Chennai: Within days of the Tamil Nadu government added 500 new buses jointly to the state road transport corporation (TNSTC) and Metropolitan Transport Corporation of Chennai (MTC) to beef up public transport, it finds itself at the centre of a language controversy.
Opposition parties and Tamil language activists are agitating against the AIADMK government on what they term as ‘Hindi imposition’ as some instructions to passengers, such as, the emergency exit stickers are in Hindi in the buses. The photos bearing Hindi script on them have gone viral on social media platforms.
DMK’s Thoothukkudi MP Kanizmohi Karunanidhi has accused that the move was an attempt to reduce the importance of Tamil and impose Hindi.
“Since the state government purchased all these buses with the tax money of TN people, why should they impose Hindi here?” Kanimozhi questioned on Twitter.
She also took a dig at the AIADMK government in power, saying it is competing with the Union government to impose Hindi in the state.
“Already the union government has tried to impose Hindi here. Now, the Edappadi K Palaniswami led AIADMK government is also trying the same to prove that they (AIADMK) are not lacking than the union government in imposing Hindi in TN. DMK strongly condemns this,” Kanimozhi said, reported by Hindustan Times.
However, TN state transport department officials denied Kanimozhi’s allegations and said that they have already removed the Hindi words in the government buses.
“No government buses have Hindi instructions in Tamil Nadu. As the newly purchased buses were manufactured in other states, they had Hindi stickers. However, we removed that before the buses are used by the public,” Tamil Nadu transport department said in a press note released to the media said.
This bus controversy comes just after the criticism received against the proposal by the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) to make Hindi a compulsory language in schools was abating. The NCERT and the Centre had clearly mentioned that there was no such move to impose Hindi in schools.