New Delhi: Even as the language row continued to rage in southern states, new state transport buses in Tamil Nadu were found bearing stickers that read in Hindi.
In a bid to improve public transport, the Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation (TNSTC) and Metropolitan Transport Corporation of Chennai (MTC) have jointly added 500 buses to the fleet.
However, with the buses having instructions for passengers in Hindi, leaders of opposition parties have called it the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government’s gradual move towards ‘imposition of Hindi’.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)’s Thoothukkudi MP Kanizmohi Karunanidhi said it was attempt to reduce the importance of Tamil in the state. She also lashed out at the AIADMK dispensation for competing with the Centre in imposing Hindi and put out a tweet in this regard.
தமிழக மக்களின் வரி பணத்தில் புதிதாக வாங்கியிருக்கும் பேருந்துகளில் தமிழுக்கு இடமில்லை.மத்திய அரசின் இந்தி திணிப்பு ஒருபுறம் என்றால்,நாங்களும் அவர்களுக்கு சளைத்தவர்கள் அல்ல என்று இந்தியை திணிக்கும் அதிமுக அரசுக்கு கடும் கண்டனம்.#stopHindiImposition pic.twitter.com/SqAQfEJI6N— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) July 7, 2019
“Already the Union government has tried to impose Hindi here. Now, the Edappadi K Palaniswami-led AIADMK government is trying the same. The DMK strongly condemns this,” Kanimozhi was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
The Hindi-reading stickers have already gone viral on social media. However, an official of the transport department said the stickers with Hindi words in the government buses have already been removed.
“No government buses have Hindi instructions in Tamil Nadu. As the new buses were manufactured in other states, they had Hindi stickers. We removed that before the buses were used by public,” read a statement from the department.
Weeks ago, the DMK had strongly registered its protest against a three-language proposal in the draft National Education Policy that made teaching Hindi mandatory in non-Hindi speaking states. Soon after, the Centre dropped the contentious clause from the draft.