September 27, 2020

In Tamil Nadu’s Political Theatre, Language Drama is Operating to Full Homes



Chennai: The political discourse in Tamil Nadu is swaying inexorably in the direction of an oft-trodden floor: language politics.

Within the wake of the disclosing of the Nationwide Training coverage – a ‘reform’ to the nation’s training framework after a number of many years – the political temperature has begun rising once more. The DMK, the unique handler of the ‘language imposition is hegemony device’ in Tamil Nadu, is at it once more. Led by MK Stalin, and flanked by son Udhayanidhi Stalin and stepsister Kanimozhi, the DMK is hitting out at many cases of imposition of Hindi, and, in some locations, Sanskrit.


The latest one being Udhayanidhi highlighting the plight of a senior officer posted within the Hindi cell of the state’s GST commissionerate, who doesn’t know the language. In one other occasion, DMK MP Tiruchi Siva had tweeted in regards to the removing of regional languages from nationalised banks, and bought a fast denial from finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on social media. Clearly, language is a political nerve centre in Tamil Nadu.

The DMK goes by a tried-and-tested playbook that it put to motion simply forward of the 2019 normal elections. It had a sustained marketing campaign that dubbed the ruling AIADMK authorities as a docile follower of the BJP on the Centre, bringing out a number of cases of abrasion of cooperative federalism, abdication of state rights, and the enabler of saffronisation of what was primarily a Dravidian land. For instance, the a number of hydrocarbon-extraction initiatives within the Cauvery Delta area, the topic of medical entrance take a look at NEET (which remains to be a burning situation), the delay within the establishing of the Cauvery Water Administration Board (each nationwide events had been caught between conflicting political pursuits of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the river sharing), the taking pictures of 13 folks protesting towards the Vedanta Sterlite manufacturing unit in southern Tamil Nadu, and a number of other native points that appeared to place the BJP authorities and its ally, AIADMK, on the defensive.

The DMK had vital social media marketing campaign machines that saved turning small drives into nationwide traits very quickly. It’s this playbook that the DMK is attempting to duplicate forward of the 2021 meeting elections, and it seems as if the Edappadi Okay Palaniswami authorities is attempting to neutralise the salvos from the opposition camp.

For instance, Palaniswami is trying assertive now. Firstly, he didn’t bow to saffron strain to permit Ganesh Chaturthi processions and stationary shows within the state. Even after state BJP president L Murugan had led a delegation and tried to make peace with the chief minister, there have been few indicators of relenting. Secondly, the Palaniswami authorities issued a really sturdy assertion, refusing to implement the three-language method in Tamil Nadu. The DMK had been going after each governments over numerous contentious provisions within the Nationwide Training Coverage. Palaniswami, nonetheless, is hindered by inner factionalism within the AIADMK that threatens to interrupt out, every so often. The episode of AIADMK ministers going from one chief’s home to a different brings out how divided a home the social gathering is. Comparatively, the friction brought on by the clout loved by the son of MK Stalin, Udhayanidhi Stalin, isn’t vital.

To its credit score, the DMK doesn’t let its electoral marketing campaign points slide by the wayside after the elections are over. In reality, the draft of the Nationwide Training Coverage was launched after the parliamentary elections of 2019 however the social gathering actively took up contentious points provisioned within the coverage. For instance, the draft had contained Hindi as an elective third language in non-Hindi talking states, one thing the DMK opposed strongly and the Centre needed to put out a revised draft.

Within the politically benumbed state of affairs dominated by the novel coronavirus, the DMK is actively leveraging social media to unfold its message. All Kanimozhi needed to do after her don’t-you-know-Hindi expertise on the Chennai airport was to only tweet about it. It was a brand new lease of life to DMK’s anti-Hindi imposition marketing campaign. Over the weekend, the social gathering had t-shirts printed with the phrases ‘Don’t know Hindi, get misplaced’ and distributed wildly to assist its social media campaigns. In comparison with the DMK’s strides on the social media, the AIADMK is clearly a weak power; the truth is, followers of actor Rajinikanth and the BJP’s IT wing within the state give a troublesome battle to the DMK’s rampaging traits.

Palaniswami’s current refusal to permit the three-language method must be considered within the context of this high-stakes political crossfire between the AIADMK and the DMK. Out of energy for practically a decade now, the DMK is rummaging its quiver for its sharpest arrow. As of now, language coverage, NEET, the OBC reservation controversy have come handy. The AIADMK is attempting its greatest to blunt the perimeters of all of those arrows. The BJP, with no MLAs within the meeting, is attempting exhausting to open its account. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been belting out couplets from historic works of Tamil philosophers for some time now, even because the state unit goes about bad-mouthing Dravidian motion leaders equivalent to Periyar E V Ramasamy; in impact, it has turned itself right into a supply of uneasiness for its bigger ally AIADMK, which would like a true-blue Dravidian battle on the hustings than one between the unfamiliar terrain of ‘united Hindu believers’ and everybody else.