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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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Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Intact

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient

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Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.

By Sagarneel Sinha

There have been lots of discussions among the political circles that JDU led by Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar is upset with the BJP and trying to send signals to erst allies — RJD and the Congress. This led to speculations that Nitish may once again join the Grand Alliance (GA) leaving the NDA camp. Already, RJD’s new commander Tejasvi Yadav has clearly stated that Nitish led JDU will not be welcomed in the GA. Despite all the odds, if (suppose) GA partners accommodate Nitish, he wouldn’t be the driving force of the alliance as in 2015. Also, Nitish cannot afford to go alone like in 2014 when his party fetched only 2 seats!

Then which is the correct way for JDU? It is to go with the BJP in the upcoming 2019 polls.
JDU’s advantage in this case is the present situation of the BJP. Currently, the saffron party is not in a strong position as the party would be facing anti-incumbency from a strong RJD led alliance in the state. BJP’s traditional voters are the upper castes who account for 17% of the electorate. This votebank is not enough for the party to help to win elections. The main opposition party — RJD still commands over a larger votebank than BJP. RJD is still a dominant force among the Yadavs and the Muslims who account for 31% of the population. It means BJP has to minus the 31% votes and rely on the rest — 69%. Out of these, 16% are the Mahadalits — a large portion of whom generally hail Nitish Kumar as their leader. Also, there are Kurmis, an OBC group consisting of 4% votes — considered as the supporters of JDU. Nitish Kumar himself is also a Kurmi.

Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar
Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar.

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient. However, if these votebanks are joined together they form around 31-32%. Plus, to gain the extra votes, both the parties have the option to rely on the personal charisma of Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there is a power tussle between the two allies to get a respectable share of seats.

This power tussle is because of a strong BJP which earlier used to be a junior ally. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections changed the political scenario of the state where BJP emerged as the largest party in terms of vote share and seats. JDU knows the reality of a new emerging BJP, though it is pushing hard to gain a respectable share of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. Instead, Nitish Kumar has another option — giving the bigger chunk to the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections and the latter playing the junior partner for the 2020 assembly elections if held timely. Given the current situation in the country, in a crucial state like Bihar, BJP can hardly reject JDU as the later still commands over 15-16% votes — a very crucial votebank for winning maximum seats in the 2019 polls. Importance of JDU can also be explained by BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Patna to have breakfast and dinner with Nitish Kumar. Though in politics there are no permanent friends or foes, so any perfect prediction is impossible. But given the current situation, JDU and BJP parting their ways seems unlikely as both the parties are in need of each other as already highlighted by Amit Shah that the two allies would fight the Lok Sabha elections together. Smiling face of Nitish Kumar was also an indication that the meetings with Amit Shah were fine.