PRESS RELEASE Date: 05.04.2013
North-East Students’ Protest Reaches the Gates of HRD Ministry.
Students’ Seek Intervention from HRD Ministry Against Imposition of Hindi Language Course by DU
Today a large number of students from different communities of the North-East and concerned individuals gheraoed the HRD ministry. This protest was organized by NEFIS (North-East Forum for International Solidarity) along with a number of other progressive organizations and individuals. We also submitted a memorandum (a copy of which is attached herewith) to the ministry of HRD Ministry, stating our concerns and demanding its immediate intervention to stop imposition of a compulsory Hindi language/Modern Indian Language (MIL) course by Delhi University (DU). This protest at the HRD Ministry has been preceded by three protests by north-east students at the University level. A delegation of 5 students met with Senior Secretary of Higher Education in the HRD Ministry, who received the memorandum saying that he had already been instructed by the HRD Minister to look into the issue “positively”.
In the coming academic year Delhi University administration is going to introduce a new syllabus according to which it would become compulsory for students of all courses to do a foundational course during the first year of their graduation. In this foundation course they would be required to opt for a language which would either be Hindi or one of the Modern Indian languages (MILs). It is our opinion that the compulsory imposition of Hindi and other MILs would cause immense hardships for the students who belong to communities that speak neither Hindi nor one of the MILs. There would be problems even for the communities that speak MILs like Manipuri, Assamese, etc. because the infrastructure and faculty strength for teaching these languages is inadequate to be able to cover the whole of university.
This imposition of a compulsory language course amounts to nothing less than cultural chauvinism on part of the University administration directed against the communities from the North-East. This is because most of the North-East students are not adept in any of the languages of the mainland India. The new DU syllabus, if it is allowed to come into force, would put the students of the North-East under serious disadvantage vis-à-vis students of rest of the country. This gross neglect of the special needs of the students of the North-East is not a new thing. It is our observation that in the framing of university polices the interests of the students from the North-East is always neglected. It is for this reason that we made this fresh instance of bias an occasion for us to rise above community lines and put forward a united protest to safeguard our common interests.
The protesting students and youth have resolved that if nothing positive comes out of its meeting with HRD officials, then it will spread its struggle to the different capital cities in the North-East states, and intensify the campaign amongst DU colleges.
North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS)
Contact: 7838983871 Email: [email protected]
Memorandum Submitted to the HRD Ministry:
[pdf http://kanglaonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/NEFIS-MEMORANDUN-5-april.docx_.pdf 650 800]