Focus on Development, Not Hindi, Says DMK Chief to PM Modi

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Focus on Development, Not Hindi, Says DMK Chief to PM Modi

File photo: DMK chief M Karunanidhi

Chennai:  M Karunanidhi, chief of the Tamil Nadu party the DMK, has a major complaint against the new Prime Minister - what he describes an unwarranted emphasis on the use of Hindi.

"The PM should focus on development rather than on promoting Hindi", the 89-year-old said in Chennai today, objecting to an order issued  recently by the Union Home Ministry which said that government departments and bureaucrats must use Hindi in their official accounts on social media.

"No one can deny it's a beginning to impose Hindi against one's wish. This amounts to an attempt to treat non-Hindi speakers as second class citizens," said Mr Karunanidhi, whose party failed to win a single one of Tamil Nadu's 39 parliamentary seats in the national election that swept the BJP to power.

"Language battlefields have not yet dried. History has recorded anti-Hindi agitation," Mr Karunanidhi said, whose party won its first state election in Tamil Nadu because of the lead role it played in a violent resistance in 1965 to a move to make Hindi the official language across the country.

Riots tore through Tamil Nadu and calm was restored after Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri reiterated a commitment made by Jawahalal Nehru that English would be used to communicate between the union government and non-Hindi-speaking states.


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