New Delhi: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme court seeking a direction to the Centre, states and union territories to make Hindi compulsory for students of class first to eighth across the country to promote unity and national integration.
The plea, likely to come up for hearing next week in the apex court, referred to various constitutional provisions and non-execution of the three-language formula enunciated in the 1968 National Policy Resolution by the Centre in consultation with the states.
Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, Delhi BJP spokesperson and lawyer, said the three-language formula provided for study of “Hindi, English and modern Indian language in Hindi-speaking states and Hindi, English and a regional language in the non- Hindi speaking states" and it is still unimplemented.
“In order to promote fraternity, assuring dignity of individual and unity and national integration, study of Hindi should be compulsory for all the students of I-VIII standard through the country," the plea said.
It further said the 1968 policy, adopted by Parliament as well, was framed in response to demands from non-Hindi- speaking states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. However, all the states have not followed the three- language formula till date, it alleged.
Public servants and judges of higher judiciary, who have studied regional languages, find it difficult to read, write and speak Hindi while serving in Hindi-speaking states.
“This problem can be easily resolved by making study of Hindi compulsory for all the students of I-VIII standard in spirit of the Article 21A read with Article 343, 344, 348, 351 and preamble of the Constitution. Study of Hindi should be compulsory for all the students of I-VIII standard, so that all the Indian citizens can easily communicate with each other...," it said.
At the time of framing and adoption of the Constitution, it was envisaged that English will continue to be used for executive, judicial and legal purposes for an initial period of 15 years i.e. till 1965 only.
The period of 15 years was prescribed after detailed deliberation so that necessary arrangements could be made for smooth language transition, the PIL said.
“Students are opting English as a compulsory language but choose Hindi as optional, which is not good. Every nation makes his national language as compulsory part of syllabus and curriculum particularly in primary education. However, in India, Hindi is not compulsory for all the students of I-VIII standard," it said.