- Three-language formula "painful and saddening": Chief Minister
- He has asked PM Modi to "reconsider" the new policy
- Parties in the state see NEP as an attempt by the centre to impose Hindi
The three-language formula in the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is "painful and saddening", said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, as he vowed not to implement the new policy.
Mr Palaniswami listed the consistent stand by late Chief Ministers Anna Durai, MGR and Jayalalithaa to express against imposition of Hindi and urged Prime Minister Modi to "reconsider" the three-language policy.
"Tamil Nadu will never allow centre's three language policy. The three language policy in the New Education is painful and saddening. The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) should reconsider the three-language policy," the Chief minister said in a statement.
The minister also referred to the anti-Hindi agitation by Tamil Nadu students in 1965 when attempts were made by the Congress government to make Hindi the official language.
Though the three-language policy leaves it to states to decide on what that language would be, political parties in Tamil Nadu look at this as a tacit attempt by the centre to impose Hindi.
The Centre will not impose any language on any state, Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank clarified through a tweet in Tamil to former Union Minister from the state, Pon Radhakrishnan, on Sunday.
Mr Nishank said he was looking forward to the guidance of the ex-central minister in implementing NEP in Tamil Nadu.
"I once again like to insist that the Central government will not impose any language on any state," he said.
The MK Stalin-led DMK and many opposition parties in Tamil Nadu have opposed NEP and want a review of the sweeping reforms it has proposed.
On Saturday, the DMK chief said the policy was an attempt at imposition of Hindi and Sanskrit and vowed to fight against it by joining hands with like-minded political parties and Chief Ministers of other states.
The reforms were not a new education policy but "a glossy coat on the old oppressive Manusmriti," the DMK leader had said.
Imposition of Hindi has always been an emotional issue in Tamil Nadu although schools affiliated to the state board teach Hindi as an optional language.
In the 1960s Tamil Nadu had witnessed massive anti-Hindi agitation when the then Congress government attempted to make Hindi the official language. This had catapulted the DMK to power in the state.
Following riots across Tamil Nadu the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru assured to have English as the link language between states and the centre as long as non-Hindi speaking states want.
With assembly elections due in 2021, this is one issue the ruling AIADMK which suffered a rout in the last Lok Sabha polls can't afford to toe centre's line.