ANSAM opposes compulsory Hindi

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Senapati: The All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) said today that it strongly opposed the “decision to impose Hindi as a compulsory subject up to Class X”.

In a statement, the Naga student body said that India is a union of states that embraces, respects and celebrates its diversity. “Such pluralistic characters range from physical geography, political history, social fabric, religion, race, language and ways of life,” the ANSAM statement also said. “It is this rich diversity that is recognized and sustained through the Constitution since independence,” it added. The Naga student body also said that any callous political attempt to nullify this fundamental pluralistic union to any form of a homogenous identity is thus insensitive, regressive and is reflective of the ruling dispensation’s inconsiderate bent of mind towards smaller communities. It further added that such unconstitutional and undemocratic policy fundamentally overlooks the consequences to the already vulnerable smaller communities like Nagas, “who have been struggling to preserve our unique identities and cultures”.

According to the ANSAM statement, language is an intrinsic aspect of every culture, “and in the northeastern region this character is synonymous with our diverse tribal identity”. The ANSAM further said that Manipur is a state where 34 recognized tribes have thrived along with other non-tribal communities and our diverse languages are a predominant identity that is sung, spoken, written and preserved with pride. “Hence, even the erstwhile attempt to make Meiteilon (Manipuri) compulsory in school syllabus was opposed tooth and nail by all the tribals including ANSAM and the same was eventually forced to withdraw,” it reminded. “In such a sensitive backdrop, the abrupt decision to impose Hindi as a compulsory subject up to Class X in the northeast came as an extremely irrational and immature political move,” the Naga student body also said. While agreeing to introducing a plethora of languages in education institutes and through the linguistic departments, the ANSAM said that the mandatory imposition of any language will threaten the survival of local/native/indigenous languages. As such, the Naga student body said that the new policy not only carries the potent risk of widespread unrest but also that of irretrievably destroying the very ideals of Indian pluralistic character.

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ANSAM statement then said that Hindi is merely an official language which is not even spoken by half of the country. “Given this non-qualifiable statistical proportion of Hindi speaking population in India and even a lower percentage in the north east, promotion of the same as a national language is both irrelevant and condescending,” it also said. According to the ANSAM, indigenous communities like the Nagas see this as hegemonic imposition to an already vulnerable survival of “our traditional culture and identity”. The ANSAM then asserted that it will not accept any form of language imposition under any circumstances and rise to fight all out to protect and sustain “our age-old indigenous languages that have been existing far before Indian Independence”.

The Naga student body then stated, “We, therefore, implore the government to categorically dismiss such ‘compulsory’ and ‘mandatory’ dictates immediately”. It also said that instead of making unjustifiable imposition upon the young populace who are the future pillars of the society, the government should strive to efficiently preserve and promote “our local tribal languages” by increasing the composition and mandate of linguistic departments in the northeastern states. The Naga student body added that peaceful co-existence of various communities cannot come through imposed policies. The ANSAM further added, “It can only be achieved through mutual respect and preservation of our pluralistic composition”.


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