The hashtag ‘Stop Hindi Imposition’ became one of the top trends on Twitter on Saturday, 1 June.
A close second was ‘TN against Hindi imposition’. Both trends gained momentum after the government’s new National Education Policy draft was presented.
Later in the day, I&B Minister Prakash Javdekar reportedly said that the Centre has no intention of imposing any language. He said it is only a draft that has been issued, which will be decided by the government as per feedback from the public.
In South Africa: A similar protest blew up in South Africa in 2015 when South African Tamil language scholar, Mala Lutchmanan discovered a double standard was being applied at the Consulate in Durban.
Lutchmanan who was a teacher for Tamil lessons at the Consulate protested after discovering that Tamil lessons were a chargeable service where as Hindi was taught for free.
This was in direct contradiction of the 2008 announcement made by the then Consul General Harsh Varshan Shringla as indicated in this Times of India article.
Protests erupted on Twitter, stating Hindi should not be made a mandatory third language in schools.
Twitter was flooded with messages protesting the draft education policy submitted to the new government at the Centre a day ago.
Even though the tweets were coming from various geographical locations, a majority of them came from Tamil Nadu.
Interestingly, TN is one of the few states that did not show support to the ruling BJP government, with DMK making a clean sweep.
A Question of Linguistic Pride
Language pride ruled Twitter with people arguing that if Hindi can be imposed as a third language, other regional languages should also made compulsory as third language. Many also argued that Hindi, even though mentioned as an official language, is nowhere mentioned as the National language.
Many other Twitter users took direct digs at the ruling BJP.
According to some users, the trend also featured in Twitter’s wordwide trends.
Many Twitter users batted for English to be the link language instead of imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states. According to some users, the trend also featured in Twitter’s worldwide trends.
This is not the first time that Tamil Nadu has trended a viral hashtag against the ruling government and the prime minister. A few days ago, #ModiGoBack, #TNRejectsModi, #GoBackModi, were among the hashtags that trended when the PM visited Tamil Nadu and also when he won the second term as PM.