Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Sunday reiterated the Centre’s position that the government will not impose any language. The minister’s response comes in the wake of politicians across party lines protesting against the emphasis on Hindi in the draft education policy submitted to the central government on Friday.
“The National Education Policy as submitted to the Minister HRD is only a draft report,” Jaishankar said on Twitter. “Feedback shall be obtained from general public. State governments will be consulted. Only after this the draft report will be finalised. GoI [Government of India] respects all languages. No language will be imposed.”
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 Centre, however, said 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. Union minister 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.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the three-language formula was never implemented properly, ANI reported. “The solution is not to abandon the three languages formula but to implement it in a better manner,” he said. “Most of us in the South learn Hindi as a second language but nobody in the North is learning Malayalam or Tamil.”
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena led by Raj Thackeray also criticised the draft education policy. “Hindi is not the national language, do not enforce it on us and incite us,” said party spokesperson Anil Shidore on Twitter.