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'Nobody in North Learns Tamil': Shashi Tharoor Suggests 'Better' Execution of 3-Language Policy

The Congress MP was of the opinion that the idea of a proposed language component in the new draft policy goes back to the mid-1960s but had not been properly implemented.


Updated:June 2, 2019, 11:12 PM IST
'Nobody in North Learns Tamil': Shashi Tharoor Suggests 'Better' Execution of 3-Language Policy
File photo of Shashi Tharoor. (Reuters)

New Delhi: Former minister and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday entered the much heated three-language debate, saying that the solution to the three-language formula is not by abandoning the idea but ensuring its better implementation across the country.

"Most of us in the south learn Hindi as a second language, but nobody in the north is learning Malayalam or Tamil," Tharoor told news agency ANI. "The solution is not to abandon the three-languages formula but to implement it in a better manner."

The draft New Education Policy (NEP), proposed by a panel set up by Union minister Prakash Javadekar when he was heading the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) in the previous government and led by eminent scientist K Kasturirangan, had suggested teaching Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states.

Tharoor was of the opinion that the proposed language component in the new draft policy of is not something new. He said the formula goes back to the mid-1960s but it had never been properly implemented.

The draft policy received backlash from leaders of political parties in Tamil Nadu, including the DMK, over the inclusion of Hindi language in schools.

While DMK chief MK Stalin dubbed the move as similar to "throwing stones at a beehive", party leader T Siva said the Centre was playing with fire with such a decision.

After backlash, the HRD ministry later clarified that the proposal is just a recommendation and not a government policy.

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal also described it as a misunderstanding. "State governments must have got the wrong information. Besides, PM Modi has already said that no particular language will be imposed on any region. We have made a draft and we will be collecting information from various states and then we will have further discussions," he said on Saturday.

Besides the DMK, the CPI and BJP's ally in the Lok Sabha polls, the PMK, also alleged that the recommendation of the three-language formula was similar to the "imposition of Hindi" in the southern states.

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