QUESTION : Discuss what you understand by the three-language formula and the concerns associated over imposition of Hindi? suggest reforms required in this direction.
Topic- LANGUAGE OF UNITY
- Three language formula issue in NEP, 2020
WHY IN NEWS ?
- The three-language formula advocated in the National Education Policy (NEP 2020) has been rejected by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister recently and has only reiterated the State’s unwavering position on an emotive and political issue.
MORE TO KNOW :
- The three-language formula for language learning was formulated in 1968 by the Ministry of Education of the Government of India in consultation with the states.
- The formula as enunciated in the 1968 National Policy Resolution which provided for the study of “Hindi, English and modern Indian language (preferably one of the southern languages) in the Hindi speaking states and Hindi, English and the Regional language in the non-Hindi speaking States.
BACKGROUND OF THE LANGUAGE ISSUE IN TAMIL NADU :
- The two-language policy, implemented decades ago after a historic agitation against the imposition of Hindi, remains non-negotiable for almost the entire political class.
- In Tamil Nadu, a two-language formula of Tamil and English has been followed since 1968.
- Since 1985, the State has also refused to allow Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas to be set up as they teach Hindi.
- Opposition from the Tamil Nadu state had forced the Central government to amend the draft NEP.
- The original draft had called for mandatory teaching of Hindi to all school students.
- Concerns of the state:
- The State that resisted multiple attempts to impose Hindi since 1937, political parties are understandably wary of any mandate to impart an additional language in schools.
- They fear that even the provisions in NEP,2020 would eventually pave the way for Hindi to enter the State through the back door.
PROVISIONS RELATED TO LANGUAGES IN NEP,2020
- Greater flexibility in the new policy:
- However, the final policy document makes it clear that no language will be imposed on any State.
- The three languages learned by children will be the choices of States, regions, and of also the students themselves, so long as at least two of the three languages are native to India.
- Classical languages:
- Sanskrit will be offered as an option at all levels of school and higher education.
- Other classical languages will also be available, possibly as online modules, while foreign languages will be offered at the secondary level.
- Mother tongue
- Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/ mother-tongue/ local language/ regional language.
- According to the new policy, this will be followed by both public and private schools
CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS :
- Article 29 of the Constitution of India states that any section of the citizens who have a “…distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.”
- Article 351 gives power to the union government to issue a directive for the development of the Hindi language.
- Article 343 is about the official language of the Union of India. According to this Article, it is to be Hindi in Devnagri script, and numerals should follow the international form of Indian numerals. This Article also states that English will continue to be used as an official language for 15 years from the commencement of the Constitution.
- Article 346 is about the official language for communication between the states and between a state and the Union. The Article states that the “authorised” language will be used. However, if two or more states agree that their communications shall be in Hindi, then Hindi may be used.
- Article 347 gives the President the power to recognise a language as an official language of a given state, provided that the President is satisfied that a substantial proportion of that state desires that the language be recognised. Such recognition can be for a part of the state or the whole state.
- Article 350A facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at the primary stage.
- Article 350B provides for the establishment of a Special Officer for linguistic minorities. The Officer shall be appointed by the President and shall investigate all matters relating to the safeguards for linguistic minorities, reporting directly to the President. The President may then place the reports before each house of the Parliament or send them to the governments of the states concerned.
Arguments against the three language formula
Opposition from states
- The three-language formula faces implementational challenges in a multi-lingual country like India. A few states have not adopted the formula in principle. Hindi is not taught in the States of Tamil Nadu and Tripura and Puducherry
- Implementational challenges
Burden on the students:
- The three-language formula is also a bad idea in the present form with regard to children actually acquiring language skills.
- The three-language formula will have a very heavy cognitive
Arguments in favour of the three-language formula:
- Promotion of Hindi Language: Article -351 of Indian Constitution
- Cognitive development of the child
- Promoting national unity:
- The proponents favouring the three-language formula argue that its implementation promotes national unity by having a common link language.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ?
- There are numerous attractive ways to promote a language to the desired extent. So, instead of prescribing a set of languages, Draft NEP 2020 should give the freedom to choose “any three languages of 8th Schedule of the Constitution or official languages of the Union of India” as offered in the scheme of studies by the Boards of Secondary Education. This is a win-win solution for all.
QUESTION: Highlight the role of NHRC in investigating human rights violations across India including Kashmir valley.
Topic-VIOLATING HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE VALLEY
- Emergence of Human Rights Concerns in the Kashmir Valley
WHY IN NEWS ?
- A few human rights concerns have emerged in the Kashmir Valley over the last one year since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights :
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed under UNGA resolution 217 A in Paris. It set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
- It states that ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.’
