Tamil Tribune

A List of Hindi Imposition Activities of the Indian Government in 2014 (June - December)

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, January 2016 (ID. 2016-01-01)
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Click here for introductory remarks as to how this list is prepared. Skip it if you had already read that introduction. 7 items in this list.

2014-0616A: Hindi Gets Elevated Again

Indian Government's Department of Languages, in a memorandum dated June 10, 2014, asked ministries to reply to letters sent in Hindi in Hindi only (Hindustan Times; June 16, 2014). But letters sent in English will be replied in both English and Hindi. Our question is, why waste money and time including a Hindi reply to a letter in English? Of course, the privilege and right of writing letters and receiving replies in their mother tongue is reserved for the ruling race of India, the Hindi people, only. Others (Telugus, Malayalis, Bengalis, Tamils, et al) have to correspond in one of two alien languages, Hindi or English.


2014-0616B: Hindi at the External Affairs Ministry (Foreign Ministry)

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) started using Hindi and English in their official correspondences (Hindustan Times; June 16, 2014), Foreign ministries of all countries have English knowing staff. May be a handful of countries have Hindi-knowing staff. So what is the purpose of wasting money and effort adding Hindi in communications with foreign countries?


2014-0619A: Indian Prime Minister Modi in Bhutan

Prime Minister Modi addressed the Bhutanese parliament in Hindi during his first foreign visit as Prime Minister of India, although he can and had addressed meetings in English (CanIndia News; June 19, 2014). If he did not want to speak in English, why not speak in his mother tongue Gujarati, thus indicating the diverse linguistic fabric of India and the importance of mother tongue?


2014-0619B: No Hindi at Odisha State Assembly

In Odisha, a member of the state assembly was chastised for using Hindi during the question hour. The speaker of the house ordered Kengam Surya Rao to make statements only in the local language, Odia or in English. (CanIndia News; June 19, 2014)


2014-0620A: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Stands Up Against Hindi Only Internet Postings

A May 27, 2014 Indian Government memorandum asked employees to post in Hindi only or Hindi and English with Hindi first in Internet social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google, discussion forums, etc). Tamil Nadu State Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote to the Prime Minister that the memorandum violated Official Languages Act, 1963 (both Hindi and English be used). Other Tamil Nadu political leaders including former Chief Minister Karunanidhi opposed the memorandum. The Indian Government backed off saying that the memo relates to Hindi states only (Indian Express; June 20, 2014). The fact is that the memo did not indicate that and, in our opinion, would have gone through but for the opposition from Tamil Nadu.


2014-0621A: Cash for Hindi

Indian Government Home Ministry announced cash prizes for those employees who do most of their official work in Hindi. (Deccan Chronicle; June 21, 2014) Is it the best way to spend tax monies?


2014-0621B: Hindi is not the Only Official Language of India

Junior home minister said, “We will give priority to the promotion of Hindi in all communications in various departments and public life because it is our official language” (Deccan Chronicle; June 21, 2014). We remind the minister that English is also an official language. 

Thanjai Nalangkilli


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