Active Stocks
Fri Dec 08 2023 15:59:53
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 129.2 -0.62%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,653.1 1.38%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 614 0.35%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 285.25 0.42%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 449.15 -1.95%
Business News/ News / India/  CM Stalin slams New India Assurance's Hindi circular, reignites a 7-decade-old antithesis. Explained
Back Back

CM Stalin slams New India Assurance's Hindi circular, reignites a 7-decade-old antithesis. Explained

MK Stalin had in his tweet said while each and every citizen contributed to the nation's development, the Union government and its institutions continued to give an 'undue and unfair' advantage to Hindi over other Indian languages in every possible way.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (PTI)Premium
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (PTI)

Tamil Nadu and the DMK will do everything to stop 'Hindi imposition,' Chief Minister M K Stalin had announced on a Hindi circular that was released by The New India Assurance. Terming the circular issued in Tamil Nadu ‘unjust’ CM Stalin posted the circular on his Twitter handle. 

The New India Assurance later issued an apology saying it respected all regional languages.

However, the latest condescension by the Tamil Nadu chief minister and president of DMK, MK Stalin re-ignites the age old rejection of Hindi in the south Indian state. 

MK Stalin had in his tweet said while each and every citizen contributed to the nation's development, the Union government and its institutions continued to give an "undue and unfair" advantage to Hindi over other Indian languages in every possible way.

Let us break up and understand this debate 

Origin of Tamil Language

Tamil Nadu residents talk in Tamil (pronounced Ta-a-mi-zh) which is also a ‘classical language’ of India. The language Tamil is a Dravidian language that is also the official language in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Sri Lanka, and Singapore. 

Tamil is one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world.

Origin of Hindi language

A language that evolved Apabhramsa, the modern standardised Hindi using the Devanagri script, is based on Delhi dialect. Hindi is the lingua franca of the Hindi Belt or regions in India encompassing parts of northern, central, eastern, and western India.

Before the standardisation of Hindi on the Delhi dialect, various dialects and languages of the Hindi belt attained prominence through literary standardisation, such as Avadhi and Braj Bhasha.

Hindi-Tamil debate

Scholars over time have argued that even though, Sanskrit, and Pali, which were also classical languages has ceased to exist in the Hindi, which originated much later was given a more official and acceptable status on national level as opposed to Tamil. 

While Hindi as a language has a higher population count than Tamil, the Hindi language was perpetrated by the Hindu ideology follower-Bhartiya Janata party (BJP). 

Tamil Nadu has held the belief that they have been ignored over ages by the saffron government, owing to the language differences. Tamil as a language is spoken by 5.70% of India's population as a native language, meanwhile Hindi 43.63% speakers as first language. 

Why does Tamil Nadu oppose Hindi?

MK Stalin's Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a descendant of Dravidar Kazhagam, led the opposition to Hindi. The seven decade old opposition was first registered by Periyar in 1937. 

The idea of making Hindustani or Hindi the common language was not acceptable to Periyar, who viewed it as an attempt to make Tamils subordinate to North Indians.

The last major agitation by DMK was witnessed in September 2014. 

What DMK , echoes as the mass sentiment of people of Tamil Nadu in opposing Hindi and its 'imposition' is the need to hold onto Tamil pride, the pride of the oldest language in India. One of the most popular rallying cries of these anti-Hindi agitations has been the slogan: Udal Mannukku, Uyir Tamizhukku!—[Our] body for the soil, [our] life for Tamil.

Is Hindi the National Language of India?

Contrary to somewhat popular belief, Hindi has never been marked as the ‘national language of India’ in the Constitution. Hindi remains an official language, which is different from being a ‘national language’. 

As per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages.

The languages include-  Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. 

The New India  Assurance circular

The bone of contention in the latest debate was a circular that was issued in Hindi by The New India Assurance, a public sector company. 

The circular titled 'Check points for Hindi implementation,' includes a mandate stipulating compliance of relevant sections and rules under the Official Languages Act, 1963.

CM Stalin registers stern opposition

The chief minister of Tamil Nadu, stuck to the south Indian state's coherent rejection of Hindi as a language. CM Stalin accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union government on being intent on spending its valuable resources on "imposing Hindi down our throats", rather than for public welfare. 

"Latest in this list is the unjust circular issued by New India Assurance. It must be withdrawn with immediate effect and its Chairperson Neerja Kapur needs to apologise for the disrespect shown towards non-Hindi speakers of India and non-Hindi speaking employees of New India Assurance." the CM said. 

Stalin said gone were the days of non-Hindi speaking citizens of India tolerating the "second-class treatment" meted out to them despite their contribution in propelling India's growth with their hard work and talent. 

"Tamil Nadu and DMK will do everything under our power to Stop Hindi Imposition, as we have always strived in our history. We will remove the undeserving special status that Hindi enjoys everywhere in the Union government, like Railways, Postal Department, Banking and Parliament that affects us and our people on a day-to-day basis," he said. 

"We pay our taxes, contribute to the progress and believe in our rich heritage and this nation’s diversity. Our languages deserve to be treated equally. We will resist any attempt to replace Tamil with Hindi in our land," he added.

The New India Assurance replies

The New India Assurance tweeted saying, "@NewIndAssurance specifically mentioned under point 25 that all advertisements, tenders and press releases to be published in newspapers in English, Hindi and regional languages as done by any other Public Sector Organisations of India. We respect all regional languages." 




Milestone Alert!
Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.

Sayantani Biswas
Sayantani is an editor with Livemint. She covers Indian and International political news
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 13 Jun 2023, 07:03 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App