COIMBATORE: A day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami reaffirmed State government’s stand on two-language policy, E Balagurusamy, former Vice Chancellor of Anna University on Sunday said, “Although National Education Policy (NEP) does not insist on learning a particular language, learning a widely spoken language like Hindi provides our youth numerous benefits."
"It helps to promote patriotism, national harmony, unity and integration, add value and strength to one’s personality, facilitate the mobility across states for employment, trade and business, promote goodwill among people and states, satisfy the needs of people joining central civil and defense and services and facilitate people joining multinational companies with multi-locations in the country."
In an appeal to the Chief Minister, he said, “We really got shocked and disappointed about your statement that the three-language formula is ‘saddening and painful’. However, it is not clear for whom it is really saddening and painful. Is it the people of Tamil Nadu or the politicians who are opposing the idea without an iota of knowledge about its consequences. In fact, it is your statement that is really saddening and painful for the people, particularly the students, of Tamil Nadu.”
Ours is the only state in the country that has been denying its students from an opportunity to learn any other Indian language other than Tamil for more than five decades now. I am one of those who were badly affected by the two-language formula,” added Balagurusamy, who is also a former member of Union Public Service Commission.
He went on to say that, “By favouring two-language formula, only the poor and rural students studying in government schools are deprived of learning any additional language while the rich and urban joining CBSE, central and private schools have the freedom to study any language they wish. You are very well aware that the children and grandchildren of the leaders who oppose the three-language formula are all studying (or have studied) Hindi happily. Not only this, many of these leaders are running CBSE schools where Hindi is compulsory.”
“Most politicians of Tamil Nadu quote former Chief Minister CN Annadurai who advocated the two- language formula way back in 1968, more than five decades ago. Since then, much water has flown under the bridge. The trade, business and industry as well as the cultural and political landscapes of our country have changed a lot. Today, we are living in a borderless world. Given the present scenario, a visionary leader and rational thinker like Annadurai would have certainly changed his view, had he been alive today, like he did in the case of ‘Dravida Nadu’ (a claim he dropped in 1962 in favor of united India),” he opined adding, the time has come for us to change and move forward along with other people and states.
“One of the many laudable objectives of 3-language formula is to maintain the social fabric of multilingualism present in our country. The pluralistic culture and multi-language diversity should be considered as a boon and an opportunity for learning and expanding one’s horizon rather than limiting by narrow political considerations. It is our duty to enrich, enable and encourage our youth to integrate into the national mainstream so as to enable them contribute effectively to the cultural, social and economic growth and progress of our nation,” he added.