Now, PMK, MDMK join the anti-Hindi bandwagon
The anti-Hindi agitation orchestrated by various regional Tamil parties that peaked in 1965, is once again moving towards the centre-stage of the political arena. After the protests by DMK against cartoons in NCERT textbooks allegedly lampooning the agitation conducted against a perceived imposition of Hindi on the southern state, the S Ramadoss-led PMK and Vaiko's MDMK have raised the issue of Hindi erroneously finding mention in the state government's common syllabus social science textbooks as the national language.
With Vaiko announcing a state-wide stir on the issue on Monday, both regional outfits have got a shot of political oxygen to rejuvenate their cadres, political analysts said. PMK founder S Ramadoss on Sunday stated that the Class 8 and Class 10 social science books have mentioned Devanagari Hindi as the selected national language. "This is a historical mistake as Hindi is an official language, not the national language This mistake should be removed from the text books and criminal proceedings initiated against the team which prepared the textbook," he said.
Holding both the DMK and AIADMK governments accountable for the error, he demanded that the two parties tender apologies to the people. "India is a nation of many languages. As per the Constitution, Hindi is only an official language," Ramadoss said. The PMK leader described the mention in the textbooks as unjustified and a crime. Calling it duplicity and deceit on Tamils and Tamil language, he recalled the anti-Hindi movement from 1937 to 1965 against leaders from north India trying to make Hindi as national language.
"The uniform syllabus was prepared during the rule of the DMK government. This move has betrayed the Tamils as much as the Centre did by publishing a cartoon against the anti-Hindi agitation. AIADMK, which removed many portions in the syllabus, also did not make any efforts to remove the mistake. The same mistake even appeared in this year's textbooks," Ramadoss said. Meanwhile, MDMK leader Vaiko announced a protest in Chennai on Monday against the NCERT cartoon.
Dalit outfit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi demanded that the Centre intervene and ensure removal of a cartoon depicting in poor light the 1965 anti-Hindi agitation by Tamils. DMK had yesterday demanded its removal with party president M Karunanidhi saying the cartoon could infuriate Tamils people. Thirumavalavan said VCK would stage a demonstration in Chennai on June 13 to protest against the clause in the self assessment forms of bank officials to highlight their role in propagation of Hindi language.