CHENNAI: Upping its ante against the recent remarks of Union Home Minister, Amit Shah that Hindi should be the ‘common language’ of the country and its sole identity abroad, the DMK on Monday called for a state-wide protest in Tamil Nadu on September 20, demanding that the BJP-led Central government give up its "Hindi imposition" drive and the Home minister withdraw his remarks.
Strongly condemning Mr Shah’s latest needlessly provocative speech on 'Hindi Divas Day' in New Delhi, a meeting of the DMK's high level policy planning committee here chaired by the party president M K Stalin, called upon its party-men to come out in large numbers for holding massive protests at all revenue divisional headquarters on Friday.
The party warned of a bigger agitation if called for and hoped that the Centre will not give room for such an eventuality.
The six-page resolution termed Mr. Amit Shah's views as posing a direct threat to the pluralistic character of the Indian state, undermining the very basis of the linguistic reorganization of States in a federal polity and to the Central government's earlier assurances that English will continue to be the sole link language as long as the Non-Hindi speaking people wanted it.
The resolution said Tamil Nadu, having historically been in the forefront against any form of Hindi imposition right from 1937, DMK had a duty to “nip in the bud” not only any adverse impact Hindi imposition could have on Tamil but also on all other regional languages in the country.
The party charged the BJP with trying to “sow poisonous seeds” by such declarations that could destroy India's unity and integrity and hence recognizing this danger, the DMK has called for the state-wide demonstration as the first step. It hoped the BJP will initiate a course correction, jettison such diversionary tactics and take constructive steps to redress the economic crisis and other key issues.
The DMK's resolution, recalling its various anti-Hindi agitations during the last 80 years, also listed the various overt and covert measures of the BJP-led government at the Centre to “impose Hindi” on the non-Hindi speaking states including Tamil Nadu. It accused the BJP of running down the significance of Tamil and other regional languages in a bid to reduce non-Hindi speaking people to the status of 'second class citizens'. All this was entirely unnecessary, the DMK said.
Later, speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Stalin said that in the first phase agitation only the DMK will be involved. Depending on the Centre's response to it, the party will consult its allies and all other like-minded parties on the language issue for further course of action in the second phase, he added.
On former BJP Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan's criticism that DMK and other opposition parties were “playing politics with Tamil”, Mr. Stalin said, “we will respond to all these during our agitation.”...