was to become the official language of the Indian Union
after January 26, 1965, according to Article 343 of the
Constitution of India. The Tamil people prepared themselves
for a massive Constitutional agitation on the 26th January
1965 to express their strong resentment against the imposition
of Hindi. True to the tradition of all establishments,
the then Congress Government of Madras led by Thiru M.
Bhaktavatsalam, looked at the forthcoming agitation of
January 26 as a law and order problem and failed to properly
appreciate the explosive situation that was in the making.
On the night of 25th January 1965, Anna and 3000 of his
party men were taken into preventive custody and were
released only on 2nd February 1965, Tamil Nadu witnessed
a mass upsurge and mass fury followed by violence in a
number of places that it has seldom witnessed in its history.
Two Congress Ministers, Thiruvalargal C. Subramniam and
O.V. Alagesan, resigned from the Central Cabinet on the
language issue, After the arrest of Anna and the Leaders
of the DMK Party, the students took over the leadership
of the movement.
his release from the prison, Anna was participating in
the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in the
Rajya Sabha. He takes the occasion to repudiate on behalf
of his Party, any responsibility for the violence that
followed the agitation.
was not dogmatic in opposing Hindi’s becoming a common
language for all times. He speaks in the language of a
statesman when he says “perhaps we were not the proper
persons, having certain live passions with us, to arrive
at a solution to this problem.”
language agitations that took place in Tamil Nadu in January
and February 1965 and the earnest pleas of statesmen like
Anna at the Rajya Sabha had its effect in slowing down
the pace of imposition of Hindi in the country as a whole.
MADAM Deputy Chairman, we thank the President for the
Address that he was pleased to deliver to Parliament on
the 17th of February, welcoming the Members of Parliament
and pointing out the strenuous efforts they have to make
“to guide the nation with unflinching faith and firm resolve.”
I do not think that the inclusion of the words, unflinching’
and ‘firm’ is without significance. Perhaps the President
feels, and rightly so that the methods by which we are
guiding the nation, and our resolve, are not up to the
mark. The people today find that this Government has led
the country and the people to great dangers, the dangerous
food situation, the high prices, corruption and laxity
in various other sphere. Therefore, we cannot accept the
President’s remarks that his Government has carried out
all that was expected of them.
the one point on which everyone of us should echo the
sentiments expressed by the President is in expressing
our distress over the violent activities in the southern
part of the country. Nobody feels happy about it, especially
the people coming from the State. Nobody can encourage
it, especially those people who are intimately connected
with the welfare of the country and the people who are
affected by the outburst of violence.
if any Member here or elsewhere thinks that people in
the South of any political persuasion, encouraged or instigated
violence, my answer would be that they are misreading
not merely the history of this country, not merely the
present trends, but also the functioning of the various
political parties. I along with the President and members
of this august House, am one with them in condemning the
outburst of violence. Though our party has been held responsible
for all these things, I most sincerely and honestly declare
that it had no part, in either the student’s agitation,
or in the subsequent violent activities. I am saying that
not merely to vindicate the fair name of my Party but
especially to convince the Hon. Members of this august
House that we have a philosophy as noble as that of any
other political party, and therefore there is no connection
with the students’ agitation as far as the DMK is concerned.
The view of the party was that this.
Ramachandra (Nominated) : May I ask a question.
the unity of India part of that philosophy?
unity of India has been taken to be a part and parcel
of our philosophy; not because of your legislation but
because of the Chinese menace. We felt that we should
stand or fall together.
Ramachandran : Supposing the Chinese menace is taken away,
will you go back to disunity?
mentioned the Chinese menace as a symbol, not as the only
reason. And since the Prime Minister is here and since
I had no occasion to have an intimate talk with him about
the happenings in the South and since he has been supplied
only with the Government’s version about what happened,
I may take this House into my confidence and state that
the student agitation was started on 25th January and
I along with 3000 of my partymen was arrested on the midnight
of the 25th and we were released only on February 2nd.
About the violent activities that took place between 25th
January and the 2nd February, we read in the papers inside
the Jail. To level the charge against the DMK of having
instigated these things, is not only irrelevant and off
the mark, but it cuts at the very root of the noble principles
to which we are wedded. I know that the Prime Minister
of the country, has seen both Chauri Chaura and Jallianwallah.
