The Vaiko Press Statement translated into English
The press statement by #TamilNadu politician, Vaiko that has lended support to the fight against the #HindiLanguage imposition on South African residents by the Indian High Commission & Indian Consulates.
Hindi lessons are free; and a fee imposed to learn Tamil – A step motherly attitude by Indian Consulate in South Africa. South African Indians of whom 60% are Tamils have been living in South Africa for more than 150 years.
When Gandhi started his freedom struggle with Satyagraha in South Africa the Tamils who supported him and stood by him gave his movement impetus. As South Africa celebrates 100 years to commemorate Gandhi’s freedom struggle the plight of Tamils continues in the rainbow nation.
The Indian Embassy in South Africa has undertaken the teaching of Hindi for free. Tamil lessons were taught free of charge from 2008. Now a fee has been imposed on the teaching of Tamil while Hindi is still taught free.
The Union Government of India led by Mr Narendra Modi is trying to destroy other ethnic linguistic communities including Tamil in India and overseas countries by the imposition of Hindi.
In 2004, the Indian Government accorded classical status to the Tamil language but did less to promote the language or assist in forming seats for Tamil in overseas universities. At the cost of the Indian Government, egotistical Government officials at Indian Embassies are furthering the Indian Government’s stance. This has to be strongly denounced.
The act of imposing Hindi by sideling other linguistic groups through its embassies in foreign countries including South Africa, questions the federal policy of Indian Union Government which is always praised for its unity in diversity. Policies of this kind will destroy the unity among different ethnic Indian communities.
The absence of Tamil Nadu Government’s active participation in addressing such issues allows the Central Government to push for such non-democratic practices through its Embassies. Tamil being an ancient language with a rich cultural heritage should be taught free in overseas countries wherever Tamils reside. The Tamil Nadu Government must communicate this to the Union Government of India and ensure that the necessary steps are taken.
This discriminatory practice in South Africa has to stop. I insist that appropriate structures be placed by the Union Government of India, to allow for the teaching of Tamil for free with immediate effect.