The government insisted that the bilingual policy of Tamil and English followed in Tamil Nadu is not a setback to students’ eligibility or their opportunities, and on Thursday rejected the idea of enforcing a trilingual policy in the state, requesting the governor to quickly forward the NEET Exemption Act for presidential approval.
In response to comments made by Governor RN Ravi during his Republic Day 73rd Day Address to the people of Tamil Nadu regarding exposing the state’s students to an opportunity to learn other Indian languages, Minister for Tamil Official Language and Culture and Industry Thangam Thennarasu that those who are aware of the history of agitation against language in Tamil Nadu would understand that “other Indian languages” would only mean the Centre’s agenda to push Hindi.
“Such a comment means that we are advocating a trilingual policy for Tamil Nadu,” the minister said, pointing out that the state has followed the bilingual policy of Tamil and English since the days of the late Prime Minister CN Annadurai (since 1967). .
“I hope the governor would understand that the bilingual policy has in no way been a setback for our students in their education or in opportunities for higher positions,” Thenarasu said in a statement here.
In his speech, Ravi had emphasized the importance of our students learning other Indian languages like students in other states.
“Depriving our students of knowledge of other Indian languages is unfair to anyone. In addition to fostering fraternity and better mutual appreciation, linguistic, intellectual and cultural cross-fertilization will enrich all of us and also open up various possibilities for our harmonious growth,” he said.
Also, prior to NEET, the governor had said that the share of government students in government medical college admissions was barely 1 percent. “Thanks to the government’s positive action of 7.5 percent reservation for school students, the number has improved significantly,” he had said.
However, Thennarasu claimed that the 7.5 percent quota for those who released NEET could help them overcome the “NEET discrimination to some extent”, and that the reservation was only “temporary”.
He urged the governor to forward the TN Assembly Bill, requesting state exemption from NEET in medical admissions, to the president for his approval.
“I hope the governor will pass the bill and support the state government in fulfilling the dreams of poor and rural students in getting medical training,” the minister said.