Imphal, April 11 2022: The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), the North East Forum on International Solidarity (NEFIS) and CPI Manipur State Council have strongly criticized the call of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to make Hindi compulsory till Class X in the North East.
NESO, which is a conglomerate of 8 student bodies of North East India viz the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), the Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), the Garo Students’ Union (GSU), the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) and the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), wrote to the Home Minister today expressing strong opposition to the proposal in the recently concluded Parliamentary Official Language Committee that Hindi language will be made compulsory till Class X in all the 8 North Eastern States.
The letter signed jointly by the chairman and the secretary general of NESO, said the organisation understands that Hindi accounts for approximately 40-43 percent of native speakers in India, however there is a plethora of other native languages in India which are rich, thriving and vibrant in their own right giving the country an image of a diverse and multilingual Nation.
The North Eastern Region has its own unique and diversified languages spoken by different ethnic groups ranging from Indo-Aryan, to Tibeto-Burman, to Austro-Asiatic families, added the letter.
The imposition of Hindi as a compulsory subject in NER will be detrimental not only for the propagation and dissemination of the indigenous languages but also to students who will be compelled to add another compulsory subject to their already vast syllabus, added the letter.
Such a policy will not usher in unity but will be a tool to create apprehensions and disharmony, added NESO in the letter.
Maintaining that NESO is vehemently against this policy, the letter urged the Home Ministry to withdraw such an unfavourable policy and focus on how to further uplift the indigenous languages of the North Eastern Region.
NESO is of the view that indigenous languages should be made compulsory in their native States till Class X and Hindi should remain as an optional or elective subject, added NESO in the letter.
NEFIS in a statement also said the decision to impose Hindi on the students of North East makes it amply clear that the Union Government considers Hindi to be more important than all other languages spoken in the country or recognised by the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
The decision gives undue importance to Hindi over other languages of non-Hindi speaking regions, added NEFIS in the statement.
Instead of creating more infrastructure to promote languages of non-Hindi speaking regions, the Ministry seeks to impose its diktat on the people of linguistically marginalized communities which will only promote cultural chauvinism, added the statement.
NEFIS also demanded that the decision should be immediately taken back and the Home Minister should tender an apology to the people.
CPI Manipur State Council also condemned the decision and termed it as a move by the BJP Government to make Hindi the National Official language of India.
In a statement issued today, CPI MSC said such a decision will taint the beautiful image of India as a multi-cultural society.
CPI MSC also accused the BJP Government of doing nothing to ease the suffering of the people including price rise of essential commodities and focusing on achieving their objective of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ .
The decision to make Hindi compulsory for students of North East States till Class X will challenge the integrity of the country as a whole, added the statement.