Academy Award winning music composer AR Rahman usually stays away from making political statements. However, on Monday, the musician welcomed the Union government’s decision to revise the draft version of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 which several had objected to for making Hindi as a mandatory subject in the non-Hindi speaking states.
The music composer tweeted, “Beautiful solution. Hindi is not compulsory in Tamil Nadu… draft has been rectified!”
அழகிய தீர்வு ”தமிழகத்தில் இந்தி கட்டாயமல்ல... திருத்தப்பட்டது வரைவு!”— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) June 3, 2019
Earlier too, Rahman, subtly voiced out his opinion against the National Education Policy.
On Sunday, when there was a massive uproar against the government’s decision with the hashtag #StopHindiImposition trending, Rahman shared a song on Twitter from his film Maryan which was sung by a Punjabi singer. He tweeted, “Tamizh is spreading in Punjab.”
Earlier on Friday, the Committee for Draft National Education Policy led by Dr K Kasturirangan and the Ministry of Human Resources Development had released a draft of the National Education Policy, which had mandated school students from non-Hindi speaking states to study Hindi and English in addition to their regional language. Similarly, students from Hindi speaking states would have to study Hindi, English and any modern Indian language. However, this implied that Hindi would be made compulsory across the country without giving the same status to other official languages.
This draft policy was kept in the public domain for feedback and comments until June 30.
Soon, DMK president MK Stalin strongly opposed the policy and threatened to agitate if the Centre didn’t roll back the policy.
Following the furore, the MHRD issued a clarification stating that the document was merely a draft. “It is not the Policy announced by Government. After getting feedback from general public, and after consulting State Governments, the National Education Policy will be finalised by Government," stated the MHRD clarification.
Subsequently on Monday, the Committee for Draft National Education Policy revised its draft version in which it said, “In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6 or Grade 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages (one language at the literature level) in their modular Board Examinations some time during secondary school.”
Though the revised draft does not mandate which specific languages students must study in middle school, it still advocates for the three-language formula, stating that it needs to be 'implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country.'