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Parrikar, BJP betrayed Indian languages over English: Goa RSS

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Panaji: Goa’s RSS chief Subhash Velingkar on Wednesday took on Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the ruling BJP-led coalition government here for what he claims is a betrayal of Indian languages over the English language.

He also said that a regional languages front headed by him would start a statewide agitation soon to convince Goans about the perils of Parrikar and BJP’s U-turn on the issue.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Velingkar, who is virtually the face of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Goa, also appealed to the Bharatiya Janata Party workers to defy a diktat issued by Parrikar on Monday at a meeting attended by BJP’s top state leaders, asking the cadre not to attend meetings of the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch.

“The BJP and Parrikar have committed a U-turn on the promise of giving preference to English over regional Indian languages when it comes to medium of instruction in school… We will expose this by carrying out a statewide awareness campaign, where the betrayal by both will be conveyed to the people,” Velingkar said.

Two groups, Forum for Rights of Children to Education (FORCE) backed by the influential Roman Catholic Church and the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) supported by the RSS, have been at loggerheads in Goa over the last few years over the choice of language of instruction in junior schools.

While the former group backs English, the RSS-led faction prefers indigenous languages.

The BJP which won the 2012 state assembly elections, thanks to a strategic alliance with leaders of the Catholic community – Roman Catholics account for nearly 26 percent of the state population – is now caught between promises the party made to the minority community and the BBSM over the issue of medium of instruction.

After coming to power, the Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government via an ad hoc decision in 2012, had decided to give grants only to minority institutions that are using English as a medium of instruction, with new schools being denied the privilege.

Velingkar now calls the BJP and Parrikar’s decision hypocritical and not in sync with the values which the RSS and the BBSM believe in. (IANS)

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  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Seen this article it needs a fair treatment vis a vis global background where colonial languages or language of slavery like English,French,Portuguese and Dutch had a history of importance for serving the people.Language is always a comfortable medium or vehicle to communicate and never the end means as glorified by RSS. All state works and academics ideally should be in a local language but local environment should compliment work and jobs also which in `sone ki chidiya` India was possible only in feudal society.

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  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Seen this article it needs a fair treatment vis a vis global background where colonial languages or language of slavery like English,French,Portuguese and Dutch had a history of importance for serving the people.Language is always a comfortable medium or vehicle to communicate and never the end means as glorified by RSS. All state works and academics ideally should be in a local language but local environment should compliment work and jobs also which in `sone ki chidiya` India was possible only in feudal society.

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

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“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

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The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

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Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

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Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)