Decision after assurance of Governor, the Centre’s representative, that Hindi will not be imposed on Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to reporters at party headquarters Anna Arivalayam after meeting the Governor on invitation at Raj Bhavan, DMK president MK Stalin quoted the Governor as saying, “The statement of Union Home Minister was misconstrued. Hindi will not be imposed on Tamil Nadu whatsoever.”
“When we sought to know if the Centre would come forward to give the assurance, the Governor told us that he is a representative of the Centre and hence he was giving the assurance only on the instruction of the Centre,” Stalin reasoned.
Referring to Shah’s clarification earlier in the day on the issue that he never proposed Hindi as the only language of the country, the DMK president said, “He has very clearly stated that his statement was misconstrued. Taking his statement into account, we have deferred the protest called for by our party on September 20.”
Stalin who is also the Leader of Opposition quickly added that the DMK would oppose imposition of Hindi in any form in the way proposed by their party former president M Karunanidhi. Asked whether Shah was testing the waters by issuing a clarification three days after making the controversial statement, Stalin said, “A situation has been created that the protest called for by DMK could spread to the rest of the country. The clarification might have been issued based on that.” When reporters sought to know if the Centre has backtracked due to DMK’s opposition, Stalin referred to the Centre’s somersault on postal and railway exams and said they consider Shah’s clarification following their protest announcement as a major victory. Understandably, DMK’s ‘U’ turn did not impress the state Congress leaders some of whom suspect that the Dravidian major was toning down its opposition to the BJP for political reasons.
Earlier in the day, state Congress president KS Alagiri had said in a statement that it was the need of the hour for secular and democratic forces to unite and defeat the ploy of the ruling BJP to whip up linguistic and religious sentiments to divert public attention from issues like economic slowdown and unprecedented unemployment. Even jailed senior Congress leader P Chidambaram charged the Centre of imposing Hindi in the entire country and urged Congress party workers to join state-wide protest announced by DMK on September 20. In a series of tweets posted on his behalf by his family, Chidambaram said, “A dangerous idea that Hindi alone can unite the people of this country has been floated. The Tamil people, as well as all others who speak other languages, will never allow the imposition of Hindi.”