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RSS's Long-pending Demand Gets a Push as India May Soon Get Its First National University of Languages

The RSS, at its General Body meeting in Nagpur last year, had passed a resolution calling for efforts to protect Indian languages even as some political parties had sought to build campaigns around sub-nationalism.

Sumit Pande | News18.com

Updated:June 2, 2019, 1:05 PM IST
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RSS's Long-pending Demand Gets a Push as India May Soon Get Its First National University of Languages
File photo of HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank
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After registering an emphatic victory in the Lok Sabha elections, the government may soon expedite one of the long pending demands of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS on development of regional languages, an exercise aimed to bring about larger social and cultural integration in the country.

Sources in the government have told News18.com that setting up of a National University of Indian Languages would be foremost in Human Development Ministry's agenda.

“A proposal to this effect was prepared by Kendriya Hindi Sansthan headquartered at Agra. It was sent to the University Grants Commission and is now with the HRD ministry. Work will start on the proposal soon,” said a source in the government aware of the developments on the issue.

Appointment of Haridwar MP Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank as HRD minister in the government is being as a precursor to changes which may be undertaken in the field of education. Pokhariyal, former Uttarakhand CM, was a teacher in RSS-affilated Saraswati Shishu Mandir before contesting elections for the first time in 1990.

The RSS, at its General Body meeting in Nagpur last year, had passed a resolution calling for efforts to protect and conserve Indian languages and dialects.

The resolution was adopted at a time some political parties — both regional and national — had sought to build campaigns around sub-nationalism and regional languages as the BJP made a decisive attempt to expand its political footprint in areas where it is considered traditionally weak.

In the Karnataka assembly polls last year, the then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had emphasised on preservation of Kannada. The government in the poll-bound state also raised objections to Hindi signboards outside Namma metro stations. The Congress government in Karnataka had on Thursday also approved a state flag.

As such, BJP’s growing dominance in the national landscape — especially in the Hindi speaking north, west and central India — has given rise to new political narratives by regional parties and satraps woven around sub-nationalism.

There were protests in the adjoining Tamil Nadu last year when the recommendations made by the parliamentary committee on languages were approved by the President. TRS government led by CM K Chandrashekar Rao has made compulsory in schools till Class 12.

In the past as well, the RSS has sought to devise programmes to build public opinion around issues through mass campaigns at the ground level.

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