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Hindi Imposition by Indian Government and Opposition in Tamil Nadu

(Reason, consequences, examples and history)

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Official languages was one of the most contentious issues discussed in the Indian Constituent Assembly (Indian Constitution Assembly). After lengthy debates, Hindi was made the official language of India from January 26, 1950, by a majority vote. Since most people, including government officials did not know Hindi, the constitution assembly "graciously" agreed to give a 15-years grace period for non-Hindi peoples to learn Hindi. English would remain as official language along with Hindi for 15 years; that is until January 26, 1965.

Because of the opposition from some Hindi states, especially from Madras State (much of Madras State would later become Tamil Nadu State), Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru promised that English would continue as the official language alongside Hindi as long as non-Hindi stated wanted it.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), one of the Tamil Nadu political parties that opposed Hindi imposition, asked its cadres to raise black flags instead of the tri-color Indian national flag on January 26, 1965. Most top leaders of DMK were arrested prior to January 26 to prevent demonstrations on January 26 (which is celebrated as the Indian Republic Day).

Tamil Nadu Students Anti-Hindi Agitation rocked Tamil Nadu starting from January 25, 1965 to mid-February. Police and military were brought in from other states to put down the agitation. By the time the agitation ended, police and military had shot and killed 63 unarmed civilians and injured many more.

In the next parliamentary and state legislative assembly elections held in 1967, DMK that symbolized resistance to Hindi won landslide victory in Tamil Nadu. Congress Party which ruled Tamil Nadu State until the 1967 elections, and symbolized Hindi imposition (in the minds of Tamil people) lost heavily in the state. DMK formed the state government under Chief Minister C. N. Annadurai (widely known as Arijnar Anna) who had been sent in the past to prison many times for demonstrating against Hindi imposition.

Congress Party or any other all-India party (which are supportive of Indian government's Hindi policy) ever again came to power in the state as of this writing (2015). DMK or its offshoot All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK or simply ADMK) won state legislative assembly elections and formed the state government.

State governments have no say in Indian government's language policy (Hindi policy). Every Tamil Nadu Chief Minister since 1967 had opposed Indian government's language policy.

As a consequence of the 1965 Anti-Hindi Agitations, Indian parliament passed a law allowing the continued use of English alongside Hindi as long as the non-Hindi states want it (the so-called "two-language formula"). It does not prevent the Indian government from imposing Hindi on non-Hindi peoples. What is Hindi imposition? It does not mean soldiers or police putting a gun to your head and forcing you to speak Hindi. Forcing or pressuring employees of the Indian government and its undertakings (banks, life insurance corporation) to learn Hindi and work in Hindi is Hindi imposition.

There is also Hindi supremacy based discrimination of non-Hindi peoples. Many Indian government staff selection examinations are held in Hindi and English only. While Hindi people can write the examinations in Hindi, non-Hindi aspirants are forced to write in one of two alien languages--Hindi or English. Is it not discrimination? A type of language apartheid?

TAMIL TRIBUNE has published over 60 articles on the subject of Hindi imposition. Links to these articles are divided into sub-categories and listed in this page. Researchers and srtudents who want to get an in-depth understanding of India's language policy may go through these links one by one. Those who want to get an overview of the subject may read just the following 3 articles and then browse through the titles of the other articles and read those articles that interest them.



Click on the sub-category of interest or simply browse the sub-categories

History: Anti-Hindi Agitations in Tamil Nadu (CLICK HERE)

Quotes from Hindi and Non-Hindi Leaders about Hindi as Official Language (CLICK HERE)

Main Articles (Why, How, What, and More) (CLICK HERE)

Comprehensive Lists of Hindi Imposition Related Activities in India (CLICK HERE)

Hindi and the Indian Constitution (unconstitutional activities of Hindi enthusiasts) (CLICK HERE

Direct Hindi Imposition: Hindi Imposition through Indian Government Jobs (CLICK HERE)

Hindi In Schools and Universities (CLICK HERE)

Hindi in Indian Parliament CLICK HERE

Several examples of how non-Hindi peoples are sidelined in the democratic process in Indian parliament and elsewhere. All members of parliament should be able to speak in mother tongue without having to give 24 hours notice; they must be able to ask follow-up questions in mother tongue. All information about voting and poll booths should be published on the web in all Indian languages.

(Indirect Hindi Imposition (Hindi, Hindi Everywhere) (CLICK HERE)

Hindi Propagation in Foreign Countries CLICK HERE

Examples of how taxpayer monies are spent to propagate Hindi in foreign countries. Why should non-Hindi citizens pay for the glorification of Hindi abroad?

Discrimination of Non-Hindi Peoples Abroad and Hindi-fying Indians in Foreign Countries CLICK HERE (Roll down that page to the sub-heading near the end)

India is for Hindi People Only (in their own words) (CLICK HERE)

Hindi Imposition through Computers and Internet (CLICK HERE)

How the Safety and Health of non-Hindi Peoples are ignored because of India’s Hindi Zealousness? CLICK HERE

Examples, brief descriptions and links to detailed information about each example (AIDS prevention information, drug labels, cooking gas safety instruction, railways emergency instructions).

Hindi Cultural Domination (CLICK HERE)

Hindi-Driven Indian Politics (CLICK HERE)

Prime Minister Vajpayee and VP Venkaiah Naidu Talk about Hindi (CLICK HERE)

Hindi Arrogance and Sense of Entitlement (CLICK HERE)

Views from outside Tamil Nadu (CLICK HERE)

Miscellaneous (some interesting articles that did not fit into other categories) CLICK HERE


Page description: This page contains articles on Indian Government’s Hindi Imposition, opposition in Tamil Nadu; reasons for opposition, and examples of negative impact of making Hindi India’s official language; discussions and debates, quotes from Hindi and non-Hindi leaders.


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