Understanding the anti-Hindi rhetoric of Tamil politics: the way it began, and why it sells6 min read
The decades-old subject of anti-Hindi and anti-‘North Indian’ politics that dominates Tamil Nadu has been within the information once more not too long ago. Over the grievances raised by migrant Bihari labourers who say they’ve been dealing with harassment and fixed misbehaviour by the hands of native Tamilians.
The anti-Hindi rhetoric has been looming over Tamil politics since pre-Indenpendece years. Fanned by bold politicians who have been determined for a foothold, and finally mainstreamed into the general public discourse by the DMK, the roots of this common aversion have been sowed by the British once they launched the Aryan Invasion Theory, now profoundly rescinded by trendy science.
The Aryan Invasion Theory, which by no means had any factual foundation, declared North Indians as ‘international settlers or invaders’ and South Indians because the Dravidians, the ‘unique’ inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent. There is not any shock that the British used it as an murderer’s blade to divide India.
The AIT fashioned the ideological foundation for the ‘Justice Party’ in Tamil Nadu again in 1916 which termed Tamil Brahmins as outsiders and requested ‘Dravidians’ (non-Brahmins) to desert the “superstitious” Vedic tradition practised by these “North Indian outsiders” and embrace the ‘rational’ Dravidian thought.
The Justice Party ideologues pretended to undertake atheism as their central theme. As occurs with the politics of hate and negativity, this ideology began taking root quick. By 1937, when the Congress authorities tried to introduce the Hindi language, the Dravidian ideologues received the right political device to realize energy, by spreading hate towards “Aryan colonialists”.
EV Ramaswamy or Periyar, the chief proponent of Dravidian identification politics even went as far as to hunt assist from Mohammad Ali Jinnah, to determine a separate Dravidian nation. Though Jinnah had little to offer him aside from supportive phrases.
In 1937, when the Justice Party misplaced energy to Congress, the Dravidian politicians began courting chaos, determined to grab energy, they harped upon the politics of hate and anti-Brahminism. In 1938, when the Rajagopalachari-led Congress authorities’s order to introduce the Hindi language in training, protests sparked throughout the state, led by Justice Party. Two backward caste brothers died in police custody, fuelling the violence and political unrest all throughout the Madras Presidency.
The preliminary anti-Hindi protests dwindled out by 1939 when World War II began. But after the Indian Independence in 1948-50, one other try by the Congress authorities to introduce the Hindi language in faculties sparked protests once more.
All 5 of the violent anti-Hindi protests have occurred in Tamil Nadu
As narrated by an earlier article by S Sudhir Kumar, it is just in Tamil Nadu that a number of riots towards Hindi have occurred. The level to be famous right here is that no authorities ever has tried to “replace” Tamil, however makes an attempt have been to introduce Hindi as an extra language. However, the Periyarists in earlier a long time and the DMK within the later a long time, have based mostly their complete political relevance on the concept of imprecise Dravidian supremacy versus the bigger Indian identification and the hatred towards the Hindi language, branded because the language of ‘Aryan north Indians’, has been the device to propagate that supremacy.
Anti-Hindi protests catapulted DMK to energy within the Sixties
It is notable right here that the concept of a separate Dravidian identification, (versus the bigger Indian identification), the so-called victimhood fastidiously constructed upon a long time of fanning of false claims of the Aryan Invasion Theory, a common hatred towards the Hindi language and by extensions, North Indians, and Brahmins who’re related to that language (once more falsely) present the inspiration on which the sooner Justice Party and the current DMK have constructed their political relevance.
The politics of hate has been propagated so extensively and for therefore lengthy that it has now change into mainstream in Tamil political discourse. Regionalism as a political device isn’t restricted to Tamil Nadu alone and there have been many examples of comparable politics of hate over the spectrum of Indian politics. But in Tamil Nadu, it simply takes an entire totally different form and texture.
No different Indian state has been so averse to the Hindi language, the propagation and adaptation of which is etched in our Constitution. Even in South India, different states have accepted Hindi as an extra language in faculties. In Tamil Nadu, the aversion has been so vehement that there are not any Navodaya Vidyalayas up to now, as a result of they mandate the examine of the Hindi language.
DMK and its politics of Dravidian supremacy
As said earlier, the imprecise and baseless concepts of the so-called Dravidian identification, versus the bigger Indian identification, has been the premise of the Periyarist motion and its offspring, the DMK. DMK’s model of politics is predicated on the exact same superfluous concepts.
1. The South Indian states are the ‘Dravidians’ the “original” inhabitants of India.
2. The Indian nation survives on the revenues generated and taxes paid by the South Indian states
No matter the sheer absurdity of those concepts, the politics of them by some means drives the discourse in Tamil Nadu and even gives relevance to the DMK.
In latest years, particularly after Narendra Modi got here to energy in 2014, different events, even the Congress has tried to lean on the identical Dravidian political ideology to realize some foothold, and to color the Modi authorities as ‘dangerous’.
Such is the extent of duplicity expressed by the Congress that they’d contradicted the 2011 report by their very own authorities, undersigned by their chief after which Home Minister P Chidambaram, to propagate the Hindi language throughout India.
In June 2011, the ninth report of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language was forwarded to the President. Chidambaram, because the then Home Minister, had signed the report. The Committee was fashioned beneath the Official Language Act of 1963 in 1965, to understand Article 351 of the Indian Constitution, which requires the promotion of Hindi.
But when the Modi authorities after 2014 labored on implementing the factors really helpful in the identical report, Congress and its leaders have been one of many loudest of detractors.
Such is the desperation of political relevance that the Congress and lots of different opposition events have been turning a blind eye to the slender, and unscientific thought of the DMK’s politics of hatred towards Hindi and ‘North Indians’.
Regional battle, chaos within the inhabitants and the act of mentioning an “enemy” group on a linguistic, cultural and geographical foundation have been one of many oldest political instruments to climb the ladder of energy. When Mamata Banerjee tells the individuals of Bengal that “Gujaratis are trying to snatch power in Bengal by using goons from UP and Bihar”, she is utilizing the identical device. When Rahul Gandhi screams that “non-locals are snatching businesses in Jammu and Kashmir”, When Priyanka Gandhi calls Modi an “outsider” in UP, it’s the similar politics in play, time and again.
When political leaders don’t have any foundations to face on and no work to indicate after years in energy, they latch on to hatred and divisiveness, diverting consideration from their failures and shedding accountability by giving the plenty a typical enemy to direct their frustrations at. This is the politics that drives the anti-Hindi political discourse in Tamil Nadu, the broad Khalistan ideology in Punjab and the Guajrati-Marwari hate in Bengal. The scale and penetration of the rhetoric could also be totally different in every area, the instruments could also be language or faith or a slender cultural identification, however the primary concepts are the identical.