#HindiIsNotTheNationalLanguage has been trending for three days, ever since the first draft was proposed.
The face of the government went red with embarrassment after many attempts to impose Hindi language on South Indian students in schools was strongly opposed and disregarded. The initial draft of the National Education Policy (NEP) made it mandatory for students in non-Hindi speaking states to learn the language in middle school.
The first draft consisted of the following,
"In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6, so long as the study of three languages by students in the Hindi-speaking states would continue to include Hindi and English and one of the modern Indian languages from other parts of India, while the study of languages by students in the non-Hindi-speaking states would include the regional language, Hindi and English."
The states' political parties and people from the southern states of India especially from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and actor Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam, Tamil Nadu, disapproved the draft. After the outcry, other South Indian states also nodded in agreement with Tamil Nadu. Many criticised the BJP government for imposing RSS Hindutva ideologies into education and implied that the BJP is commandeered by the RSS.
However, the draft released today reportedly says the following,
"In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6 or Grade 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages (one language at the literature level) in their modular Board Examinations sometime during secondary school (see P4.9.5)."
This means that it is not necessary that the students must study a fixed language in their middle school. They can choose any language as long as they are proficient in any three languages.
Due to the draft education policy, hashtags #HindiIsNotTheNationalLanguage #StopHindiImposition and #TNAgainstHindiImposition have been trending on Twitter.
Well, the protests have reached West Bengal now and a group of academicians and writers in West Bengal has warned the Centre against attempts to thrust Hindi in schools across the state.
After the outrage, Tamil-speaking ministers in the Union cabinet came forward to clarify that the government does not mean to impose Hindi and that the recommendations will only be implemented after incorporating public feedback.