CHENNAI: Strongly opposing the circular of the University Grants Commission (UGC) asking universities to introduce Hindi as a main subject along with English, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday said the directive would be totally irrelevant to the universities in Tamil Nadu, adding that the circular was against the law.
“In all universities in Tamil Nadu, Tamil or any other language will remain under Part I and English under Part II, and the core subjects like commerce, botany etc, will be under Part III. The decisions of the Kendriya Hindi Samiti to introduce Hindi as a main subject in universities will not apply to the universities in the State. I have instructed the Chief Secretary to convey this to all universities under the control of Tamil Nadu government,” the Chief Minister said in a statement here.
Referring to the statements of DMK’s T K S Elangovan, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and PMK founder S Ramadoss on the issue, the CM said the circular was received only by Anna University and Alagappa University on September 16. Asserting that the AIADMK was steadfast in its policy to oppose imposition of Hindi on non-Hindi speaking States, the CM said this circular had come at a time when she was urging the Centre to make Tamil an official language of the Union government.
The Official Languages Act, 1963 specifically says that Hindi should not be imposed on non-Hindi speaking States. Section 3 of this Act states that English should be the language of communication between Centre and the State governments that do not have Hindi as its official language. As per the Official Languages Rules, 1976, communication from a Central government office to States/UTs in Region “B” (comprising Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territory of Chandigarh) should ordinarily be in Hindi. If the communication is sent in English, its Hindi version should also be sent along with that. But TN and some other States have been classified as Region C and communication with these states should be only in English. “As such, UGC’s circular will be irrelevant to universities in TN,” the CM said.
The Kendriya Hindi Samiti (KHS) was held on July 28, 2011 during the previous Congress-led UPA regime. During that meeting, it was pointed out that the students studying in universities in Gujarat have been receiving their degrees by studying either in English or Hindi, and because of this, they do not acquire the translation capacity required for the Central government offices. As such, the UGC should ensure that the students of Gujarat study both English and Hindi. “From this, it is clear that the attempt to impose Hindi stemmed from the decisions taken at KHS meeting. However, DMK president M Karunanidhi who remained silent on this issue, now has registered a nominal protest through T K S Elangovan,” she said. She alleged that Karunanidhi was reluctant to raise this issue then fearing that it might prevent the ‘release’ his daughter Kanimozhi from jail. This shows that the DMK had adopted double standards, she said.