Tamil Nadu, the epicentre of language federalism in the past, historically opposed to the imposition of Hindi has spoken out firmly against the Modi 2.0 government’s imposition of the three language policy in the NEP 2020. Speaking to the media today and expressing anguish over the Centre’s pushing for a three language policy, Tamil Nadu chief minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami has categorically said that the state will continue to follow the more established, two language policy.
Palaniswamy has called the centre’s plan “painful and saddening” the three-language policy and demanded that the states be allowed to implement their own policy on the subject.
Education is a subject on the Concurrent List of the Indian Constitution, that allows for instance of regional variations and emphasis respecting the cultural and linguistic diversity of the country. Earlier central education policies were also not necessarily adopted by various states of the Indian union.
The CM of Tamil Nadu, Palaniswamy has clearly said there will not be any deviation from the two-language policy in Tamil Nadu, which has been followed for several decades. “Tamil Nadu will never allow the Centre’s three-language policy. The state will continue with its dual language policy (of Tamil and English),” he said.
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Edapaddi’s statement came a day after Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the Centre would not force any language on states, in a bid to allay fears on the imposition of Hindi. The Education Minister’s statement had come amid protests in Tamil Nadu on the grounds that the policy allegedly imposed Hindi and Sanskrit. Nishank had said the policy leaves it to states to choose the languages.
In a tweet to former Union minister from the state Pon Radhakrishnan, Nishank said he was looking forward to the guidance of the ex-central minister in implementing NEP in Tamil Nadu “I once again like to insist that the central government will not impose any language on any state,” he said.
Meanwhile, the M K Stalin-led DMK and many opposition parties in Tamil Nadu have opposed NEP and want a review of the sweeping reforms it has proposed. On Saturday, August 1, Stalin said the policy was an attempt at the alleged imposition of Hindi and Sanskrit, and vowed to fight it by joining hands with like-minded political parties and chief ministers of other states.Mounting yet another attack on the Centre’s new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, DMK President MK Stalin on Sunday alleged if it was implemented, education in a decade will be confined among a few. He also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion on NEP ensuring all-round coverage vis-a-vis providing education, and wanted the ruling AIADMK to oppose it.
“The Prime Minister has said this (NEP) ensures job creators than job seekers. It is not. I say the government has shied away from its duty of creating jobs for people,” he said at a virtual interaction with some educationists and others to discuss the reforms.
On Saturday, Modi had said the new education policy announced by his government emphasised on making ‘job creators’ instead of ‘job seekers’ and was an attempt to transform the ‘intent’ and ‘content’ of the country’s education system.
Stalin said contrary to Modi’s assertions, “education will not be available to all.”“If this education policy is implemented, in 10 years, education will be confined to a select few,” he claimed.
Villages will ‘collapse’ and “poor will become poorer,” he added.
Assuring his party’s opposition to the reforms, Stalin, also Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, wanted the AIADMK government also to follow suit. “The Tamil Nadu government should deny the NEP; reject it,” he added.
It should especially not accept the three-language formula suggested in NEP, he said.