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Tamil Nadu to retain two-language norm, says EPS in I-Day address

Language politics is back to the fore in Tamil Nadu with chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) asserting on Independence Day that the state government is steadfast in its opposition to the imposition of Hindi and would never compromise the two-language formula.

Right from the days of late Chief Minister and Dravidian stalwart C N Annadurai, Tamil Nadu has been following the two language formula since 1968, he recalled and made it clear that the state would never stray away from that policy.

“I assert that the AIADMK government will oppose any scheme or project that is seen as detrimental to the people of Tamil Nadu and would remain at the forefront of protecting the interests of the people,” he said, after hoisting the national flag on the ramparts of Fort St George, the seat of power in the state.

Curiously enough, EPS’s remark on Hindi imposition comes nearly a month after the Centre was forced to withdraw the clause in the Draft New Education Policy which made teaching of Hindi mandatory in non-Hindi speaking states.

It is significant that EPS is following in the footsteps of his predecessor and late AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa, in announcing policy decisions using the customary address on Independence Day.

“Annadurai had brought a resolution in the state assembly in 1968, dispensing with Hindi in the curriculum. It was passed and since then, we have been following the two-language policy of mother tongue Tamil and English. Reaffirming it, AIADMK founder and former chief minister MG Ramachandran ensured the passage of a similar resolution. Jayalalithaa too had resolutely opposed imposition of Hindi as a third language,” EPS said.

Passion for mother tongue runs deep in the state and Tamil Nadu had witnessed massive agitations against Hindi imposition in 1938 and in 1965 and many have died for the cause of language. Both the Dravidian parties, AIADMK and DMK, are wedded to the two language policy and Tamil Nadu remains the only state in the country which has not allowed setting up of the centrally-sponsored Navodaya Vidyalalas, on the ground of Hindi being imposed through the backdoor.

Further, using the Independence Day address EPS announced the trifurcation of Vellore district into three with the newly carved out two units having headquarters at Ranipet and Thirupathur. The ruling AIADMK lost to the opposition DMK in the election to the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency, the result of which was announced on August 9.

The EPS government has been on a spree in creating new districts since January this year and with this the total number of districts in the state has gone up to 37. Earlier, the government had announced Kallakurichi, Chengalpattu and Tenkasi as new districts.

Splitting Vellore has been a pet demand of the OBC Vanniyar-dominant Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), an ally of the AIADMK as an undivided Vellore remains a stronghold of the DMK.

First Published:
Aug 15, 2019 22:23 IST

Source: HindustanTimes