Political parties in Tamil Nadu on Monday scoffed at the Union Government’s decision to air a 15-minute news bulletin in Sanskrit everyday on Doordarshan, seeking to know why “undue advantage” is being given to a language which is spoke “just by a few thousand” people.
DMK President M K Stalin, PMK founder S Ramadoss, MDMK chief Vaiko, VCK chief Thol. Thirumavalavan, and a couple of MPs issued separate statements condemning the move by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. They said several efforts are being made to impose Hindi and Sanskrit ever since the BJP came to power in 2014.
“Why is the BJP government trying to impose a language that is not being spoken now? Only 15,000 people across the country speak Sanskrit and such moves are nothing but cultural invasion. The Centre should stop such activities,” Stalin said.
VCK MP D Ravikumar said according to the 2011 census, only 803 people in Tamil Nadu spoke Sanskrit and questioned the need for a 15-minute news bulletin. “Why cannot the government telecast bulletins in languages that are spoken by crores of people?” he questioned.
Madurai MP and award-winning writer Su Venkatesan also asked why the government was giving “undue importance and preference” to a language that is not spoken by many.
The move by the Centre comes amidst a renewed debate in Tamil Nadu over “Hindi imposition.” DMK MP Kanimozhi was in August last asked by a CISF personnel if she was an Indian for not knowing Hindi, while doctors from Tamil Nadu were allegedly asked to leave a meeting for not knowing the language.
MPs from the state have also been complaining that ministers and government secretaries respond to their letters in Hindi.