Supreme Court turns down plea (by BJP leader) to make Hindi mandatory in all schools

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to direct the Union government, the states and Union territories to make Hindi compulsory for students of classes I to VIII across the country to promote “national unity”.

  • Published 4.05.17
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New Delhi, May 4 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to direct the Union government, the states and Union territories to make Hindi compulsory for students of classes I to VIII across the country to promote “national unity”.

The court noted that advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who had petitioned it for this directive, was also spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi chapter.

A bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul asked “why does he not ask his party to do it? He belongs to the governing party. He is part of the government.”

The bench said people speaking other languages may also start asking why their languages are not being taught and added that the government could look into it.

Updhayay had referred to constitutional provisions and the failure of states to implement the three-language formula enunciated in the 1968 National Policy Resolution by the Centre in consultation with the states.

The three-language formula provided for the study of Hindi, English and a modern Indian language in Hindi- speaking states and Hindi, English and a regional language in the non-Hindi speaking states.

“In order to promote fraternity, assuring dignity of individual and unity and national integration, study of Hindi should be compulsory for all the students of I-VIII standard through the country,” the plea said.

It said the 1968 policy, adopted by Parliament, was framed in response to demands from non-Hindi-speaking states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

However, these states have not followed the three-language formula till date, it claimed.

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