The Centre's Notification on Hindi Language in Meghalaya Schools is still Awaited

SHILLONG: 11th April 2022 (PTI Source)

No communication has yet been received from the central government regarding a proposal to make Hindi a requirement up to Class X in schools across Northeast India.

The state government is also considering how to address the situation in a future meeting, according to an Education Department insider. After receiving any official direction, the government will debate this issue.

The statement advocated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah for promoting Hindi throughout the country was not intended to be taken literally, according to state BJP leader Ernest Mawrie.

The recommendation was made in his role as the chair of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee, he added.

“Of course, the children must be allowed a choice. We do have other subjects to choose from,” Mawrie added.

The BJP leader said on Thursday that 22,000 Hindi instructors had been hired in the eight states of the Northeast and that all states were committed to making Hindi a must-study language up to Class X.

Shah had also stated that nine indigenous groups in the Northeast had modified their dialect scripts to Devanagari.

The complaint was that it is against the law for parents to teach their children in Hindi. The argument was dismissed stating that there's nothing wrong with learning Hindi since both Hindi and English are the official languages of the country, and it will only be a benefit to those who wish to learn.

Shah also noted that the Hindi Sammelan used to be held in government offices under the Congress administration, adding that the government will request people to learn Hindi and write all communications in Hindi. “It is a misconception that the BJP is attempting to force Hindi on people,” Shah said.

“Nowadays, learning more languages is an added advantage for us. I urge my son to learn Hindi so that he may get work outside of the state after graduation.”

The imposition of Hindi on the Northeast by the Centre has been ruled out, and all of the region's chief ministers supported the National Education Policy 2020, which recommends teaching it compulsorily in schools.

"Most schools in India teach Hindi from nursery to Grade 6, and it isn't mandatory. “I believe that education will be a state responsibility and the curriculum will be created by MBoSE. I do not think it will become a requirement or that the Centre would force us to learn Hindi,” he added.

However, the initiative has not gone over well in the region, with many residents expressing their discomfort at the government's attempt to impose Hindi upon them.

The Supreme Court, however, ruled that making a particular language mandatory in schools conflicts with Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees freedom to education. The court also said that Meghalaya has an adequate method in place to prevent the Centre from imposing it on schools.