Chennai: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Saturday, said the Union government was not making any attempts to impose Hindi in Tamil Nadu and was trying to promote Tamil as well.
Sitharaman’s response to queries of reporters here came in the backdrop of state political parties protesting the conduct of recent Postal department exams in English and Hindi only.
They had alleged that it was a form of “Hindi imposition” in Tamil Nadu, which incidentally had witnessed a successful anti-Hindi agitation in the 1960s spearheaded by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
One can question the government if such things were done knowingly or not, but should not jump to a conclusion that it was the imposition of the language, she said.
“Central government does not do Hindi imposition,” she asserted. “If somewhere, at an administrative level, if something happens, don’t come to a conclusion that it is an imposition. Definitely, there is no imposition (of Hindi). We are also involved in the development of Tamil,” she said.
As part of the Centre’s ‘EK Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ scheme, efforts have been made to popularise Tamil in northern states of the country, she added.
“There is no Hindi imposition,” the Union Minister reiterated.
Earlier, political parties, including the ruling AIADMK, had protested against questions in the postal department’s examination for appointments of postmen and assistants in rural areas held last week being only in Hindi and English, and not Tamil.
After the issue echoed in Parliament, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad assured the Rajya Sabha that the examination would now be held in all local languages, as per the notification of May 10, 2019, of the department concerned with examination, including in Tamil.
To a question on views from certain quarters against the budgetary proposal on Zero Budget Farming vis-a-vis agriculture, Sitharaman said it has already been tried out in some states.
“This is a free country and people can give their opinions. But there are states which have done it at the ground level– Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim and Karnataka– zero budget farming has been helpful to farmers (in these states),” she said.
The proposal was part of the government’s endeavour to double farmers’ incomes, she added.
Zero Budget Farming involves a total lack of dependence on chemicals and fertilizers and using natural ingredients including herbs in the farming process.