Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin on Saturday attacked the Centre over the emphasis on Hindi in the draft New Education Policy, and said such a “greedy and wrong thing” will cause a disaster, ANI reported.

A panel of experts led by former Indian Space Research Organisation chief Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan has recommended that students in non-Hindi speaking states learn a regional language, Hindi and English, while students in Hindi-speaking states learn Hindi, English and a modern Indian language from other parts of the country.

“The BJP government should not even think about the three-language policy in Tamil Nadu,” Stalin said, according to ANI. “BJP is trying to throw a stone at it [the two-language policy] by inflicting a three-language policy again. BJP should not even think about it in their dreams.”

“Imposing Hindi on Tamil Nadu would be similar to throwing stones at a beehive,” the DMK president said, according to India Today. He claimed that “Hindi is not in the blood of the people of Tamil Nadu”. Stalin added that the DMK will “wage a war” against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre if any attempt was made to impose Hindi on Tamil Nadu.

DMK leader Kanimozhi said the party would oppose the imposition of Hindi, while Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko warned of a “language war”. The party’s Rajya Sabha MP Trichi Siva said the DMK is “ready to face any consequences” to ensure that Hindi is not imposed on the people of the state.

“Imposing Hindi on non-Hindi-speaking states will destroy pluralism,” said Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dhinakaran. “This would make non-Hindi speakers second-class citizens.”

Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Kamal Haasan pointed out he had acted in Hindi movies and said nothing should be imposed on anyone. “After all, it is up to the individual to learn any language of their choice,” he added.

Tamil Nadu School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan said the new policy will be rejected. “Tamil Nadu will follow only two-language policy,” NDTV quoted him as saying. “Only Tamil and English will bravely march in Tamil Nadu.” Sengottaiyan’s party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, contested the Lok Sabha elections together with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Centre denies it wants to impose Hindi

However, the Centre said on Saturday that Hindi will not be imposed in schools in Tamil Nadu. “Public feedback will be sought, it is a misunderstanding that it has become a policy,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said.

His predecessor in the ministry, Prakash Javadekar, also assured that the government does not want to impose any language on anybody. “We want to promote all Indian languages,” he said.