Education Minister Th Basanta Kumar Singh said that the State Government is yet to receive any formal order from the Centre to impose Hindi subject up to Class X in Manipur schools.
Giving clarification to a policy cut raised by opposition MLA K Ranjit Singh in the demand of Education, Basanta Kumar informed the House that National Education Policy 2020 does not prescribe Hindi as compulsory subject up to Class X in the schools of the country.
What the policy says is that all students will learn in a 3-language formula and there will be greater flexibility in the 3-language formula and no language will be imposed in any State, even Hindi. Even English won’t be imposed as a compulsory subject but it will be a choice of the students. The three languages learnt by students will be a choice of the State. Two of the three languages should be native to India, he said.
He said that if the Centre happens to order the State to impose Hindi compulsorily, the Education Department will inform the House and further course of action will be decided after discussion in the House.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a leader who wants to promote the local languages besides promoting Hindi. In his speech, PM Modi once suggested the use of local language in lower courts. This is a clear example of not imposing Hindi. The Centre also encourages Manipuri language and it will be the 7th classical language of the country, for which the State Government has taken up due steps, he added.
MLA Ranjit said that students bodies of the State strongly reacted when Union Home Minister Amit Shah once said that Hindi would be imposed up to Class X and Hindi should be the lingua franca of the country. Such a statement of the Union Minister sparked strong apprehension among the people of the State. If Hindi is imposed, languages like Manipuri which have been included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution are likely to be extinct.
He claimed that Hindi is such a language without having its own script as it was created from Devanagari and other languages. However, Manipuri has its own script. Only a few States have their own scripts in the country. One Manipuri MP has also urged the Centre to include Manipuri in the classical language category, he added.
The MLA said that in the past, Manipuri was a lingua franca of the communities in the State but today English has replaced it. It shows that Manipuri is on the verge of dying, he observed.
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