Bouquets to Chief
TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 1998 (ID. 1998-12-e)
We seldom lavish praises on politicians in these pages. But when they do something good in spite of staunch opposition from anti-Tamil elements, then it is our duty to applaud them heartily. This is such an occasion.
Last month (in November 1998), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi announced that the government of Tamil Nadu will no longer grant recognition to nursery and primary schools that do not teach Tamil as a subject. We applaud the Chief Minister's action.
In recent years hundreds of nursery and primary schools have sprouted in Tamil Nadu that taught everything in English. Tamil was not even taught as a language. A Tamil child going to these schools could grow up unable to read or write Tamil. I cannot think of a single country that does not teach its own language to its children at the elementary school level. We thank Chief Minister Karunanidhi for righting the wrong.
Some publications and people (even in some Internet Newsgroup postings) loudly protested that Tamilnadu government is banning English from schools. That is outright false propaganda. All that the new law says is that Tamil should be taught at every nursery and primary school. There is absolutely no prohibition on teaching English. These anti-Tamil elements, who now falsely cry that English is banished from Tamil Nadu schools, did not even raise an eyebrow when some of these English-medium schools literally banished Tamil from school premises. Some of these schools had rules that no student should speak in Tamil (even among themselves) within school premises. One school punished a student for speaking in Tamil in the school premises by hanging around his neck a board saying "I will not speak in Tamil".
We thank Chief Minister Karunanidhi for giving Tamil its due place in schools..
Inia Pandian, Editor
1. AN EXCHANGE OF VIEWS: Tamil Medium Education in Schools ( Ilango Veerasingam: "It is a futile exercise", Inia Pandian: "It is a wise decision"), TAMIL TRIBUNE, March 1999
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