Northeast Hindi

Guwahati, April 09: The Central government’s move to make Hindi a compulsory language in schools across the eight states in the northeast have miffed various organizations in the region.

Describing Hindi as “the language of India”, Home Minister Amit Shah stated that Hindi would be made a must up to Class 10 in the region’s schools. He also said 22,000 teachers have been recruited to teach Hindi in the northeastern States.

“We have no objection to Hindi as an optional subject but this is a kind of imposition. We oppose this move as it is one kind of imposition. Hindi can be an optional subject,” Samuel B. Jyrwa, the chairperson of the North East Students’ Organisation said, adding English is a preferred medium of instruction besides the local tongue.

“We will approach all the State governments in the region to not make Hindi compulsory,” he added.

Meghalaya’s suspended Congress legislator, Ampareen Lyngdoh said the Khasi and Garo-speaking states cannot allow Hindi to be imposed in the northeast. “The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution gives us the protection against any kind of imposition,” she said.

In Mizoram, the influential Young Mizo Association (YMA) said it would soon hold a meeting and submit a memorandum against the Centre’s move.

In Assam, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti has condemned the move as “anti-democracy, anti-Constitution” and against the federal structure of the country.

“The BJP-led government has been taking anti-Assamese decisions since 2016 by first removing the Assamese paper from the Assam Public Service Commission exams and now the Hindi imposition through the schools. The government should instead make Assamese compulsory in the State,” the Samiti said.

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If the State government cannot stand up to the imposition of Hindi, it should ensure that the 22,000 Hindi teachers recruited are locals and not from the Hindi belt, the Samiti said.

Regional political parties such as Raijor Dal and Assam Jatiya Parishad have also panned the Centre’s move as a bid to give Hindi-speakers the economic, academic, and administrative edge and let them control non-Hindi speaking regions of the country in the long run.