Anti-Hindi campaign: activists seek Constitutional amendment to ensure linguistic equality

BENGALURU: Amid growing dissatisfaction over the alleged Hindi imposition by the Centre, language activists on Sunday said they would launch an aggressive campaign to seek a constitutional amendment to ensure equality among Indian languages.
The campaign to be spearheaded by representatives from non-Hindi speaking states will focus on urging the Centre to amend the Part XVII of the Constitution so that regional languages are treated on par with Hindi.
The grouse is that the provisions of eight Articles (Article 343 to 351) listed under the Part XVII of the Constitution have been written to promote Hindi as the administrative language and they do not talk about the linguistic equality.
“In the prevailing situation where the Centre is imposing Hindi on the entire nation, the regional languages will not survive unless there is a constitutional support for them. The time has come to seek the constitutional amendment in order to protect our languages,” said Senthil Nathan, secretary of Campaign for Language Equality and Rights (CLEAR).
Senthil was speaking at a seminar on ‘Campaign for Language Equality’ organised by Banvasi Balaga, a pro-Kannada organisation whose campaign against Hindi imposition in Namma Metro stations and trains has made headlines.
Senthil said a national-level convention will be held in Bengaluru on February 21 on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, where a draft language policy for India will be announced. About 44 non-Hindi languages from across the country will be represented in the convention.
“We have chosen Bengaluru for the convention as it is Karnataka which has taken the lead in the fight for protection of the regional languages, this time. While Tamil Nadu spearheaded the successful anti-Hindi campaign in 1965, it is now Karnataka’s turn to take the lead,” said Senthil.
He said the metro campaign launched by pro-Kannada activists had caught the attention across the country and triggered a sense of linguistic equality.
“The Centre is trying to impose the idea of One Nation-One Language-One Culture on the country. But India’s strength is in its diversity. Hindi at best will divide the country and its imposition will never unite India,” said Anand G, president of Banavasi Balaga.
T A Narayana Gowda, president of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) and Ramesh Babu, JD(S) MLC were among others who spoke in the seminar.

Courtesy: The Times of India (17/09/2017) – Web Link