The Southern Railway on Friday withdrew a circular it had issued asking employees to speak only in Hindi or English after the opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu protested it as an attempt to impose Hindi.
The circular issued on Wednesday said station staff should communicate only in Hindi or English with the train controllers to avoid “miscommunication”.The DMK led by Central Chennai Member of Parliament Dayanadhi Maran held a protest against this circular outside the Southern Railways office.
Later, a five-member DMK team led by legal wing secretary R S Bharathi and Maran met Southern Railway General Manager Rahul Jain and submitted a petition.Jain, after hearing them out, immediately agreed to withdraw the circular. As the meeting was on, DMK president M K Stalin also spoke to Jain on the phone.
A revised circular was issued on Friday afternoon superseding the earlier one. The new circular made no mention about language but said: “It may be ensured that communication between controllers and station masters goes giving no room for any misunderstanding and ambiguity and it is clearly understood by all concerned.”
Earlier in a statement, Stalin said through the circular the Centre was trying to” impose Hindi and make it the dominant language”.Tamil Nationalist Movement leader Maniarasan said the 1967 Official Language Act mandated use of Hindi and English as official languages. However, it was amended in later years to include regional languages also. As per that amendment, Tamil would be official language along with English and Hindi in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The railway circular was a violation of that act, he said.