After Protest, Southern Rlys Withdraws Order Asking Officials to Communicate Only in English or Hindi

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DMK MP Kanimozhi wrote on Twitter that the circular was a continuation of the central government’s attempt to impose Hindi in Tamil Nadu.

Chennai: The Southern Railways has scrapped its earlier order dated June 12 stating that officials will communicate only in English and Hindi after the order drew flak from Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu.

The MK Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) staged a protest over the matter on Friday.

DMK MP Kanimozhi wrote on Twitter that the circular was a continuation of the central government’s attempt to impose Hindi in the southern state.

Demanding its immediate withdrawal, Kanimozhi wrote that the move indicated there were more north Indians in the Railways department, as had been claimed by the DMK.

The new order issued by the Southern Railways asked officials to communicate without any misunderstanding.

“It is felt that attention is required to ensure that communication between the control and the station is improved. While it goes without saying that it is the responsibility of the control to ensure that every instruction is passed by it to the station master is clear and fully comprehended, it is also essential that the station masters do the same without requesting permission or advising action that they are taking. Therefore, it may be ensured that communication between control and station masters does not give any room for misunderstanding or ambiguity and is clearly understood by all concerned,” the order read.

The previous order by the Southern Railways said, “The communication between the Division Control Office and station masters should be either in English or in Hindi and the use of regional language should be avoided to prevent either side not understanding what is being said.”

A recent draft of the National Education Programme (NEP) that recommended implementation of the three-language formula across the country was criticised by the DMK -- the party had warned of dire consequences if such a move was implemented in the state.

Soon after, the Centre had revised the policy, dropping the contentious provision of compulsory teaching of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states.