The draft of the new education policy got released today and there is an uproar in Tamilnadu. There is strong opposition for the proposed three language policy which is looked as a soft way of imposing Hindi dominance across India. I have two different views on it.
One being a Tamilian who have lived in the Hindi heartland and for around 4 years and have married a Mumbaikar I wish that I learnt Hindi with proper context in school. It would have helped me communicate better outside Tamilnadu. I also feel knowing a common language will strengthen the bonds of being a part of the same , country India. Before my stint outside Tamilnadu , I identified myself more as a tamilachi and probably I still do..But there is a more degree of India feeling in me now . I would rather recommend my kid to take Hindi as second language at school as he is already exposed to Tamil at home. Also though have learnt Tamil as my second language, I have not yet comprehended the intricacies of the great language. This is because an appreciation of literature was not required in my practical life.
On the other hand, how will the poorest of the poor be able to learn three languages? Would they be able to compete on a level ground if Hindi is made mandatory? How will a first generation schooling child in Tamil Nadu compete with a first generation schooling child in Uttarpradesh? The poorest of the poor are struggling with English learning itself. I have seen the struggles of some of the most brilliant people – colleagues and college mates who had done most of their education in Tamil when they were learning English in their young adult life. While the need of Rnglish is for employment opportunities in white collar jobs outsourced by Englishmen, what would be the need for Hindi in Tamilnadu especially for someone who does not want to leave their birth state?
Three language policy should be made optional in my humble opinion. Also language education has to be made for reading , speaking and writing proficiency. It is an irony that despite learning Hindi in school till eight grade, I still face a challenge while conversing in Hindi. I remember rote learning Q and A s as a child due to lack of proper guidance. Just imagine the challenges the poorest of the poor in Tamilnadu would have to undergo if learning three languages is mandatory.