Hindi’s Not Compulsory, Says Head Of Draft National Education Policy Panel
Students sit studying at the Indian Railways Eastern Railway Intermediate College in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Hindi’s Not Compulsory, Says Head Of Draft National Education Policy Panel

The draft national education policy committee doesn’t impose any language on any state, said chairman of the nine-member panel that framed the document after the government’s recommendation to teach Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states triggered a controversy.

“The question of dropping Hindi or bringing in Hindi or making it a national issue is not necessary at all,” K Kasturirangan told BloombergQuint in an interview. “The choice will be with the state and the students’ parents. The system is completely flexible.”

The Ministry of Human Resource Development had received backlash over the draft education policy which mandated teaching Hindi, along with English and regional languages, in non-Hindi speaking states. Many political leaders, including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Chief MK Stalin protested the clause.

There’s no space for Hindi in the blood of Tamilians. Imposing Hindi in Tamil Nadu would be similar to throwing stones at a beehive, according to Stalin’s tweet in Tamil.

Following this, newly inducted cabinet ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar said the policy would not make Hindi compulsory in any state. The government later released a revised education policy draft that removed the Hindi clause but still proposed the three-language system.

Kasturirangan said any local language, English and a third language, which can be anything—classical, national or a language from any other state—can be chosen.

Watch the full discussion here:

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