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DMK president MK Stalin seeks Official Language Status for Tamil

File photo of MK Stalin. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Oct 01, 2019, 09.56 PM (IST) Written By: Sidharth MP Edited By: Riya Gupta

Tamil Nadu's opposition leader, DMK president MK Stalin has suggested in a statement that Tamil be made India’s official language, this comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Tamil as the oldest language, while speaking at the IIT Madras Convocation, on Monday. 

While the statement welcomed the Prime Minister’s gesture of having glorified the Tamil language at the United Nations, it also accused the BJP-led Central government of imposing Sanskrit (liturgical language) and Hindi on the Tamil people, despite the wide-ranging evidence of the ancient nature of the Tamil language.

The statement read, ''As all central government schemes are coined in Hindi or Sanskrit. Even when the schemes are publicised in Tamil, the pronunciation of the words are in Hindi or Sanskrit. Naming the schemes in Hindi or Sanskrit makes it difficult for Tamils and other language speakers to understand the schemes and their purpose.'' 

''DMK has been emphasising that all 22 languages in the 8th schedule of the Constitution be made official languages. In the first step to that initiative, the oldest language Tamil should be made the official language of India and Tamil should also be made the official language of the Madras High Court. PM Modi’s Government is certainly duty-bound to recognise Tamil, which is spoken by over 8 crore people globally, as an official language. It is to be brought to the notice of our prime minister that Tamil is one among the official languages of various other countries, whereas it is not an official language in its home country India,'' it added. 

Referring to the PM's comments of Tamil cuisine and hospitality, the statement said, Tamils are not only known for our hospitality, but also for our loyalty. If the Prime Minister can sincerely try to grant official language status for Tamil and enact the necessary legal provisions for the same, it would be appreciated forever by the Tamil people. Granting the Official Language Status for Tamil language would also be in line with the vision of former Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers Annadurai and Karunanidhi.

The statement by the Dravidian party also needs to be seen in the light of Home Minister Amit Shah’s call for Hindi as a common link language to unite the country. The Home Minister’s comments had drawn flak from regional leaders of non-Hindi speaking states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The DMK too had announced a state-wide anti-Hindi agitation, which was later cancelled after MK Stalin met Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is said to have assured the DMK leader that the Centre would not impose Hindi in Tamil Nadu.