Friday, December 2, 2022

Assam opposition parties against Hindi as compulsory subject

Opposition parties in Assam on Saturday criticised the Centre’s announcement that all the eight North Eastern states have agreed to Hindi being a compulsory subject till class 10 and called it a “step towards cultural imperialism”.
The opposition parties, including the Congress and AJP have demanded withdrawal of the decision, which it said is against the interests of the people of the region.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said at a meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee in New Delhi on April 7 that all NE states have agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class 10. He had also said that nine tribal communities of the region have converted their dialects’ scripts to Devanagari and 22,000 Hindi teachers have been recruited for the eight states.
Leader of Opposition in Assam Assembly, Debabrata Saikia alleged that Shah’s statement smacked of the “dictatorial attitude of the Central government” and any decision to make Hindi mandatory will place people from states like in the North East in a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis those whose mother tongue is Hindi in terms of education or job prospects.
Demanding that the Centre should withdraw the decision of making Hindi mandatory, Saikia, a Congress MLA, also called on the state government to pressurize New Delhi to heed to the objections against making Hindi a compulsory subject in school.
He also urged the people to voice their dissent against the decision.
“Education is a state subject. The Centre has no business interfering in it. It goes against our federal spirit… We condemn it and want the decision to be withdrawn. Our Constitution does not allow favouring of one region or language at the expense of another,” he said. Saikia pointed out that the Central Education Advisory Board had in 2019 favoured a tri-language formula and assured that the Centre will not impose any language on any state.
Hindi was not made mandatory even in the New Education Policy following objection from different states, he added.
Referring to Assam, where many languages are spoken, Saikia said students will now have to learn Assamese, Hindi and their mother tongue under the tri-language formula and will be deprived of the chance to learn English.
“The lack of knowledge of English will make them face problems later in education and their career,” he claimed. Assam Jatiya Parishad president Lurinjyoti Gogoi too condemned the Centre’s move.
“It is a reflection of the Centre’s dictatorial attitude. It is a step towards cultural imperialism through language … We respect Hindi, but we have our own mother tongues and we have to concentrate on their development also,” he said in a statement.
The AJP chief also said the state governments should decide which languages are to be taught in schools under it. He also urged the chief ministers of the North East states, civil society organisations and general people to pressurize the Centre against this move.

SourcePTI
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