DMPQ-. Discuss the different arguments in the rejection of three language formula.

Recently Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu rejected the three-language formula advocated in the National Education Policy (NEP 2020).  The two-language policy in Tamil Nadu was implemented decades ago after a historic agitation against the imposition of Hindi, it still remains non-negotiable for almost the entire political class.  Opposition from the State had forced the Centre to amend the draft NEP in 2019 and withdraw a proposal to teach Hindi as a third language in schools in non-Hindi speaking States.  Yet in the NEP 2020 it was decided to push for the three-language formula, to promote multilingualism and national unity. It has restarted the debate over suitability of three language formulas all over India.

The Kothari Committee’s report observes that learning languages is an important part of a child’s cognitive development. The primary aim is to promote multilingualism and national harmony. Bridging the language gap: At the secondary stage, State governments were to adopt the three-language formula.

Issue of Language and Identity

  • In India most of the states have been formed on linguistic basis.
  • Conflicts over identity especially over languages tend to be escalated due to limited resources in India.
  • The status of language has been a critical issue that has caused division of states in the past. Such states as Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat were created due to statehood demand on linguistic basis.
  • Language policy is one method by which governments attempt to manage ethnic conflict.
  • Thus, to develop federal cooperation, autonomy of the states over language policy can be a more viable option than the imposition of a three language formula.

Thus the three language formula is well intended to bring about national unity by bridging the linguistic gap between the states. However it is not the only option available to integrate the ethnic diversity of India. States like Tamil Nadu with their own language policy have managed not only to enhance the education standard levels but also promote national integrity even without adopting the three language formula. Hence, providing the states autonomy in the language policy seems to be a much more viable option than homogenous imposition of three language formula all over India.

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