NE's apex student body urge Amit Shah to revoke decision on Hindi
Shillong, April 18 (IANS) The North East Students' Organisation (NESO), an apex body of eight influential students' organisations of the region, has urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to revoke the decision to make Hindi a compulsory subject in all the northeastern states up to Class 10 as "the move in the region would be detrimental".
The NESO told the Home Minister that imposition of Hindi as a compulsory subject in the northeastern region would be detrimental not only for the propagation and dissemination of the indigenous languages but also to students who will be compelled to add another compulsory subject to their already vast syllabus.
NESO Chairman Samuel B. Jyrwa and Secretary General Sinam Prakash Singh in their letters to Shah said that in the region each state bears its own unique and diversified languages spoken by different ethnic groups ranging from Indo-Aryan to Tibeto-Burman to Austro-Asiatic families.
"In the region, a native or indigenous language or a mother tongue is an important marker for a community. Native or indigenous languages are being further enriched in terms of all aspects such as in literature, academics and arts."
The NESO, of which powerful All Assam Students' Union (AASU) is one of the constituents, urged the home Minister to withdraw the "unfavourable policy and focus on how to further uplift the indigenous languages of the region by incorporating them in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution and facilitating more schemes for their development and progress.
"Such a move would not usher in unity but will be a tool to create apprehensions and disharmony. Also, a move to make one of the Modern Indian Language (MIL) subjects as compulsory is more or less like belittling the indigenous language spoken and written by a particular community."
The NESO said that the Hindi language accounts for approximately 40-43 per cent of native speakers in India.
It is, however, worth noting that there is a plethora of other native languages in India which are rich, thriving and vibrant in their own perspectives giving India an image of a diverse and multi-lingual nation, it said.
The NESO, a conglomerate of eight students' bodies representing the seven states of the north eastern region, suggested that indigenous languages should be made compulsory in their native states till the 10th standard and Hindi should remain as an optional or elective subject, said the conglomerate student body.
On April 10, while chairing the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee, Union Minister Shah had said that Hindi should be accepted as an alternate language to English but not to local languages.
"The nine tribal communities of the Northeast have converted their dialects' scripts to Devanagari while all the eight states of the Northeast have agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class 10. There is a need to give elementary knowledge of Hindi to students up to Class 9, and pay more attention to Hindi teaching examinations," the Home Minister had reportedly said in the meeting.
While the political parties in the northeastern region are divided on the Hindi learning issue, the linguistic experts and political commentators said that while teaching in English and Hindi, local and indigenous languages must be given equal propriety for their promotion and practical use.
Assam's influential apex literary body, Asom Sahitya Sabha (ASS) has opposed the move to make Hindi a compulsory subject till Class 10 in the Northeastern states.
ASS Secretary General Jadav Chandra Sharma said making Hindi a mandatory language will endanger the indigenous language.