Chennai: Asserting that the fire born out of series of protests against the imposition of Hindi will not get extinguished, DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Tuesday claimed the state was not against any language including Hindi, in particular, but opposed Hindi being thrust on it. He said it should not be construed as narrow-mindedness if Tamils insist on retaining their mother tongue and refuse to accept any other language to displace it.
Addressing a virtual meet organised by the DMK youth wing to commemorate the sacrifices of the language martyrs during the anti-Hindi agitations in the state pre and post-Independence, Stalin said ”the fire of the language struggle, ignited by Periyar (rationalist E V Ramaswamy) in Tamil Nadu that emerged in 1938 will not subside even in 2022.” Tamils have no hatred for any language. Learning a language should be left to the individual’s prerogative and should not create any dislike to a particular language by thrusting it upon others, the Chief Minister who earlier paid floral tributes to a portrait of Tamil language martyrs at Gandhi Mandapam, here, said.
”Those who think of thrusting Hindi (on others) only view it as a tool to dominate. Just as they desire one religion for the nation, they want one language for the country. By thrusting Hindi, they want to ensure Hindi speaking people gain employment in all departments,” he alleged. Lashing out at the Centre on the language policy, he said the central government is attempting to reduce all others in the country as second class citizens by pursuing its agenda of imposing Hindi. ”We oppose Hindi because they want to displace our mother tongue,” he explained.
Taking a swipe at the Central government, Stalin remarked, ”for them Tamil or Tamil Nadu appears to be bitter.” The anti-Hindi agitations in 1965 led to major political changes in the state and the DMK catapulted to power in 1967.