Argument on learning Hindi for jobs: Hindi speakers in Coimbatore sell pani puris, says Tamil Nadu minister

Tamil Nadu’s higher education minister K Ponmudy said on Friday that there are Hindi-speaking people in Coimbatore selling pani puris, a response to the argument that learning the language would lead to employment.

“It was once said that one can get a job if one learns Hindi. Is that true? Just go around Coimbatore and find out who are the ones selling pani puris,” he said at an event at Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, in which state Governor RN Ravi had participated.

Ponmudy was making a case for having Hindi as just an optional subject in schools, amid the debate over the National Education Policy 2020. His rationale was that if students were to learn Tamil and an international language like English, there would be no need to learn Hindi.

“In Tamil Nadu, there are two languages ​​- English and Tamil. While English is an international language, Tamil is a local language,” Ponmudi said while addressing students. Speaking at the event, the governor said there was an attempt to portray the Center as trying to impose a language on Tamil Nadu. “I think it is far from the truth,” he said.

Ponmudy said the state government is determined to only implement the two-language system in Tamil Nadu. He said the state is at the forefront of the education system in India and that Tamil students are ready to learn any language. However, Hindi should only be an optional language and not a compulsory one, he said.

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