Monday, June 12, 2017

Making language compulsory unacceptable

Language must not be made compulsory. It also must not be made an issue to pursue politics. Pursuing politics through language, religion and caste is a bad omen for the state of West Bengal. Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Bannerjee has made Bengali language compulsory up to class X in all schools of the state. Bengali speaking people may be in larger number and they may be in majority in the state, but what about the non-Bengalis who neither know the language nor speak it. So, the opposition to the order of imposing the language on all is a foregone conclusion. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling of the state has opposed the state govt. order of making Bengali language in all schools up to Class X compulsory. GMJ has already been demanding a separate Gorkhaland for years. They see the recent govt. order as forced one. The politics played for the purpose of strengthening vote bank is bound to be repugnant. The protests in Darjeeling have turned violent and the situation went from bad to worse. Army had to be called in to take control of the situation. It is a bad politics of Mamta Bannerjee. We are living in a multi-lingual and pluralistic society where compulsion has no place. To strengthen its vote bank of majority Bengali speaking people, Mamta Bannerjee has made the Bengali language in schools up to class X compulsory. The word compulsory is anathema to the liberal society. In our multi-lingual and pluralistic society, the sentiment, interest, and benefit of all the people have to be kept in mind before issuing any order. Can it be possible that the Mamta Bannerjee govt. would not have anticipated that its order would be opposed tooth and nail in Darjeeling by GJM? Despite knowing that GJM is in alliance with the opposition party in the state, TMC govt. has provoked the violent agitation in Darjeeling over language issue. Except for Hindi, no language should be made compulsory. Hindi is our national language. Except Hindi, no other regional language can appeal to all. The Govt. of India must issue a notification in this regard that except Hindi, no other regional language can be made compulsory in schools of any state. The people of one state settle in another state because of their source of earning. It does not mean that they have left everything to their state. They have the mother tongue of their own. So making anything compulsory and binding on the people by the govt. against their wish is nothing but dictatorial and authoritarian. TMC govt. order about making Bengali language compulsory has only revived Gorkhaland agitation. The decision to make Bengali language compulsory must be opposed. This must be opposed, but non-violently. As violence has no place in the democracy, the govt. must be careful before issuing any order. The language must not be imposed on the people, who are alien to it. It must be left to the discretion of the people what language they would like to adopt. Chief Minister Mamta Bannerjee must revoke her order to calm down the temper of GJM people immediately. Her govt.'s order about making the Bengali language compulsory is responsible for raising the ongoing unrest over demands for a separate ‘Gorkhaland’. The agitation arose from an announcement made by Mamata Banerjee earlier that Bengali would be taught compulsorily up to Class 10 in the state schools. After the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) cadres clashed with the police following their protests against Mamata's visit to Darjeeling and her decision to make Bengali compulsory in syllabus of schools across the state, the Army was called in to control the situation. According to reports, the protest led by the GJM turned violent after protesters resorted to vandalism as they torched police vehicles and attacked policemen.

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