Mysuru, June 3:- Veteran Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaih on Monday lashed out against a proposal for teaching Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states. He claimed that learning a language should be by choice and not otherwise.
Talking to reporters at his residence in the city, he said, “Ours is a land that exhibits unity in diversity. Peaceful coexistence is the need to establish harmony and no force shall work against the laws of society. For us, Kannada is an identity and learning any other language should be by choice and not by imposition.”
He also claimed that the imposition of a language is a brutal assault on states which have a regional identity. “New national education policy draft imposes Hindi on non-Hindi states and this goes against our sentiments. If the recognition of regional identity is inconsistent according to a few, then the imposition of Hindi is nothing but a brutal assault on states,” he said.
Siddaramaiah added that instead of imposing Hindi, the central government should focus on recognising regional identities and giving more space to the states to express and manifest their ideas through their own culture and language.
The draft of the new national education policy proposed by the panel constituted in the previous Narendra Modi government, had suggested teaching of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states. The proposal has drawn strong opposition from parties.
Siddaramaiah said that the central government is forcefully imposing Hindi and said the state would not compromise on land, water and language issues. He also said that the state would be ready to protest on Tamil Nadu lines against Hindi imposition.
Siddaramaiah expressed his doubts again over electronic voting machines (EVMs) after the results of local bodies elections, saying Congress got major votes in the constituencies where Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the Lok Sabha polls. “I have a strong feeling EVMs could be rigged, he opined.
On the state cabinet expansion, Siddaramaiah said the party high command would look into the issue.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had also said that one language should not be imposed on others in the name of the three-language formula. “I am aware of the draft education policy released by the HRD Ministry. One language should not be imposed on others for any reason in the name of the three-language policy. State governments stand will be known to the Centre after gathering more information on this issue,” he tweeted on Sunday. (MR/KS)