Terming the practice of sending letters in Hindi without English translation to elected representatives of non-Hindi speaking States as provocative and as a violation of the Official Language Implementation Act, Madurai MP, Su. Venkatesan, has sent a letter written in Hindi back to the Ministry of Culture.
In a strongly-worded letter to the Minister of State (Independent Charge0, Prahlad Singh Patel, Ministry of Culture, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP said that “Officials of Ministry of Culture should have the sensitivity on the issues keeping in mind the multi-cultural and multi-lingual heritage of the country.”
Recalling that he had, in the past, received letters in Hindi from other Union Ministries, the MP said that he had approached the High Court on the issue and then the Government of India had expressed regret and assured that future communications would be in English.
Mr. Venkatesan raised doubt that the approach was deliberate on part of the Centre to implement their project of imposing Sanskrit and Hindi on people of non-Hindi speaking States, particularly Tamil Nadu.
It may be resorted repeatedly with a hope that MPs of non Hindi speaking states become tired and reconciled to it.
“But i want to emphatically state that Tamil Nadu has unique history of fighting such attempts to impose Hindi and many sacrifices were also made. Hence, we would not get tired and fight out the attempts to weaken our resolve to uphold our identity and great culture,” the MP said.
Stating that the letter in Hindi was in violation of law of the land and assurance given by the Centre to the High Court, Mr. Venkatesan warned that it amounted to contempt of court.
Sending back the letter, he appealed to the Minister to advise the officials not to resort to such provocative measures in future.
Mr. Venkatesan said that he could understand from the format (in English) enclosed with the letter that it was asking the MPs to make recommendations for “Gandhi Peace Prize”.