He has seen detention as well as defiance of law. Nobody
present here has got as rich an experience of human passions
as he, and he knows how, when human passions are not allowed
to have a constitutional outlet, those human passion surge
and inundate every sphere of human activity. So even if
some people come to the hasty conclusion that some political
part has been behind these things, I do not think that
the Prime Minister of this country, the Hon. Shri Lal
Bahadur will rush to that hasty conclusion of charging
DMK with all these activities.
a matter of fact, if my party supplies him with adequate
material he will find, and he will be convinced, that
we have not written a single appeal, not written a single
editorial, not written a single article, either welcoming
or encouraging such agitation. As a matter of fact, speaking
personally and I am speaking on behalf of my party too
– we are a party to an honourable settlement in our part
in political agitations. I charge the party to which the
Prime Minister belongs, of having broken that pledge in
out State. The DMK kept aloof from all student activities.
But the leaders of the Congress party in Madras went all
the way to Tanjore to convene a youth congress or youth
student’s organization. May it not be appropriate if I
were to inform this House that one of the student leaders
still belongs to the youth congress, and that the student
leader was arrested and kept in Jail and against him there
is a prosecution pending. He belongs to the youth congress,
and he also happens to be the son of the police officer.
Therefore, to charge the DMK of having instigated all
these things, is off the mark and I have stated that not
merely to vindicate the fair name of my party. If this
august House got the wrong impression, if you allow yourself
to become the victims of obsession, you are not going
to solve the problem. If you think that a particular political
party is at the back of it, then the next thought would
be how best to put it down and what ought to be the repressive
measures to put down that political party. You may succeed
in that. You have got adequate powers.
let me tell you this, that if you are in the clutches
of that obsession, you are not going to solve the wider,
the general and more necessary problem of how best to
curtail outbursts of violence. We discussed not only in
this House, but in the whole country, how best to curtail
the outbursts of violent activities. Did we not discuss
it in this country when there was violence for the formation
of the Andhra State? What did we do at that time? We appealed
to noble human instincts. We stood up against violence.
Otherwise we are not going to solve any problem. What
did you do when there was the Maharashtra agitation and
that agitation took a violent turn? We again met in conferences
and seminars and committee rooms, and we appealed to the
people to give up violence. They gave up violence, but
when? When the Maharashtra State was a reality. Was there
not an outburst of violence with regard to Maha Gujarat
and even with regard to Vidarbha? Did not the grand old
man of the Congress, Shri M.S. Aney, stand for Vidarbha?
We were all witness to all those ghastly things that took
place during the language riots between the Assamese and
my point is, however much we may be against violence,
whatever may be our sermons and quotations from the scriptures,
this instinct of violence has not been curbed. Then how
are we going to tackle it? That ought to be the problem
that the Government headed by the distinguished Members,
who have seen as I have said, both Chauri Chaura and Jallianwallah,
should tackle. They should look at that aspect. Instead
of that, they are gettings support from laws that are
already in their hands and through the D.I.R. as well.
Therefore, the first point that I would like to make is
this; try to analyse and probe the matter as to how and
why peaceful people I would even say docile people how
was it possible for them to become so ferocious within
24 hours? In the towns where this violence took place,
I have not seen in any of these towns any people with
ferocity. I have gone to almost all these towns, more
than once. And all those people are peace loving. And
yet when the spate of violence broke, they broke all canons
of even decency.
human values were set at naught. You ought to find out
the real reasons behind these outbursts of violence. I
would say that violence after all its uncontrolled emotion.
Violence is uncontrolled emotion and you are not going
to put down violence by police methods along, because
we have not yet arrived at the world itself has not yet
arrived at the correct answer to this question, which
follows which. People argue that violence follows repression;
there are others who argue that repression follows violence.
The world has not yet come to a proper answer because
there are two parties to the issue and that is why in
our country, most of the Bar Association have passed resolutions
saying that there ought to be a judicial enquiry into
every one of these activities and also a probe into the
Hon. Friends of this House have been talking for the past
two days and when I heard some of them speak I was not
angry. I was in agony. They were saying that there was
bad propaganda in Tamil Nad, that there was a misapprehension
about the whole issue, that we have got unjustifiable
fears and so on. Please do not underestimate our intelligence.
