Ensure English is Used on Social Media, Jayalalithaa Writes to PM Modi: Full Text of Letter

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Ensure English is Used on Social Media, Jayalalithaa Writes to PM Modi: Full Text of Letter
Chennai:  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the urgent amendment of an instruction that asks government departments to use Hindi for tweets and other social media posts.

Following is the full text of her letter:

It has come to my notice that the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued two Office Memoranda, the first by the Official Language Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs (O.M.No.12019/03/2014-OL, dated 10.3.2014) and the second by the Co-ordination Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (O.M.No.11020/01/2013-Hindi, dated 27.5.2014). These Office Memoranda direct that official accounts on social media like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Google and You Tube which at present use only English should compulsorily use Hindi, or both Hindi and English,  with Hindi being written above or first. This makes the use of Hindi mandatory and English optional.

As you are aware, as per the Official Languages Rules, 1976, communications from a Central Government office to a State or Union Territory in Region "C" or to any office (not being a Central Government office) or person in such State shall be in English. This provision has been introduced following the introduction of a mandatory proviso to Section 3(1) of the Official Languages Act, 1963, by an amendment in 1968 which states as follows:-

"Provided that the English language shall be used for purposes of communication between the Union and a State which has not adopted Hindi as its official language".

In this context, while the Office Memoranda have been primarily made applicable to Government of India officers and offices located in "Region A", social media by their very nature are not only accessible to all persons on the internet but meant to be a means of communication to persons living in all parts of India including those in "Region C".  People located in "Region C" with whom the Government of India communication needs to be in English, will not have access to such public information if it is not in English. This move would therefore be against the letter and spirit of the Official Languages Act, 1963.  As you are aware, this is a highly sensitive issue and causes disquiet to the people of Tamil Nadu who are very proud of and passionate about their linguistic heritage.

Hence, I request you to kindly ensure that instructions are suitably modified to ensure that English is used on social media.

In the Memorandum that I had presented to you on 3.6.2014 I had also raised the long pending demand of the people of Tamil Nadu to make the ancient Tamil language an official language of India. I had also urged that all the languages included in the VIII Schedule of the Constitution of India be declared as official languages of India. If this request is fulfilled the use of all official languages on social media can be encouraged.


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