South Indians express anger against ‘Hindi chauvinism’

Several South Indians have taken to Twitter using the hashtag #StopHindiChauvinism to show their angst at the Hindi signs replacing English on some highway milestones

Photo courtesy:
Photo courtesy:

NH Web Desk

The ghost of the anti-Hindi movement, which started way back in 1937, has begun raising its head in the South again, ever since the National Highways Authority of India started erasing English signs on milestones on National Highway 75 and replacing them with Hindi ones last week. Tamilians from all over are expressing their anger over ‘Hindi chauvinism’ on Twitter.

The yellow milestones on NH 75 and NH 77, which connect cities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry respectively, have signs only in Kannada, Tamil and English, but the latter has been replaced with Hindi on some milestones, attracting ire in the South.

This wiping out of signs in English may not only cause inconvenience to the non Hindi-speaking travellers, it also is being seen as violation of three language signage policy under which regional language, Hindi and English must be used on milestones. Tamilians have always vehemently opposed the imposition of Hindi on the state.

Tamilians, joined by Kannadigas, have started venting their frustration over the use of Hindi. #StopHindiChauvinism has started trending on Twitter and people from other states like Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar have also joined in expressing their angst at the dominance of Hindi.

Responding to the media reports political parties in Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Pattali Makkal Katchi have warned of large scale protests if the Central government keeps promoting Hindi at the expense of other languages.

In a statement to the press, DMK’s working president, MK Stalin said, “This shows bringing Hindi hegemony through the backdoor in Tamil Nadu.”

It seems that the anger reflected on twitter may culminate into serious political debate on ‘language identities’ once again.

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Published: 07 Apr 2017, 2:19 PM