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#StopHindiImposition protest erupts in Tamil Nadu

June 3, 2019

There is outrage building on social media with politicians from Tamil Nadu slamming the Draft National Education Policy 2019. The expert panel that has framed the recommendations has been criticised for being Hindi-focused.

A popular campaign has started saying Hindi should not be made a mandatory third language in schools. This is after a draft education policy was submitted to the new government two days ago. The policy says while the "three language formula" followed in a section of schools since 1968 should be continued, "children will now be immersed in three languages early on, starting from the Foundational Stage onwards."

This has been seen by many as an effort to make Hindi mandatory till Class 8. Twitter was flooded with messages against the move with #StopHindiImposition and #TNAgainstHindiImposition trending.

Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said the suggestions were not a policy yet.

It's not the policy. Public feedback will be sought. It's a misunderstanding that it has become a policy. No language will be imposed on any state. - Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union Education Minister

The school education minister of Tamil Nadu said that if the new policy is enacted, The state will shun it. "Tamil Nadu will follow only two-language policy. Only Tamil and English will bravely march in Tamil Nadu," said K A Sengottaiyan. His party, AIADMK, is an ally of the BJP.

The opposition in TN is also against the policy. "I warn BJP any such move will cause them a huge disaster," said DMK leader MK Stalin. Another leader warned that this was the trigger for a "language war".

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan was also against the move and said "I've acted in Hindi movies... (but) no one should impose anything on anybody. After all, it's up to the individual to learn any language of their choice."

Tamil Nadu has long opposed any moves to give Hindi greater prominence than other Indian languages.

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