- It entitles everyone to all the rights and freedoms and prohibits slavery and slave trade in all forms.
- Other rights recognized under the declaration are right to a nationality, right against arbitrary arrest, detention or exile, the right to seek asylum from prosecution, the right to freedom of movement and residence, etc.
- The Universal Declaration is not a treaty, so it does not directly create legal obligations for countries. However, it is an expression of the fundamental values which are shared by all members of the International community.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights holds the Guinness World Record as the most translated document.
UNDER HOUSE ARREST:
- The concept of house arrest is not specifically mentioned in the criminal manual but the state is empowered to declare a building or house as a sub-jail.
- Through such declarations, residential accommodations of some political leaders have been converted into sub-jails.
- The resident of a sub-jail is automatically and undeniably under detention and what is commonly known as house arrest
- When a residential accommodation is declared a sub-jail, the state virtually acquires and takes over the property for its own purposes.
- The owner of the property is entitled to rent or compensation for the use and occupation of the property.
- So, in a sense, a person under house arrest without receiving compensation is doubly jeopardised.
- Compulsory takeover of property even for a limited period has been an issue of great concern in Mizoram where vast tracts of land were taken over by the armed forces to quell an insurgency.
- Many of these landowners have petitioned for compensation, though with little effect. Residents of the Valley will perhaps face the same problem as the Mizos.
- A variation of house arrest was employed during the Emergency when a few tourist resorts close to Delhi were declared as sub-jails and prominent political leaders incarcerated therein, without taking over their property.
- It is the imprisonment of a person with the aim of preventing him from committing further offences or of maintaining public order.
- Article 22 (3) – If a person is arrested or detained under preventive detention, then the protection against arrest and detention under Article 22 (1) and 22(2) shall not be available.
- A detainee under preventive detention can have no right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 19 or Article 21.
- To prevent reckless use of Preventive Detention, certain safe guards are provided in the constitution:
- A person may be taken to preventive custody only for 3 months at the first instance.
- The detainee is entitled to know the grounds of his detention.
- The detaining authorities must give the detainee earliest opportunities for making representation against the detention.
- Preventive detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) has caused immense hardship to a very large number of persons.
- Preventive detention is based on a prognosis of future events on the basis of past conduct.
- Among them is the fundamental right to be communicated, as soon as may be, the grounds on which the order has been made and the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order.
- Decisions of the Supreme Court hold that if there is an unexplained delay of even one or two days in dealing with the representation, the order of preventive detention is vitiated.
- A challenge to an order of preventive detention can be mounted on these and other procedural grounds.
- Many preventive detention orders have been challenged through habeas corpus petitions but unfortunately many of them are still pending in the concerned High Court.
Public Safety Act (PSA) :
- The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 is a preventive detention law.
- A person is taken into custody to prevent him/her from acting in a manner that is a threat to the security of J&K.
- It is very similar to the National Security Act.
- It allows for detention of a person without a formal charge.
- Detention can be up to two years.
- Detained person need not be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of the detention.
- The detained person does not have the right to move a bail application before a criminal court.
- He/she cannot engage any lawyer also.
- Only The High Court and the Supreme Court have the jurisdiction to hear habeus corpus petitions against the detention.
TAKING A STEP BACK:
- Access to information might not yet be a fundamental right but it is certainly a human right.
- For the last one year, the residents of the Valley have been deprived of the benefit of 4G Internet.
- This has had an adverse impact on various aspects of daily life. For students, the joy of learning has become an imposition with 2G Internet.
- Medical professionals have difficulty in advising and counselling their patients.
- The right to health is an essential component of the right to life and this has been denied to a large number of patients.
- Businessman have suffered, the economy in the Valley has taken a hit and it appears that the powers that be are in no mood to relent.
- The Supreme Court has twice intervened but with no tangible effect.
- Orders concerning the Internet were required to be reviewed under the rules by a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
- The committee has been downgraded and is now headed by the Home Secretary.
- In other words, rather than a step forward towards access to information, a small step back has been taken.
WAY FORWARD :
- While it may be that uncontrolled access to Internet could pose a security risk through misuse by terrorists and militants, today’s technology is so far advanced that it is possible to block access even in a limited way.
- For example, thousands of child pornography sites have been successfully blocked in different parts of the world, including India. Therefore, where there is a will to checkmate militants and terrorists through the effective use of technology, it is possible to do so, but taking a short cut by permitting download only by 2G possibly does more harm to a greater number of people than is necessary and is disproportionate
- It is time to introspect and make the human rights of all our citizens an inclusive subject of free and frank discussion.