Row over language issue in (Tamilnadu State) House

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Apr 6 20:01:43 UTC 2005

   Row over language issue in House

NT Bureau
Chennai, Apr 5:

        The language issue led to heated exchanges in the State Assembly
today during the discussion on demands for grants for the Commercial Tax
Department.  AIADMK member Gingee Elumalai accused the DMK of giving up
the lifeline principle of two-language policy only to remain in power at
the Centre.

        He was referring to the writing of names of the places in Hindi on
milestones.  Denying this, Arcot Veerasamy (DMK) said the Hindi names were
removed and if the Minister had any specific complaint, the Union Minister
T R Baalu would take steps to deal with it.  However, the AIADMK member
accused the DMK of giving up the two- language policy thereby paving way
for a three-language policy. This was strongly objected to by DMK members.

        Elumalai also had a dig at PMK for projecting itself as the
saviour of Tamil language. He said the name board of the hospital owned by
Dr -Ramadoss was in English. However, PMK president G K Mani denied it and
said it had been replaced with a Tamil board.  Earlier, replying to the
demand for discussion for grants to Labour Department, Minister P Annavi
said 9061 cases had been registered against various trade organisations
for not putting up their name boards in Tamil.

[Moderator's note: The "three-language formula" adopted by India in the
late 1960's was never accepted in Tamilnadu, which only has a
"two-language formula" i.e. Tamil and English.  Both of these parties
style themselves as the defenders of Tamil. (hs)]

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