In the recently held high-level official meeting, presided by Telangana State Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the decision to make Telugu compulsory from Class 1 to Class 12 has been taken. From the next academic session onwards, the students from Class 1 to Class 12 in all educational institutions, private and public, will be taught Telugu as one of their compulsory subjects. It is now mandatory for all schools and colleges affiliated to the state Education board, irrespective of their medium of instruction, to have Telugu as a compulsory subject in their curriculum.
The Chief Minister has clearly mentioned that only those educational institutions that teach Telugu as a compulsory subject will be given recognition and permissions to function. The students who want to choose Urdu, it should be offered as an optional subject. Moreover, all the public and private establishments and institutions in Telangana have been instructed to display their organization’s names in Telugu on their signboards. It is up to them to write their firm’s names in other languages too. The CM has decided to pass resolutions on these two issues at the state cabinet meeting.
Welcoming the government’s decision to make Telugu a compulsory subject, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on a social networking site, “I welcome the decision of the Telangana government to make Telugu a compulsory subject from first to 12th standards.” He expressed hope that other state governments would also take steps for promotion of mother tongue of their respective states.
The sudden decision of the Telangana government smacked of political overtones and could have been taken to ‘stall the growth’ of the saffron outfit. This could be a part of the strategy to counter the expansion of the BJP into the southern state by creating apprehensions among the people that Hindi would be thrust upon them if it comes to power. “By raking up the Telugu language sentiment, as happened in other southern states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where there is strong language chauvinism, the TRS government may be planning to stall the growth of the BJP,” said BJP spokesperson.
The Chief Minister of Telangana has asked the Sahitya Academy to prepare a syllabus for the Telugu subject to be taught to students of primary, secondary and higher and intermediate classes. The syllabus fixed by the Sahitya Academy will be taught in all the educational institutions and they are not expected to print textbooks and teach syllabus according to their whims and fancies. The syllabus will be framed and textbooks will be printed at the earliest. The government will be strict in implementing the policy that Telugu is taught as the compulsory subject and only the syllabus framed by the Sahitya Academy is taught.
Telugu must be promoted, but, linguistic minorities need to be kept in mind. Moreover, it is better if the state government convenes an all-party meeting to discuss the issue. It should not be a unilateral decision.