Congress leader P Chidambaram wrote on Twitter on the occasion of Hindi Diwas today and said he “rejoiced (d) with people who speak Hindi” celebrating the language. He also included a mention of Tamil, which he called “one of the oldest languages of India”.
“People who speak Tamil are legitimately proud” of their language, said Tamil Nadu MP Rajya Sabha in the first of two tweets.
Each of Mr Chidambaram’s tweets was posted three times – in Tamil, English and Hindi – in a subtle move towards central policies viewed by many in the south as seeking to impose Hindi on regional languages.
“We rejoice with the Hindi-speaking people who are celebrating Hindu Diwas today. The Tamil-speaking people are legally proud that the Tamil language is among the oldest languages of India,” he said in his first tweet.
We also celebrate that the archeological excavations that are taking place in Keeladi and the surrounding areas have brought to world knowledge the roots of a 2600 year old Tamil civilization
P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) 14 September 2020
Mr Chidambaram’s second tweet pointed out that archeological excavations in the Keeladi region of the state had uncovered evidence of a 2,600-year-old Tamil civilization.
The tweets come amid a dispute between the center and the state over the perceived imposition of Hindi – a line that erupted in June last year after the center released a draft of the National Education Policy.
The Southern States, led by Tamil Nadu, attacked, especially after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in the Hindu Diwas last year, said that since Hindi was “the most spoken and understood language” in India, it was the only one. that you can unite the nation.
DMK chief MK Stalin declared “this is India, not India” and warned of the center of a “language war”.
Last month, DMK MP Kanimozhi rekindled that fire; she said a CISF officer at Chennai Airport had asked “if ‘I’m an Indian’ when I asked him to speak to me in Tamil or English as I did not know Hindi”.
Mr Chidambaram said he had experienced similar ridicule and wrote on Twitter: “If the center is really committed to making both Indian and English the official languages of India, it should insist that all central government employees be bilingual in Hindi and English “, 74 years old – wrote the former former Minister of the Union.
If the central government is really committed to making Hindi and English the official languages of India, it should insist that all central government employees be bilingual in Hindi and English.
P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) 10 August 2020
In September last year, Mr Chidambaram, who was then in Delhi’s Tihar Prison on the INX Media case, said that if Tamil people spoke in one voice, their language and culture would be accepted.
Ms. Kanimozhi’s tweet in August also turned attention to education policy. The final version – National Education Policy (NEP 2020) released in July – stated that either one of the mother tongues or the local / regional language would be the medium of instruction up to Grade 5 in all schools.
Tamil Nadu has long opposed any move to give Hindi more importance than other Indian languages. The region saw anti-Indian protests between 1937 and 1940. In 1965, the issue flared up again and about 70 people died in the ensuing violence.