SALEM: The World Tamil Council (Ulaga Tamil Kazhagam) and other like-minded organisations at a conference on ‘Tamil as Official Language’ here on Saturday, decided to support only parties that show serious commitment to making ‘Tamil the only official language in Tamil Nadu’ in the coming Assembly election.
‘Tamil the only official language in Tamil Nadu’ will be the main point in the manifesto of the Council and like-minded organisations for the election.
They have demanded that Tamil be made the only official language in the State by amending the Tamil Nadu Official Language Act, 1956, which allows English also to be an official language of the State. In addition, they also want the Centre to declare Tamil also as an official language. The Central government is reluctant to accept this demand.
Though the Official Language Act, 1963 was amended in 1976, during the campaign, they found that officials in Central government organisations working in Tamil Nadu were by and large ignorant of it. They did not know that the Official Language Act Amendment Rules, 1976, clearly state that certain rules do not apply to Tamil Nadu. In clauses ‘F’ and ‘G’ of the rules, Tamil Nadu falls under Region ‘C’ where insistence of Hindi as the official language does not apply.
However, only in a few Central departments like India Post, which involve public interface, is Tamil used, that too at the lower rungs. In others, the communication is in Hindi or English. The Centre’s use of cash awards and other incentives to promote Hindi has minimised the use of Tamil, said V N Adalarasan, treasurer, World Tamil Council.
If the Centre makes Tamil one of the official languages, Tamils who lack knowledge of English and Hindi will be able to get jobs in its departments, said Tamilar Desiya Munnani president Pazha Nedumaran, who delivered a special address at the conference.
The State making Tamil the only official language will encourage more people who know only Tamil to participate in the government and administration, he added.
It will also encourage more people to learn Tamil and shed the blind patronage of English. It is a fallacy that English is necessary to survive the globalised economy, he said.