindi and sought its immediate withdrawal.

 The UGC circular says Hindi should be taught along with English as a primary language in all educational institutions. It has also asked colleges to teach Law and Commerce in the Hindi medium.

 The decision was first taken at a meeting presided over by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2011. The Narendra Modi government has now committed to implement it.

 Ms Jayalalithaa has accused main political rival the DMK of double-speak, charging it with "being silent" when the decision was taken in 2011.

 Parties in Tamil Nadu, which has seen much resistance to what they call the "imposition of Hindi," argue that just because many universities in states in Tamil Nadu receive UGC grants, they cannot be forced to adopt Hindi as a primary medium of instruction or even a first language.

 State parties of different hue have protested against the use of Hindi on the social pages of central departments and Sanskrit week celebrations recently. There was also a controversy over the suggestion that Teachers' Day be called "Guru Utsav." (DMK Chief Takes  On Centre For Renaming Teacher's Day as 'Guru Utsav')

 PMK leader Vaiko recalled earlier this week that the agitation against the "imposition of Hindi" is 75 years old, with the Dravidar Kazhagam first protesting against it in 1938.


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