MK Stalin, working president of the DMK, on Saturday accused the Narendra Modi-led government of trying to destroy India's unity and asked the Centre to give up efforts of sidelining non-Hindi speaking people.
In a video which was posted on his official Facebook page, the 64-year-old condemned the BJP government's efforts to make Hindi the official language of India. He said, "I must condemn these unceasing efforts of the central government under the BJP's leadership, which effectively try to relegate non-Hindi speaking citizens as second-class citizens in their own motherland."
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) April 22, 2017
The latest backlash by the DMK leader comes in the light of the President's nod to a proposal made by a parliamentary panel to have students of schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Kendriya Vidyalyas to compulsorily study Hindi till Std 10.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has also been instructed to form a policy in consultation with the state governments to make the language compulsory.
In the four-minute video, Stalin urges the Modi government to give up its efforts of sidelining non-Hindi speaking citizens.
He said, "Tamil Nadu has always stood against domination of an external language over its mother tongue and has stood the ground victorious right from 1938."
He invoked the Constitution of India, when he said, "This kind of re-titling goes against the letter and the spirit of the Constitution of India that was framed under the leadership of Dr Ambedkar and ensures equal rights to all the citizens in all dimensions."
He added, "By forcing Hindi onto its citizens — from primary school students to Parliament — the BJP government is betraying all non-Hindi speaking residents of the country, including future generations."
He added that the history of Tamil Nadu shows that the state has stood against the domination of an external language over its mother tongue.
This video is part of the the latest round of anti-Hindi protests which is threatening to flare up in Tamil Nadu after the Centre's reported move to replace English signs on national highways across the southern Indian state. The Dravidian parties have voiced severe criticism of the Centre's move alleging it was a clandestine move for "bringing Hindi hegemony through the backdoor in Tamil Nadu."
"This shows bringing Hindi hegemony through the backdoor in Tamil Nadu," Stalin had earlier said in a statement, adding, it showed the BJP-led Centre did not respect the sentiments of Tamils.
Watch full video here:
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Apr 22, 2017 20:36:16 IST