There is absolutely no misapprehension. There is real
and genuine apprehension. There is a lot of difference
between misapprehension and apprehension and I am happy
to find that the President is employing the word “apprehension”
whereas the Prime Minister times without number, is employing
the word “misapprehension”. We are not just a score of
erring school students. We are not oblivious of reality.
We have read into everyone of your activities. We have
read into everyone of your explanations and all the explanations
offered hitherto have not satisfied out soul. It is so
easy to argue that a common language is needed for the
unity of India. Before we analyse that, may I request
the Members of this august House to make a distinction
between unity and uniformity. Is it merely unity that
you want? You want uniformity that you are going to aim
at, you are not going to achieve it come what may. This
country consists, as the late Prime Minister has stated
in this very august House, of different ethnic elements,
different cultural elements and different linguistic groups.
It is only unity within this diversity that we should
arrive at, and not by destroying the fine neceties of
this diversity, mistaking uniformity for unity. May I
ask Members of this House and the Prime Minister whether
language alone is the cementing force needed for the unity
of this country? Is it language alone that stands as a
handicap to that unity? Certainly not. There are regional
imbalances, there are regional leanings, there are linguistic
leanings. All these things have got to be bridged if you
want to have a sort of unity without uniformity for this
Ali Khan : Would you like to have a lingua franca or not
for this country? If so,what should be the lingua franca?
would like to have a lingua franca for India through a
very natural process, in due course of time, with out
the backing of a Government and it ought to be sponsored
by the people. Anything coming from the Government, especially
from this Government, is anathema for millions of our
I speak of any proposal from this Government, I was mentioning
the Central Government, I have got a sneaking sympathy,
affection for my own Government. Therefore, I would say
that you show haste to find out a common language for
this country in the name of unity of this country, when
we are discussing the Official Languages Bill here. I
said that perhaps we were not the proper persons, having
certain live passions with us, we are not perhaps the
proper persons to arrive at a solution to this problem.
friend, Mr mani speaking the other day, pleaded for twenty
year lease of life for English. There were others who
said fifteen years or ten years. Leave aside the number
of years. What does that signify? They are not prepared
to take Hindi as the official language now. What does
that show? An apprehension, a very genuine apprehension,
in the minds of people, irrespective of parties. Therefore,
should you not take into consideration the genuine apprehension
in the minds of people irrespective of parties? My friend,
who preceded me, said “be firm”. He asked our Prime Minister
to be frim. I know the dictum in politics that hand. In
spite of this apparent weakness, I know the Prime Minister
has got an iron hand. In spite of this apparent weakness,
I know the Prime Minister has got an iron hand; but to
win hearts, iron hands are not necessary. You can break
heads but to win hearts something better than iron hands
are needed and I think that the Prime Minister of this
country is capable of both a golden heart and iron hands.
Ruthanasamy : We do not see the heart but we see the hand.
I still have confidence in human generosity. I have not
lost confidence. He should have the golden heart. I may
even add, gold of pre-Morarji days, not fourteen carat.
Therefore, when Members, of this House were telling us
that there is misapprehension, I wanted to clear the misapprehension
under which they are suffering; what is our objection
to Hindi? I want to be very plain and very frank. We have
no objection to any language. Especially when I hear my
friend, Mr. Vajpayee, speaking, I think that is a very
good language but when I hear other Hindi speakers, I
think, “Oh no, it is not as good as that of Mr Vajpayee.”
Therefore, I would say that we are not only not prepared
for Hindi, but Hindi itself is not prepared to become
the official language. Have you taken into consideration
the deficiency in that language? And is it with such a
defective language that you wan to bulldoze all other
languages? Certainly not. Even Pakistan tried and failed.
I would plead with the Prime Minister to take our viewpoint
into consideration even though a colleague of his has
stated “Be firm.” Be firm certainly, when you deal with
the Chinese but not with your own countrymen. Be fine
in your feelings, be golden in your heart and be statesmanlike
at every step you take, because one step faultily taken
by you will create a conflagration in this country. I
can charge this government, and even my government, with
having committed acts of commission and omission. I was
talking about the 25th of January. We had our program
on the 26th to have a day of protest or a day of mourning
not against the republic day celebrations, but against
the imposition of Hindi as announced on the 26th..
