Imphal, June 27,
North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) activists had submitted a memorandum to JNU Vice-Chancellor demanding that its agenda of making Hindi compulsory be scrapped immediately.
A statement of the Forum said that JNU administration is all set to propose an agenda to make Hindi as compulsory subject in the upcoming Academic Council meeting scheduled on June 28.
“The attempt by the JNU administration makes it amply clear that it takes Hindi to be more important than all other languages spoken in India or recognized by the 8th schedule of the Constitution of India”, it added.
The statement further added that, the current proposal is to impose Hindi as a national language, thereby, exerting Hindi chauvinism over other communities especially marginalized communities, whose languages are neither taught at JNU nor are there enough resources at present to offer them to students. In this context, it should be known that there was an attempt by Delhi University in 2013 to make Hindi/Modern Indian languages compulsory without bothering in the least about how it would affect the students from the North-East and other parts of India. It was only after NEFIS’ concerted struggle that University withdrew its draconic order, the statement added.
NEFIS term the dismal situation as a result of the long standing bias and neglect on part of the government of India in ensuring that the distinct cultural identity and dignity of the marginal/minority groups and communities is preserved. The fact that the languages of so many communities/marginal groups is not given due recognition is not accidental but the unfortunate result of the insolent attitude of an arrogant state that chooses to impose its culture and language upon marginal groups/communities in the manner of a haughty conqueror. It is sad that now the university too has taken cue from the state in promoting cultural chauvinism.
NEFIS said that universities should ideally be the centres of progressive ideas and take the lead in rooting out the biases rampant in the society but unfortunately JNU is failing to live up to this expectation. This is particularly so in the present case because the imposition of the languages of majority/dominant community upon students would affect the fates of not just the present lot of students studying in the university. This decision would affect students to-be in future too and moreover students to-be not just from Delhi or the North-India but from all parts of the country.
Considering the gravity of this issue the NEFIS in the statement demands that a decision be taken only after rigorous debates, in consultation with wide sections of the society and keeping in mind the particular needs of the marginalized groups/communities and it was demanded so in the memorandum which was submitted to JNU V-C. It is also demanded that the proposal of making Hindi compulsory should be immediately dropped from the agenda of Academic Council meeting. Any attempt to the contrary will be a step emanating out of the overweening ambitions of JNU administration too eager to earn laurels through the implementation of speedy ‘reforms’. NEFIS strongly denounces this chauvinist degeneration of the university administration and would be intensifying its movement if its demands are not met.