Language row: Govt.’s move is not reasonable, says Tharoor

New Delhi:  Former union minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday dubbed the government’s move to replace German with Sanskrit as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas as ‘deeply unsettled’, saying one should  not disrupt children’s education four months before the exams.

“My first problem is with the timing of this decision, that you don’t actually disrupt children’s education four months before the exams, that is really not reasonable,” Tharoor told the media here.

“So, the children should be allowed to finish their course, and whatever new arrangements they wanted to make, that should have been done over a period of time,” he added.

Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani had earlier dismissed charges that education is being saffronised as she turned down demands that Sanskrit be made compulsory in the curriculum.

Attempting to silence her critics, Irani had earlier last week said a deliberate controversy was being created over the issue.

“German is a foreign language which is being taught as a foreign language and I feel that a controversy is being created deliberately because in a press briefing four days ago, I had specified everything. The Centre cannot deliberately approve an MoU, which violates the three-language formula which is already being implemented in 33 states,” Irani told reporters here.

The HRD Minister also raised doubts about the timing of the entire controversy.

“As per Schedule 8 of the Constitution, 22 languages were available which did not include German. This MoU was presenting German as third language, which was a violation of the Constitution. This renewal came up in September, but a controversy is being created in November. This in itself is a questionable thing,” she added.

She further said the students were free to choose any Indian language, adding that German was already being taught as a foreign language.

Earlier this month, Irani had announced that German had been removed from the option of ‘third language’ in Kendriya Vidyalayas, stating that the provision to include it as a third language was in violation of Indian policies.

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