What would the prime minister expect of the mood that
ought to be adopted by the ministers there? The chairman
of my party happens to be the leader of my opposition
in the house there. Have we not the right to expect the
chief minister of our state to ask for the leader of the
of the opposition and have a discussion on this matter?
Have we become so unpatriotic, so belittled, that we should
not be taken into confidence by the chief minister of
the state? I found from the papers that the prime minister,
Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri, has announced that he is going
to convene a meeting of party leaders here. If he were
to follow the diplomacy or the statesmanship of the chief
minister of my state, he would not have issued such a
statement because from the 25th, right up to this date,
the chief minister of madras has followed a policy, unimaginative,
undemocratic and unhelpful in this attitude. I very much
expected when the prime minister was there in Kerala that
he would visit our state, I do not know whether he took
the decision himself or whether somebody asked him to
take that decision; he did not visit our state.
I went through the proceedings in the papers when there
was that Assam Riot. When riots took place in Assam on
the language question, I found from the papers that the
late lamented prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,
flew all the way to Assam, toured the entire Assam state,
addressed four or five public meetings at Shillong, Now
gong and other places and assuaged the feelings of the
people there. What have you done? I put the question not
in the anger but in agony. When our men were being shot
down dead, when our property was being destroyed, when
our people were hunted like wild animals, you came to
Kerala and yet you did not have the courtesy to come to
the state of madras. You could have addressed through
the AIR, and asked the people to be calm. I may add, that
next to Jawaharlal Nehru we hold you in very high esteem,
and yet you failed as the appropriate moment. I am very
sorry. I do not think we needed help in any other matter,
or at any other time except at that time. Our chief minister
would not take into his confidence the Vice-Chancellors,
members of the bar, magnates of the press or political
party leaders: he would not take into his confidence only
the I.G of Police, and the commissioner of police. It
was only law and order. Nanda was present in his fullest
form, not Shastri sand that is why the situation was aggravated.
And if you take that into consideration you would at least
suggest to the State Government not to go on issuing newer
and newer irritants by arresting wholesale, DMK members
using even the DIR. The treasurer of the party, deputy
leader of opposition, in the state assembly, Mr. Karunanidhi
is being under the DIR. My friend MR. Bhupesh Gupta, with
righteous indignation questioned the necessity and the
justifiability of extending the life of the DIR and he
has himself answered, that it is not for the security
of this country, but the security of the ruling party.
How are you going to answer that charge? That charge does
not come from Mr. Bhupesh Gupta alone; it comes from popular
opinion. People think that you use only police methods
and not political methods. How do other countries under
such circumstances solve the problem? We have got our
linguistic problem here. My friend Mr. Vajpayee, would
like to have Hindi alone as the official language. My
friend Mr. Mani , would like to plead for a twenty years’
lease. The prime minister of this country would like to
say, Of course Hindi will come but it will come in its
own way. Mr. nanda will go and issue a statement one day
that Hindi is bound to come. Another day he says that
indefinite bilingualism cannot be avoided. What are we
talking about ? Is there anything definite in any one
of these statements ? Is it policy or expediency ? Are
you trying to assuage us or are you going to appraise
the situation ? That is why when I spoke on the Official
Language Bill last time, I said that the time for appraisal
has come. You cannot present a fait accompli from the
Constitution and say, here in the Constitution it is said
that Hindi is the official language and therefore it ought
to be there for all time to come and when I question the
necessity the sanctity and the justifiability of Hindi’s
being the official language, I am not questioning or going
against the Constitution.
In fact, if I were to be very dedicated to the constitution
I would plead for amendments to the constitution wherever
I find that amendments to the Constitution wherever I
find that an amendment is needed. Our Constitution is
not rigid : framers of the Constitution at that time thought
that Hindi alone should become the official language.
That was the day when the Union Jack was brought down,
and the tricolour flag fluttered high above the skies.
