CHENNAI: With the row over Centre’s draft National Education Policy which was branded as an attempt to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking States yet to die down, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami stirred a hornet’s nest with his tweet requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make Tamil an optional language for study in other States.
After his tweet drew flak in the social media on Wednesday, the Chief Minister deleted it after four hours. The tweet read, “Request Hon’ble PM @narendramodiji to include Tamil as an optional language for study in other States. This will be a great service to one of the most ancient languages of the world.”
Detractors have charged that by making such a request, the CM has indirectly given up the long-time two-language policy of the State and indeed accepted the Centre’s three-language policy.
The Chief Minister has two Twitter handles - one for providing information about his official duties and another for his personal use.
In the draft National Education Policy 2019, a three-language formula has recommended the inclusion of English and Hindi besides mother tongue in non-Hindi speaking states, while Hindi-speaking states were to include English and an Indian language from other parts of the country.
Many leaders from non-Hindi states, especially Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, had opposed the policy.
In Tamil Nadu, leaders cutting across party lines have said the state would not tolerate any imposition of the third language.
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said that the Centre cannot force any language.
The Centre has, however, maintained that the policy was just a draft subject to changes and ensured that no language will be pressed upon.
It is important to know that the Tamil language is the official language of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and the Andaman Islands, and was also the second official language of Haryana till 2010.
One of the oldest surviving languages still spoken by crores of people, Tamil is an accepted minority language in Canada, USA, South Africa and other countries.
(With ANI Inputs)