Ahead of Cyclone Nivar's landfall between Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, another storm erupted on Twitter over the Hindi updates from the official handle of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The IMD's consecutive cyclone warnings and weather updates in Hindi irked many users in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, who expressed their displeasure by trending the hashtag #StopHindiImposition.
The cyclone affected the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh along with Puducherry Union Territory. While Tamil is the official language of TN and Puducherry (along with Malayalam and Telugu), people of Andhra speak Telugu.
IMD's tweets in Hindi did not go down well with many people in Tamil Nadu when they were expecting the updates to be in either Tamil or English.
प्रचण्ड चक्रवाती तूफान "निवार" बीते छह घंटे में 11 किमी प्रति घंटे की गति के साथ पश्चिम-उत्तर-पश्चिम दिशा की ओर बढ़ा और भारतीय समयानुसार आज सुबह , 25 नवंबर, 2020, 0830 बजे दक्षिण-पश्चिम बंगाल की खाड़ी में अक्षांश 10.7 °N एवं देशान्तर 81.7 °E पर केंद्रित है | pic.twitter.com/zAlzxCwNYK— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) November 25, 2020
The translation of the Hindi tweets read, "In the last six hours, the severe cyclonic storm "Nivar" moved towards west-northwest direction with a speed of 11 kmph and latitude 10.7 ° in southwest Bay of Bengal in the morning of Indian time today, November 25, 2020, 0830 hrs. N and Longitude is centered at 81.7 ° E. Its (the cyclonic storm’s) distance is about 240 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 250 km east-southeast from Puducherry and 300 km south-southeast from Chennai. It is likely to intensify during the next 06 hours into an extremely severe cyclonic storm."
Another tweet stated that Nivar would cross the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (between Karaikal and Mamallapuram) as a "very severe cyclonic storm in the midnight of November 25 and 26, and then move towards the west-northwest.”
“While crossing the coast, the average wind speed associated with this extremely severe cyclonic storm is estimated to be 120-130 kmph and maximum wind speed of 145 kmph,” read the last tweet in Hindi.
Here are some of the tweets criticising IMD for its tweets in Hindi.
Mention it as 'Hindi Meteorolagical Department'.— தமிழ் இடையன் (@thamizhidayan) November 25, 2020
If Indian government do this type of hindi imposition again and again, we tamil people says again and again that 'WE ARE NOT A INDIAN'. #stopHindichauvinism #stopHindiImposition https://t.co/7qkYud9dT7
There are many instances over the past few years where #StopHindiImposition became a nationwide trend on Twitter.
The majority of people in Tamil Nadu have always been against "Hindi Imposition", which dates way back to 1937, when the first anti-Hindi imposition agitation was launched.