When you, the resurrectors of this country, the freedom
fighters, sat together jubilantly, you could not have
been expected to take a telescopic view of this problem.
That is not a defect that I am pointing out. When one
is in a jubilant mood he is not expected to have a telescopic
vision of things. Fifteen to seventeen years afterwards,
how many things have happened which belie the necessity
of, or the justifiability for Hindi ? What are the arguments
advanced even by the most enthusiastic of thee Hindi –
keeping people ? They say that forty per cent of the speak
Hindi and therefore it should become the official language
or the common language. We have rebutted that argument
times without number that if you can even say that twenty
per cent of people all over India speak Hindi there is
justification enough for making it a common language or
a link language or the official language. But your forty
per cent is confined to a particular area, U.P., Madhya
Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan, contiguous places and therefore
it has not permeated into Indian society and that is why
we say that the argument that forty per cent of the people
speak Hindi is not valid for making it the official language
for India. You have also put forward the argument that
English being a foreign language, We should give it up
and take one of the Indian languages. I am not enamored
He is my friend, the Hon. Mr C. Subramaniam. He was there
when I was a Member there. Did he see me speaking in English
at any time in our Assembly ? No. I remember the time
when there was a privilege Motion, and both of us spoke
in English. At every other time Mr Subramaniam and myself
and most of the members of our Party spoke in Tamil and
not in English. Please do not think that we are enamored
of English. And I may say that whatever the English language
could give, we have already taken and imported into our
I can make bold to say that next to English if you make
Tamil the official language next week, it will fulfill
all purposes. The Tamil language has developed to such
an extent as far as parliamentary affairs are concerned.
When I say that English ought to continue as an official
language, I am not pleading for English. At least if I
had pleaded for English when the British were here, I
would have been compensated, but what do I get now if
I plead for English? Please do not think that the DMK
is enamored of it. On the other hand, may I ask you, if
you are so much against English, do you dare give up English
altogether? You have taken English as one of the three
languages to be compulsorily studied. Therefore, I cannot
find out what you are arriving at: whether you antipathic
to English, or whether you are swearing from English.
I can understand my friend, MR. Vajpayee. He can understand
me, but both of us can never understand you. That is the
whole trouble. That is why I say that there ought to be
a general, genuine reappraisal of the whole problem.
AKBAR ALI KHAN : we will accept the compromise formula
reached between you and Mr. Vajpayee.
If the ruling party were to give us a bank cheque and
say that they will carry out what myself and Mr. Vajpayee
say, we are prepared, but I know your attitude towards
Mr. Vajpayee and myself. Therefore, I am not going to
walk into that snare. I was talking about the policy of
the government with regard to English, whether they are
against it, or for it. I cannot understand. When I read
the three language formula, I think that they are not
prepared to give up English. When I plead to them to continue
English as the official language and when they question
the validity of it, I think that they are against it.
Therefore, the whole thing, including your foreign policy,
your economic policy, your language policy, is all what
is called mixed. You have a mixed economy, non-alignment
and a mixture in linguistic passions.
Mixture is a general term. What is happening today is
not mixture, but adulteration. Adulteration is a crime
especially so in the political field. And, therefore,
I would request the prime minister to keep the status
quo for some time, so that we can meet again and again.
This a problem which cannot be settled through one discussion.
This is a problem which cannot be settled, as my friend
who preceded me said, by the chief ministers alone. This
is a problem in which human values and human passions
have got everything to say. Therefore, keep English as
the official language till we arrive at a proper solution.
I asked my friend Mr. mani, why he wanted twenty years.
He said: “ we are not able to decide now, so twenty years
are needed.” I asked him a pertinent question and, I am
repeating it here, when we are not prepared to decide
it now, who are we to formulate the time-table for the
future? Either we decide it now, or leave it to be decided
by the future generation. Perhaps Mr. mani thinks that
twenty years hence this problem will not affect him, I
want him to live for a little more than twenty years.
There are others who say ten years, fifteen years. This
is not a problem wherein you can print, as you print your
railway guides. Even in respect of railway guides, the
trains arrive and start hours after the stipulate any
time. Let us continue English as the official language
till we arrive at a proper solution. I want to talk about
my part at this stage, though my friend Mr. Akbar ali
khan, wanted me to speak about it earlier. Till we arrive
at a proper solution, the suggestion that the DMK offers
is that all the fourteen languages be declared as national
languages and be given the status of official language.
