Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday expressed his firm opposition to the implementation of the three-language policy as envisioned in the National Education Policy 2020, saying it would hurt sentiments in a state that has rallied against the imposition of languages in the past.
Palaniswami, in a statement, said the three-language idea will not be put into action in Tamil Nadu and has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enable states to modify the Education policy to suit their own sentiments. Tamil Nadu government said the state will continue with its two-language formula.
In a statement, Palaniswami said, “The three-language formula in NEP is saddening and painful. Prime Minister should reconsider the proposed three-language formula and allow states to implement it as per their policy.”
The decision to oppose NEP was taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Palaniswamy with the State School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan.
Opposition parties in the state had already opposed NEP2020. DMK President MK Stalin said the three-language policy is the Centre's attempt at the ‘imposition of Hindi and Sanksrit’ and added that he would join hands with like-minded parties and take this fight forward.
In a letter to party workers, MK Stalin said: “This is an attack on the federal structure being underscored by the Constitution of India.”
DMK led a campaign against the draft education policy in August 2019, particularly against the three-language formula. In fact, the Centre revised its own draft after Tamil Nadu’s staunch criticism of the provisions that it said attempted to lodge learning of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states. The revision was seen as a victory for the DMK’s campaign.
Ahead of the state elections in 2021, the DMK is scouting for an issue with which it can go all out against the BJP and its local ally, the AIADMK. The contentious provisions of the National Education Policy appear to be an issue that the DMK will likely use to pin down the AIADMK, particularly over issues on which it is in agreement with the BJP. However, with today's strongly-worded statement against the National Education Policy, the AIADMK has signalled that it would not stray too much from its own Dravidian roots.