Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce Tamil as an optional language in other states. However, he later deleted the tweet in which he made the request.
“Request Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi ji to include Tamil as an optional language for study in other states,” the chief minister said on Twitter. “This will be a great service to one of the most ancient languages of the world.” The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Palaniswami’s tweet came after protests against a draft of the National Education Policy released on May 31 recommended that students in non-Hindi speaking states learn a regional language, Hindi and English. It was seen as a way of forcing people who do not speak Hindi to learn the language. On Monday, the Centre tweaked the draft education policy and does not specify languages for students to study in middle school.
Following backlash, the Centre clarified that Hindi will not be imposed in schools in the state. “Public feedback will be sought, it is a misunderstanding that it has become a policy,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had said. Union minister Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar also assured that the government does not want to impose any language on anybody.
A panel of experts led by former Indian Space Research Organisation chief Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan had initially 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.