The recommendation of a parliamentary committee that the medium of instruction in technical and non-technical higher educational institutes such as IITs should be Hindi has met with strong opposition from the state’s ruling party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
As a party which fought for Telangana state and claims to be the only true representative of the Telangana sentiment, the TRS was quick to oppose the recommendation saying it is against any move to impose Hindi.
The party is of the view that India does not have a national language and Hindi is one among the many official languages.
The TRS, which recently decided to go national by changing its name to Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), was quick to latch on to the issue as political analysts say it gels well with its focus on federalism.
A bitter critic of the Narendra Modi government, the TRS believes that the Centre is flouting the federal spirit. It is of the strong view that Indians should have a choice of language.
Telangana is considered as a mini-India because of its true cosmopolitan nature and the language sentiments here are not as strong as in Tamil Nadu or Karnataka but in recent times attempts to impose Hindi have evoked strong opposition.
Not confining itself to merely issuing a statement, the TRS this time wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to oppose the move.
TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao wrote to Modi strongly opposing the move to make Hindi a medium of instruction in all technical and non-technical educational institutions including central universities.
Rama Rao (also known as KTR) termed the recommendation of the parliamentary committee as unconstitutional and demanded that it should be withdrawn.
KTR detailed the far reaching disastrous impact of the unconstitutional recommendation on the future of current and future generations, the division it could create between various parts of India, and other crucial aspects.
The son of TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao highlighted how indirect imposition of Hindi is currently ruining the lives of crores of youngsters.
He wrote that students who pursue education in regional languages are losing out on central government job opportunities as questions in qualifying tests for the central jobs are in Hindi and English.
He pointed out that there are around 20 central recruitment agencies which conduct the exams in Hindi and English. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts 16 recruitment exams for national posts in the two languages.
The minister said job announcements from central recruiting agencies are scarce and the limited recruitment drives are discriminatory against the students who pursued education in regional languages. He termed this as injustice to the crores of youngsters eagerly aspiring for jobs.
He demanded that the Centre conduct the exams in regional languages for the benefit of the job aspirants.
“In this highly competitive globalised world, the recommendation of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language could take us backwards in terms of the nation’s development,” KTR wrote.
Pointing at the huge non-Hindi speaking population in India, he said that the central government’s move to make Hindi mandatory will lead to socio-economic divisions in the country.
Former member of the Legislative Council Professor K. Nageshwar also believes that the move is against federalism and national unity.
“The Amit Shah led panel recommends mandatory Hindi medium in IITs and compulsory test in Hindi in lieu of English in central government recruitment. Should we, who speak Telugu and other Indian languages not oppose this Hindi hegemony? The move is against federalism, national unity,” said Nageshwar Rao.
This is not the first time the Hindi issue has evoked strong reaction in Telangana. Earlier, Amit Shah’s statement that Hindi should be the alternative to English for communication among Indians had drawn the ire of all.
Political parties and academicians saw this as an attempt to impose a particular language on India though unity in diversity is the country’s strength. They warned that this regional chauvinism will boomerang.
Some political leaders have slammed the BJP for what they call its double-standards on the language issue and dared the party to start imposing Hindi from Gujarat.
TRS came down heavily on the BJP for doing politics over language saying the saffron party wants to decide not only what one should eat and wear but also the language one should communicate in.
“Already our students in different states are missing the English language to be competent. While it is the wish and will of citizens to practice what they want, imposition is not right,” said TRS leader Manne Krishank.
He believes that the ‘one nation one language’ idea is more dangerous as it questions the identity of the states and different regional languages.
Krishank, who is the convenor of the social media wing of the TRS and also chairman of the Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMD), has accused the BJP of adopting dual standards on language.
“In February, the Gujarat government took a decision that all signboards should be in Gujarati. The government of India headed by the BJP is pushing states that they should practice Hindi whereas Gujarat is speaking about Gujarati. Instead of preaching to states down south they should start from Gujarat if they really believe in practicing what they preach. Let them start from Gujarat,” Krishank said.