AKBAR ALI KHAN: It would be impossible to work. “It is
impossible,” my friend, Mr. Akbar Ali Khan, says. I thought
some months back, it was impossible to keep India one.
Therefore, we shall keep English as the official language
till al the fourteen languages become the official languages
of the union. As far as the link language even at that
time is concerned, you can leave it to natural forces.
I think even now, the propagation of Hindi has become
effective through non-official agencies, rather than through
official agencies. Leave it to the people and let them
develop the language and make it conversant and if at
that time due to the natural process, without the backing
of the government, people think that Hindi has to become
the link language, it will first be the de facto link
language and then the de jure link language.
P.l. Kureel Urf Talib (Uttar Pradesh): unless you decide
to make it the de jure link language, how will it become
the de facto link language?
That is lack of confidence in his own language. What I
want to say is this. You should work in such a way that
Hindi becomes the de facto link language before you think
about making it the de jure link language in course of
time. But I may plead with my friend, Mr. Vajpayee, and
say that if he were to learn Tamil and drink deep into
the nectar of Tamil classics he will select Tamil alone
as the link language.
till such time we should not disturb the present status
quo of keeping English as the official language till we
arrive at a stage when all the fourteen national languages
become the official languages. Perhaps multilingualism
is the price that we have to pay for keeping India one
and united. You can have India disunited through Hindi.
But if you want to have a contented India, if you want
to have an India which does not feel that one region will
dominate over another, if you do not want genuine apprehension
to get into the minds and hearts of millions of people,
if you want an India abouit which everyone of us could
be proud, you will have to take into consideration the
problem of multilingualism. When I said that, my friend
Mr.Akbar Aki Khan state that it is impracticable. It is,
of course, cumbersome. It is difficult, but the difficulties
are not insurmountable. If Switzerland can make it a practical
proposition to have four or five languages, I think arithmetically,
we can have fourteen. Therefore, when Switzerland has
surmounted the difficulty, are we so poverty stricken
to find out ways and methods? I find very able men here
to surmount any difficulty. And if you feel that to surmount
the difficulties help from our party is needed, we are
prepared to offer that. I do not think that you will need
it, but if you even pretend that you need it, we are prepared
to offer it, because multilingualism is not a fad. Multilingualism
is a resolution passed by the DMK. Do not be afraid of
it. Do not think that it is anathema. I fink last week,
that shri sri prakasa, who was once the governor of our
state, has pleaded for multilingualism and he has given
a pertinent argument also. He has said that after having
had linguistic States you cannot escape the consequences
and, therefore, he has pleaded for multilingualism. Let
us have multilingualism. Till all these languages rise
up to that level. Tamil, I announced, has already risen
to that level. Well, we have my friend Mr Bhupesh Gupta
to say Bengali also has risen to that. When we rrive at
that stage in 1970 let us discard English. When we arrive
at that stage in 1980, let us discard English. Therefore,
the DMK’s plea for the continuance of English as the official
language is not due to the fact that we are enamoured
of the English language. We are a very proud people as
far as language is concerned.
We think that no language can stand comparison to Tamil.
D. L. SEN GUPTA (West Bengal) : Except Bengali.
Along with Bengali.
Our Home Minister talking in this House the other day
said : “Oh, I am not a Hindiwalla. My mother – tongue
is Punjabi and then I adopted Gujarati as my language.
Now I am converted to Hindi.” Unfortunately, we do not
have such experiences. It is a very good experience to
have mother-tongue, to get another adopted tongue, and
then to plead for a third tongue. You yourself have stated,
that you are cut off from your moorings. Fortunately or
unfortunately we are not cut off from our moorings. I
can never forget that I have got a hoary language called
Tamil. I will never be satisfied till that language in
which my forefathers spoke, in which my pocts have given
sermons and scriptures, in which we have got classics
and literature of inexhaustible knowledge, I will never
be content till that day when Tamil takes its due place
as one of the official languages in thee Union.
