Coalition leaders come out against ‘Hindi imposition’

Leaders part of the coalition government, including Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, have spoken out against the three-language formula in the draft National Education Policy 2019.

“I will not tolerate the imposition of Hindi through the new education policy. There is no question of a compromise on issues of land, water and language. Keeping aside political differences, everyone should raise their voice together,” said Mr. Siddaramaiah.

Several activists and writers also expressed unhappiness with the draft NEP. Arun Javagal, member of Banavasi Balaga, said he sees this as an imposition of Hindi. “The policy should give importance to other languages spoken in the State,” he said, adding that the people here transact more in other languages such as Tulu and Konkani.

Amid this furore and Twitter storm, BJP leader and Bengaluru South MP-elect Tejasvi Surya defended the three-language formula and said its purpose was purely for “national integration and preservation of all languages”. In a statement on Twitter, he said it promoted learning of an additional language as an elective from class 6. “It is here that Hindi could ideally be dropped from the three-language formula, permitting a person from a non-Hindi State to learn two regional languages and English,” he said. He added that students, especially those from class 1 to 6, can learn five languages, including Sanskrit.

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