Hindi imposition

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (Modern Schools) and Hindi Imposition

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, February 2010 (ID. 2010-02-01); Updated 2017-12-01
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1. What are Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas?

2. Whose Money is Funding These Navodaya Vidyalayas? 

3. A Fable about Two Brothers and Chicken Curry

4. What is the Fair Thing to Do?


AIADMK - All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

CBSE - Central Board of Secondary Education

DMK - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

1. What are Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas?

On September 30, 2009, Indian Government Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal asked Tamil Nadu State Government to open Navodaya Vidyalayas (Modern Schools) in the state "to give high quality education to rural students". He added that Indian government plans to expand these Indian government funded Navodaya Vidyalayas (Modern Schools). 

In 1986, Indian Government, in further intrusion into the education field, started Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (Modern Schools) all over India. These are co-educational, residential schools, fully financed by Government of India and run by an autonomous organization, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Because of the generous funding from the central government, these schools have better facilities than state government funded schools which are short on funds because most of the taxes paid by the people of the state go to the central government.  All states except Tamil Nadu allowed the central government to open such schools and got funding for the schools. Why did Tamilnadu refuse to open these schools? Hindi is a compulsory subject in these schools and it is against the policy of Tamil Nadu government. Tamilnadu government wanted Hindi teaching removed in order to function in the state and the Indian government refused. From time to time the Indian government had asked Tamil Nadu government to allow these schools, and the state government, irrespective of which party was in power (DMK or AIADMK) or who was the chief minister (M. Karunanidhi, M. G. Ramachandran or J. Jeyalalithaa) refused. Indian Government Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal's request in September 2009 is just another one of these requests to bring more schools into Tamil Nadu that teach Hindi.

What Mr. Sibal said is true. These schools do provide high quality education to rural students completely free. So Tamil Nadu is missing out on this. Indian government has given Tamil Nadu the devil's choice: Accept compulsory Hindi or lose funding for modern schools.

2. Whose Money is Funding These Navodaya Vidyalayas?  

Whose money is funding these modern schools? It is not Hindi states' tax monies that are used for these schools. Then they would have the right to say if you want our money for the schools, you should teach Hindi. It is the Indian government taxes, paid by Hindi and non-Hindi peoples, that is funding these schools. (To put it in proper perspective, over 75% of the taxes are paid by non-Hindi speakers. Over 10% of the taxes are paid by Tamil Nadu.) Yet Hindi politicians say to us, "If you want part of your money back to establish high quality schools in your states, you must thrust our language into the throats of your children." This is unfair, this is unjust. 

3. A Fable about Two Brothers and Chicken Curry

Let me tell you a fable or a story. There were two brothers and their families who lived together as a single household. The older brother had 3 children while the younger had only two. So the older brother's family outnumbered that of the younger one. Younger brother's family was vegetarian while the older brother and his family ate meat. When it came to lunch and dinner, the older brother made sure it was rice and meat curry. The younger brother asked for a vegetable curry too so everyone can have rice and curry. He was outvoted. Democratic imperialism! (I think I have coined a new phrase to depict Hindi rule over India.) Younger brother's family had to eat just boiled rice with some salt while older brother's family had sumptuous meals of rice and meat. Although the younger brother's earning went into household funds he could not benefit fully from it. The same is happening here in "democratic" India. Although it is with our taxes that these schools are funded we cannot have those funds unless we are willing to study their language Hindi.

4. What is the Fair Thing to Do?

What is the fair thing to do? Indian central government should give our state's share of Navodaya Vidyalaya funds (now unused) to the state government education department as a grant. It is OUR share of money which we paid to the central government as taxes. It is not Hindi speakers' money. The state government then shall use those funds for educational purposes (more computers in schools, better teacher salaries, etc.). That is the fair thing to do. But when was "fairness" part of Indian government's official language policy? 

Let us face it. Hindi will be thrust into our throats, splashed on to our faces, pumped into our ears one way or other as long as Tamil Nadu is part of India. Know it. Accept it.

"If Hindi were to become the official language of India, Hindi-speaking people will govern us. We will be treated like third rate citizens". - Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C. N. Annadurai (April 29, 1963)

Hindi became the official language of India on January 26, 1965. We have become the third rate citizens in India. Accept the slave status or rebel against it. Choice is ours.

UPDATE (December 1, 2017)

In 2017, seven years after the publication of this article, a major turn of events happened on the issue of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas. Madras High Court ruled that Tamil Nadu State government must allow these schools in the state and also provide the necessary land and infrastructure to operate them. We published a two-part article in October 2017 discussing in some detail how this ruling infringes on state rights in general and in the field of education in particular. Although every elected government in the state since 1967 has opposed teaching Hindi in the state, they were now forced to abandon the two-language formula (Tamil and English) and provide permission, land and infrastructure to these schools where Hindi is a compulsory subject. The 2010 article and the 2017 article complement each other and give our perspective before and after the court ruling. Together, the two articles give a broad perspective on this matter of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in particular and Tamil people's right to run things in their own homeland where they are living for over two thousand years. In the 2017 article [Reference 1] we recommend constitutional amendment to end the ever increasing encroachment of Hindi-dominated Indian government into state affairs.

[Summary: The injustice of Hindi imposition through Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and how Tamilnadu state government is stalling it.]

[Alternate spellings of Tamil names in English: Jeyalalithaa - Jayalalithaa, Nalankilli - Nalangkilli]


1. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV), Hindi Imposition and Madras High Court Ruling (India): Part I (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 2017 (16 KB) (h)


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