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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 July 2024

Tamil Nadu: Appeal for calm after suicide 'over Hindi imposition’

84-year-old DMK supporter sets himself on fire to protest against Centre's alleged plan to impose the language

M.R. Venkatesh Chennai Published 27.11.22, 03:56 AM
Thangavel, a resident of Thazhaiyur village in Salem district, was protesting with a placard that criticised the Centre for “imposing Hindi” when he suddenly locked himself inside the party office and set himself alight

Thangavel, a resident of Thazhaiyur village in Salem district, was protesting with a placard that criticised the Centre for “imposing Hindi” when he suddenly locked himself inside the party office and set himself alight Representational picture

An 84-year-old DMK supporter died in Tamil Nadu after he set himself on fire inside a local party office on Saturday in protest against the Narendra Modi government’s alleged plans to impose Hindi on the country.

Thangavel, a resident of Thazhaiyur village in Salem district, was protesting with a placard that criticised the Centre for “imposing Hindi” when he suddenly locked himself inside the party office and set himself alight, local people said. He died while being taken to hospital.

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The DMK has had a long history of leading anti-Hindi agitations in Tamil Nadu for over half a century.

Chief minister and DMK leader M.K. Stalin expressed pain and shock at the suicide and appealed for calm.

The imposition of Hindi has to be fought legally and constitutionally, he said in a statement. “But we should not lose even one more person to such tragic suicides,” he added.

The subject of Hindi imposition has again become a hot topic of discussion in Tamil Nadu after Union home minister Amit Shah — who had triggered an uproar three years ago by recommending “one language” for the country — advocated higher education in regional languages last month.

Many in the southern state believe this is a first step towards abolishing English, which would leave Hindi as the inevitable lingua franca for a multi-language country like India.

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