"Giving priority to Hindi will be construed as a first step towards attempt at creating differences among non-Hindi speaking people and making them second class citizens," the 90-year old leader, whose party spearheaded the anti-Hindi agitation in the 1960s in the state, said in a statement here.

The Union Home Ministry had recently issued an order asking the government departments and bureaucrats to use Hindi on social media forums.

Reacting to media reports that officials of all Union     Ministries, departments, corporations or banks, who have official accounts in social media, should use Hindi or both Hindi and English but give priority to Hindi, Karunanidhi questioned why Hindi should be given priority over other languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution.
    
Recalling decades-long history of opposing Hindi and his party's role in it, Karunanidhi said at a time when the aspirations of a diverse section of people needs to be addressed through constructive efforts, showing interest in a language for communication would become diversionary.
    
“It is the desire and appeal of all well wishers of the nation that Prime Minister Modi should focus on accelerating economic growth and social development,” Karunanidhi, whose party failed to win a single of Tamil Nadu’s 39 parliamentary seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, said.

In a bid to promote the mother tongue, the Prime Minister was also seen conversing in Hindi in his public appearances. Besides, he was also seen holding diplomatic conversations with his foreign counterparts, who attended his swearing-in ceremony on May 16 in New Delhi, in Hindi.

While Modi is quite conversant in English, sources said he has decided to stick to the national language in his interactions.
Hindi has always been opposed by the non-Hindi speaking belt.

The student group in Tamil Nadu staged severe protests earlier in 1965 opposing the government’s move to make Hindi the official language. The situation came under control after then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri announced that English could be used as the official language in non-Hindi speaking states.

Hindi to be promoted in all departments: Centre

 Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre will promote use of Hindi in all departments and public life.

He also said that promotion of Hindi language should not be seen as "undermining" other languages.

"I have taken a decision that we will give priority to the promotion of Hindi in all communications in various departments and public life because it is our official language," Rijiju told reporters here.

Asserting that the Centre will give due importance to all languages, he said, "We have to progress with our identity, culture, language and diversity. We have to move together. So, promotion of Hindi language should not be seen as undermining other languages."

Since Hindi is the national language, the government should promote it, Rijiju said.

"It does not mean that we are going to discourage the use of regional languages,” he added.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi has opposed the NDA government's reported directive to officials to give priority to the language in social media.

Dubbing it as beginning of ‘imposition of Hindi’, he said, "Giving priority to Hindi will be construed as a first step towards attempt at creating differences among non-Hindi speaking people and making them second class citizens."

The DMK had spearheaded the anti-Hindi agitation in the 1960s in the state.

JPN/Agencies

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