HC directs Centre to follow Officials Language Act

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Centre and its employees to keenly follow the Official Languages Act.

A division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and M Duraiswamy hearing a petition moved by Madurai MP S Venkatesan over a reply received from the Union government in Hindi, observed that mother tongue assumes great significance and fundamental education should be provided in mother tongue. But, nowadays priority is accorded to English as medium of instruction in education. Even though it may be, the communication process is complete only when the receiver understands the message of the sender with clear representation and illustration in mother tongue.
Further, disposing of the petition, the bench directed the Centre to respond to the state government’s and MP’s letters in the same language and the Central government employees should also properly follow the Official Languages Act.
The issue cropped up when Madurai MP highlighted the lack of exam centres in TN and Puducherry for the recruitment of Group B and C posts last year.
Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Home Affairs sent a reply to him on November 9, 2020, in Hindi.
Though Venkatesan sought the reply in English as he cannot understand Hindi, his request went unheeded. ‘But I was shocked to note that even after the representation, the Centre had not chosen to recall the communication in Hindi and they have not sent any reply in English,’ he said.
Similar practice of sending reply exclusively in Hindi to MPs hailing from Tamilnadu is being followed by the Union of India and thereby violating statutory rights of the state as a Non-Hindi speaking unit to have communication from the Union of India and other states to be addressed only in English, he stated in the plea.