After a huge outcry and allegations of Hindi imposition by many states, the Centre on Monday made changes to the new Draft National Education Policy, making the language optional.
"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 sometime during secondary school," read the tweaked version of the draft policy.
A Twitter user wrote: "#TNNeedsHindi I never ever felt so out of place as I felt in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. Not it USA , not in Europe but in my own country. I've to talk in sign language with almost everyone there. Politics over language should be stopped."
To this, actress Shabana Azmi replied and said: "What is required is a complete embracing of the diversity that is India and celebrating it ."
In the original Draft National Education Policy 2019, a three-language formula recommended the inclusion of English and Hindi besides mother tongue in the non-Hindi state, while the Hindi-speaking states were to include English and Indian language from other parts of India.
The draft policy had said multilingualism is a necessity of India as of much of the developed world and must be considered a boon and an opportunity for learning and expanding one's horizons rather than a burden.
Many leaders from non-Hindi states, especially Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, had opposed the policy.
In Tamil Nadu, leaders across party lines had said the state would not tolerate any imposition. Echoing the same sentiments, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had said that the Centre cannot force any language.
However, despite the raging controversy, the Centre had maintained that the policy was just a draft subject to changes and ensured that no language will be pressed upon.
"The committee was formed for drafting New Education Policy. That committee has given its report. The report of the committee is only received by the Ministry. That's not the policy. No language will be imposed on any state," HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishak had told ANI on Saturday.
(With inputs from ANI)