They are fuming at the HRD Ministry for changing the nomenclature of Teachers’ Day to Guru Utsav

Chennai : It appears that the Narendra Modi Government has ended up giving enough cannon fodder to the Dravidian parties to revive the long forgotten anti-Hindi movement of the sixties.

After the BJP-led NDA Government’s controversial circulars on using Hindi in official social media and Sanskrit Week celebrations, the Dravidian parties are fuming at the Union Human Resource Development Ministry for changing the nomenclature of Teachers’ Day to Guru Utsav.

Led by DMK president M Karunanidhi, a host of opposition leaders have started firing salvos at Modi for what they call as an attack on regional languages (read Tamil).

Hitherto September 5, the birth anniversary of philosopher and former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan has been celebrated as ‘Teachers’ Day’. However, this year advertisements issued by Smriti Irani’s Ministry have changed the name to ‘Guru Utsav’, which is a Hindi term. Quick to assail this, Karunanidhi saw in this an attempt to impose Hindi yet again.

“For years we have celebrated the Teachers’ Day. They have now changed it to Guru Utsav through a government order. This is how they first lay their hands on our language,” he charged in a statement.

The DMK veteran described this as an attempt to “plot little by little to defeat those belonging to the language (Tamil), those who reached great heights upholding the cause of the regional language and those who had hurt themselves for the cause of linguistic rights.”

The reference was obviously to the Dravidian history of opposition to Hindi imposition during which half a dozen youngsters had immolated themselves in the mid-sixties. “You should understand that in Tamil Nadu, Aryan ways have started working little by little to destroy Tamil ways,” he alleged.

Endorsing this, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who is an ally of the BJP, issued a statement on Monday demanding immediate withdrawal of the order changing Teachers Day to Guru Utsav. “The renaming is strongly unacceptable. To strengthen national integrity one should nurture different cultural identities.

The government must realise this and immediate withdraw the renaming of Teachers Day,” he said.

Dalit outfit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan and PMK leader S Ramadoss were among those who criticised the Guru Utsav.

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