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NEFIS protests DU’s cultural chauvinistic decision to make Hindi compulsory

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Delhi, Oct 20: North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) activists along with a large number of students from North-East as well as other regions protested against the compulsory imposition of Hindi on DU students, especially those who come from different linguistic backgrounds as another disgraceful attempt to discriminate against them. Activists of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) too supported the protest in solidarity with students from non-Hindi linguistic backgrounds. It should be known that as per the notification issued by the University on 23rd August 2016, it would become compulsory for every student who has not studied Hindi till class 8th to pass a paper, Compulsory Test in Hindi (CTH) in order to gain his/her undergraduate degree. Earlier, the students from North-Eastern states and foreign students were exempted from taking the test, but this has not been notified in the Resolution No. 10 of Academic Council of 19th July 2016, which was subsequently passed by the University.
This step gives undue importance to Hindi vis-à-vis other languages of non-Hindi speaking regions, the steps for which to be taught in the University are not being taken. Instead of creating more infrastructure to offer languages of non-Hindi speaking regions, especially of linguistically marginal/minority communities, thereby generating enthusiasm in students to genuinely take interest in languages of different regions and communities, the University has once again imposed its diktat on students from non-Hindi speaking backgrounds especially marginal/minority groups. This dismal situation is a by-product of the long standing bias and neglect on part of the government of India and the respective state governments in not ensuring that the distinct cultural identity and dignity of the marginal/minority groups and communities is preserved. Delhi University acting in the same manner has once again tried to impose the culture and language of Hindi-speaking areas upon students from non-Hindi linguistic backgrounds 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.
Compulsory imposition of Hindi would cause immense hardships for the students who belong to communities that do not speak Hindi.  This step amounts to nothing less than cultural chauvinism on part of the university administration directed against the communities from the North-East because most of them are not adept in the language. This gross neglect of the special needs of the students of the North-East is not a new thing. It is our observation that in the framing of university policies the interests of the students from the North-East is always neglected. It should be known that even in 2013 DU had attempted to impose Hindi/Modern Indian Languages (MIL) on DU students, but had to withdraw its decision due to militant campaign launched against it by NEFIS.
NEFIS submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor demanding that exemption which was earlier given to the North-East students should continue and immediate steps should be taken to develop the infrastructure, adequate faculty and syllabus for the languages of linguistic marginal/minority groups hitherto not offered by the university. They resolved to intensify their agitation if this recent attempt by DU authorities to discriminate against them is not withdrawn immediately.

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