Chennai: Amid all the buzz over the three-language policy in schools, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today tweeted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to include Tamil as an optional language for study in other States.
He also mentioned that this will be a great service to one of the most ancient languages of the world.
DMK president M K Stalin, for his part, said Tamil should be made mandatory in all the Central government offices in the State.
Speaking to mediapersons after paying tributes to Quaid-e-Milleth at his memorial in Triplicane, the Leader of Opposition said the Central government has dropped the idea of three-language scheme following stiff opposition from the the people of Tamilnadu.
“Quaid-e-Milleth was one among those who raised their voice for the inclusion of Tamil as an official language,” he recalled.
The Central government tweaked the draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 that required children in the southern States to compulsorily learn Hindi.
In the new draft, it is stated that students have the choice of changing to any language they want. Any reference to Hindi has been removed.
“In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6 or Grade 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages,” the revised draft stated.
The old version had said Hindi and English would continue to be among the three languages students would study in schools, be it in Hindi- or non-Hindi-speaking States.
There was stiff protest from the Opposition parties to the proposed triple-language system in schools across India. Hashtags such as #StopHindiImposition, #TNAgainstHindiImposition were trending on social media against the policy.
Several politicians had also warned against the ‘forced imposition’ of the Hindi language on south Indian States.
The ruling AIADMK had said the State would follow only the two-language policy of learning Tamil and English.
Soon, the Central government and its ministers including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clarified that the government did not have a plan to impose any language on anyone.