There turned into a feeling of déjà vu as I observed the controversy approximately “imposition of Hindi” and its retraction by way of new Narendra Modi authorities over the previous few days. Seven years in the past, I had seen and suffered a comparable controversy over “objectionable cartoons” within the NCERT textbooks in Political Science, of which I was one of the chief advisers, at the side of professor Suhas Palshikar.
The controversy exploded in May 2012 with a short, heated and sick-informed debate at the ground of Parliament regarding a cool animated film in the magnificence XI textbook that allegedly denigrated Dr. Ambedkar. That turned into accompanied by way of a similarly heated countrywide media trial wherein basic records about the textbook had been the biggest casualty. Faced with this political warmth, the UPA government surely capitulated. Kapil Sibal, then HRD minister, provided an abject apology in Parliament and got pliant lecturers to get the NCERT to drop the “offending” cartoon. Professor Palshikar and I resigned in protest. Professor Palshikar changed into attacked in his office.
The sample is eerily the same this time. The Modi government launched the draft of the brand new National Policy on Education [DNPE] that have been submitted in December 2018.
Almost right now, a controversy erupted approximately the BJP’s alleged attempt to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states. The allegation becomes politically very touchy, as it emanated from Tamil Nadu. Now, conquering Tamil Nadu features excessive at the BJP’s future electoral roadmap. The big impediment is, of a path, the BJP’s photograph as a “Hindi-domination” birthday celebration.
This becomes echoed in a quite unwell-informed debate, to date, in the media. Almost all of the media reviews and commentaries have centered on paragraphs inside the 484-web page file and assumed that the DNPE has advocated some thing new. Comments on the dominance of English language in Para 4.Five.4(on pages eighty one-83) have excited some editorials inside the English media. And spelling out of the standard 3-language formula in para 4.Five.Nine (on web page eighty four) invited the price of imposition of Hindi. If the commentators had study the entire phase four.5 of the DNEP on “Education within the nearby language/mom tongue; multilingualism and the energy of language” and its chapter 22 on promoting of Indian languages, they might have seen that the rate of a grand layout for imposition of Hindi is clearly unfaithful. I am afraid, the temptation to incorrect-foot the Modi authorities has led many competition leaders to take an unwell-cautioned, if not irresponsible role, on something that issues a crucial difficulty of countrywide importance.
Let’s be truthful to the file: The draft NPE nowhere takes the Hindi chauvinist function of Hindi being the “country wide language” of India, an expression that does not exist inside the Indian Constitution. Nor does this document incorporate whatever that shifts from the existing language coverage of u. S. With admires to the fame of Hindi. It certainly repeats the three-language formulation that has been, at least on paper, the usual authentic policy on language schooling for the reason that first National Policy on Education in 1968 (para four (three)(b)).
The system suggests that each toddler have to analyze 3 languages: one’s regional language, Hindi and English. If the kid’s regional language takes place to be Hindi, then she has to examine any other “Indian language”, ideally a south Indian language. This formula turned into reiterated via the National Policy on Education in 1986 (revised in 1992) and the National Curriculum Framework of 2005. The DNPE just reiterates the inherited consensus. If anything, the DNPE is greater circumspect approximately underlining the position of Hindi than the authentic NPE.
The three-language method becomes a prudent manner to remedy the vexed trouble of English and the diverse modern-day Indian languages, or bhashas, as U.R. Ananthamurthy could call all of those. It reputable the primacy of the state/local languages, whilst recognizing the emerging utility of Hindi as a bridge amongst Indian languages and that of English as a bridge to the arena out of doors India. Sadly, the system became in no way practiced in its proper spirit. The Hindi belt states located ways to avoid it.
Instead of getting Hindi-talking youngsters to research, say Tamil or Marathi or Bengali, they started using perfunctory teaching of Sanskrit (or, in some cases Urdu) to satisfy the formality of the 1/3 language. So, in fact, the 3-language system meant that non-Hindi-audio system learned Hindi whilst Hindi speakers learned no other current Indian language. This inequality has certainly induced heartburn.
Successive governments in Tamil Nadu have rejected this formula as a manifestation of linguistic inequality. The English-talking elite has cleverly used this quarrel amongst bhashas to perpetuate the dominance of the English language and the weird practice of English as a medium of instruction.