Prominence to Hindi on Social Media Against Official Languages Act, 1963: Jaya to Modi
CHENNAI: Pointing out that the Centre’s recent move to give prominence to Hindi on social media is against the letter and spirit of the Official Languages Act, 1963, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to issue suitably modified instructions to ensure that English is used on social media.
“As you are aware, this is a highly sensitive issue and causes disquiet to the people of Tamil Nadu who are very proud of and passionate about their linguistic heritage”, the Chief Minister said in her letter to the Prime Minister.
Referring to the office memoranda of the Union Home Ministry which direct that official accounts on social media like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Google and You Tube which at present use only English should compulsorily use Hindi, or both Hindi and English, with Hindi being written above or first, the Chief Minister said “this makes the use of Hindi mandatory and English optional”.
Jayalalithaa also pointed out that while the Office Memoranda had been primarily made applicable to Government of India officers and offices located in “Region A”, social media by their very nature were not only accessible to all persons on the internet but meant to be a means of communication to persons living in all parts of India including those in “Region C”.
“People located in “Region C” with whom the Government of India communication needs to be in English, will not have access to such public information if it is not in English”, she said.
Jayalalithaa also recalled the memorandum that she had presented to him on June 3, in which she had raised the long pending demand of the people of Tamil Nadu to make the ancient Tamil language an official language of India. Stating that she had also urged that all the languages included in the VIII Schedule of the Constitution of India be declared as official languages of India, the Chief Minister said “If this request is fulfilled the use of all official languages on social media can be encouraged.”