PATRA (Orissa) : Then why do you hang on to English ?
When I find that I plead for Tamil, I do not forfeit the
right of my friend, Mr Vajpayee, to plead for Hindi. As
a matter of fact I will go to the length of saying that
I have been listening to thee speeches in Hindi here,
and the minimum number of English words in Hindi speeches,
is in Mr. Vajpayee’s speech. In other speeches I find
Hindi being given a charitable sprinkling.
is not Hindi. If I were to plead for Hindi, I would make
Hindi so poverty stricken. Therefore, I will say, be enthusiastic
about Hindi; my friend, Mr. Nanda, cannot be enthusiastic,
he perhaps will take to Esperanto. But we have got a language
of our own and therefore we plead that our language should
find a place in the official languages list of this union.
Till that time, English should continue so that there
may not be injustice, intentional or unintentional. However
careful we are, there is a genuine apprehension in the
minds of people, that Hindi-knowing people want to dominate
over other people. Others have argued that we can very
easily learn Hindi because we have learnt English so well.
I would plead before the august house to visualize the
future when my children, I should say, when my grandchildren,
will be learning Hindi alphabets and muttering Hindi phrases.
Children of the Hindi-speaking areas, will be learning
by heart sonnets and stanzas of Hindi from their parents.
You learn Hindi through a thousand ways, in your fields
and factories, in your homes and hovels, in every avocation,
in every walk of life. You learn Hindi not by going through
books but by merely being born there. What you inherit
you want us to learn and you want us to have a handicap
race. Only the Romans had the handicap race. The roman
satraps sat in the arena, asked the gladiators to go bare-handed
and fight ferocious beasts, and some of them did, like
my friend, Mr. Satyanarayanan. But other gladiators were
torn to pieces by the wild beasts. What have we done to
merit such treatment? Why is it that you imbibe a language
and wants us to learn it and complete with you? Therein
lies the injustice. It is an injustice which even most
of the Hindi enthusiast in calmer moments, will never
contemplate. Therefore, let us be just, fair, friendly
and let us above all be democratic.
I find from the papers that the passions of Hindi-speaking
people have gone to such an extent, as to question the
very motive, the very statements of people coming from
our parts. I find from the papers that some gentleman
has said that not only Mr. annadurai, but Mr. Kamaraj
himself ought to be put into prison, because he is against
Hindi. There are others who are passing very uncharitable
remarks about the offered resignation of my friend, Ma.
Subramaniam. You do not know, you cannot imagine, what
a thrill of hope his resignation had in Tamil nadu, during
those trouble some, times. If anybody has saved the good
name of the Tamil Nadu congress, not fully but to a certain
extent, it was Mr. subramaniam and also Mr. Alagesan.
I do not have any love or affection for him. I have crossed
swords with him many a time and he has hit me below the
belt many a time. But what want to say is that such gestures
taken at the appropriate moment assuage the feelings of
the people there. In the assamese language riot, I find
rioting going on day after day and at the same time peace
brigades going from village to village asking people,
appealing to the people to give up violence. Why is it
that the chief minister did not take us into his confidence?
And for that, the central home minister, Mr. nanda has
paid a tribute : “he stood like a rock.” Mr. bhaktavatsalam
stood like a rock indeed, immovable. Not moving, with
no feeling, he was stony, he stood like a rock when all
around him there was weeping and wailing and shooting,
when widows wept for their fallen husbands, when mothers
wept for their sons who were shot down dead. Do you want
such stony men? Tamil nadu has got better men. If you
say that he stood like a rock, I will even have to doubt
your philosophy. I have been taught to believe that you
have got a soft heart. I have and sanyasis. If that learning,
if that training makes you praise a Chief Minister who
is stony of heart, who has caused 50 or 60 men, seven-year-old
girls, eight-year-old boys, eighty-year-old men, etc.
to be shot down dead on the streets of Madras, well I
can only say that you are a bigger Bhaktavatsalam. So
let not the Central Government think that law and order
and for curtailment of violence, but let us reopen this
language issue and see to it that we arrive at a solution
when English continues to be the official language, till
we arrive at a stage when there will be multilingulalism
and any one of the Indian languages naturally takes the
place of a link language.