Chennai: Twitter was abuzz with #StopHindiImposition tweets on Saturday as a campaign began saying that Hindi should not be made a mandatory third language in schools. This comes close on the heels of a draft education policy that says that Hindi would be the third language in schools and was submitted to Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who took charge of the Union Education Ministry on Friday .
Tamil Nadu politicians resisted the move and slammed the current dispensation's Hindi-focused recommendations by an expert panel led by Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, a former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The Draft National Education Policy 2019 says while the "three language formula" followed in a section of schools since 1968 should be continued, "children will now be immersed in three languages early on, starting from the Foundational Stage onwards."
With the announcement the #StopHindiImposition and #TNAgainstHindiImposition became the top trends on social media. The first one till 6 PM had 67,000 tweets.
Tamil Nadu school minister said that the new policy is not acceptable in the state.
KA Sengottaiyan, whose AIADMK party is an ally of the BJP which rules at the centre said, "Tamil Nadu will follow only two-language policy. Only Tamil and English will march in Tamil Nadu."
Opposition too launched a scathing attack on the policy.
DMK MP Kanimozhi said,"We will oppose Hindi imposition. We are not against any language," while MDMK leader Vaiko warned of a language war.
AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran said, "Imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states will destroy pluralism. This would make non Hindi speakers second class citizens."
Actor-turned politician Kamal Hassan said, "I've acted in Hindi movies... (but) no one should impose anything on anybody. After all, it's up to the individual to learn any language of their choice."
Tamil Nadu has always resisted moves of imposing Hindi since the pre-independence era.