Student bodies decry move to impose Hindi in NE

Imphal, April 10 2022: At least six student organisations have reacted sharply to Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent statement that North East States have agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class 10 .

The six student organisations are All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU); Apunba Ireipakki Maheiroi Singpang Lup (AIMS); Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM); Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA); Manipuri Students’ Federation (MSF) and Students Union of Kangleipak (SUK) .

In a joint statement, the student organisations stated that the choice to learn Hindi should lie with the people based on circumstances and the Government should not force anyone to learn any language.

Saying that the statement of Amit Shah is very shocking as India is a diverse country with people of different backgrounds residing in it, the six organisations continued India which is considered as the largest democracy is a land of many tongues and cultures.

It further stated that Manipur also has its own language and culture which are as old as 3,000 years and there is a movement in Manipur to preserve and promote Manipuri language by incorporating it in school and college curriculum.

“The student organisations don’t have the right to ban Hindi but that doesn’t mean we will remain silent when the Government imposes Hindi on non-Hindi-speaking States like Manipur,” the student organisations asserted.

“We will never accept any activity that can pose a grave threat to the survival of Manipuri language,” the statement said and added that people have the right to learn and speak any language of their preference be it English or any other language but saving “our mother tongue” is the topmost priority.

Further maintaining that imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking States can be considered as a ‘colonial domination policy’, the organisations urged the Union Government to understand the uniqueness of Manipur which was once an Independent entity.

It continued that both Manipuri and Hindi languages are among the 22 languages which are included in 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution and enjoy the same privileges and asked why the Central Government is showing greater interest in promoting Hindi only.

“Will the Government agree if we place a demand to teach Manipuri in the entire country,” the six student organisations asked and continued that the States with unique cultural and political history will never accept Hindi as a compulsory subject.

Maintaining that the entire world celebrates Mother Language Day every year on February 21 to protect all languages since 1999, the statement claimed that the incumbent Government at the Centre is scheming to exterminate smaller groups under its “One Nation, One Religion, One Language” concept.

The North East too has opposed the move.

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