Anti-Hindi agitations of Tamil Nadu

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Anti-Hindi agitations of Tamil Nadu were a series of agitations that happened in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu (formerly Madras State and part of Madras Presidency) during both pre- and post-Independence periods. The agitations involved several mass protests, riots, student and political movements in Tamil Nadu concerning the official status of Hindi in the state.


  • Sponsored by the British colonial government, a movement of the middle castes in the southern Tamil region started attacking Brahmin and North-Indian interests and symbols, taking the shape of a political party, the Justice Party (later Dravida Kazhagam) in 1916. Given the Brahmin leadership in the independence movement, Dravidian self-assertion had obvious uses for the colonial status-quo.... The movement's greatest success was when, in 1965, it joined hands with the English-speaking elite in Delhi to thwart the Constitutional provision that from that year onwards, Hindi rather than English be the sole link language of India, -- surely a fitting thanksgiving for the British patronage which had groomed the movement into political viability.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2007). Asterisk in bharopiyasthan: Minor writings on the Aryan invasion debate.
  • We disliked the English language in the past. I disliked it because I was forced to learn Shakespeare and Milton, for which I had no taste at all. If we are going to be compelled to learn Hindi, I would perhaps not be able to learn it because of my age, and perhaps I would not be willing to do it because of the amount of constraint you put on me. This kind of intolerance makes us fear that the strong Centre which we need, a strong Centre which is necessary will also mean the enslavement of people who do not speak the language at the centre. I would, Sir, convey a warning on behalf of people of the South for the reason that there are already elements in South India who want separation..., and my honourable friends in U.P. do not help us in any way by flogging their idea of "Hindi Imperialism" to the maximum extent possible. So, it is up to my friends in Uttar Pradesh to have a whole India; it is up to them to have a Hindi-India. The choice is theirs.
    • T.T. Krishnamachari. Constitution Assembly Debates-Official Report (New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat, 1988), Volume 7, p235
  • [The anti-Hindi imposition agitations knit] together diverse, even incompatible, social and political interests... Their common cause against Hindi had thrown together religious revivalists like Maraimalai Atikal (1876–1950) with avowed atheists like Ramasami and Bharathidasan (1891–1964); men who supported the Indian cause like T.V. Kalyanasundaram (1883–1953) and M. P. Sivagnanam with those who wanted to secede from India like Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi (b. 1924); university professors like Somasundara Bharati (1879–1959) and M.S. Purnalingam Pillai (1866 -1947) with uneducated street poets, populist pamphleteers and college students.[48][117]
    • Ramaswamy, Sumathy (1999). "The demoness, the maid, the whore, and the good mother: contesting the national language in India". International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Walter de Gruyter. 140 (1): 1–28. doi:10.1515/ijsl.1999.140.1.

External links[edit]