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The Hindi imposition debate in Tamil Nadu has been raging with renewed vigour. A debate that was barely kept under the wraps for the past few years has become a public outcry. What started with Tamil Nadu has also spilt over to other parts of the country. 

On Monday, B Balamurugan an IRS officer working at the GST Commissionerate in Chennai as an Assistant Commissioner has now protested being posted in the Hindi cell. He wrote to the chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs, alleging Hindi imposition.

GST official protests Hindi imposition

The topic of Hindi imposition has been a touchy one in Tamil Nadu which has repeatedly asserted that it will not yield to the NEP's 3-language formula. The voices against Hindi imposition have been mounting in the state. 

MK Stalin on Monday shared the letter of B Balamurugan, which went viral on social media. In the letter B Balamurugan who has been working for the GST Commissionerate since November 2019 writes, "I have been given the charge of Capacity Building and Hindi cell."

He writes that the 'nature' of the job at the Hindi cell is to monitor and promote Hindi as the official language of file noting and communication, Balamurugan found this problematic, "My mother tongue is Hindi and I don't know abcd of Hindi. The superintendent Mr Sukumar is also Tamilian. he also doesn't know Hindi. Inspector Mr Ranjan Dhiya and the TA know Hindi as they are from North India and their mother tongue is Hindi. The file noting and official communication from the Hindi cell should be in Hindi if not hundred percent at least fifty percent."

According to his letter, the official feels that the posting in the Hindi cell was deliberately done to belittle his Tamil sentiments, he called it in his letter, "I consider this action of posting me in a Hindi cell as an imposition of Hindi on me, who doesn't know the language. Hindi imposition is not just compelling someone to learn Hindi, it is also forcing someone to work to propagate Hindi."

Anti-Hindi imposiiton shirts
Kanimozhi stands with youth wearing anti-Hindi imposition shirts (Photo: @KanimozhiDMK/Twitter)@KanimozhiDMK/Twitter

So far Balamurugan is not alone in asserting his Tamil identity. Over the past day or so, many Tamilians have been ascribing to the T-shirt campaign with slogans such as, "I am Indian, I don't speak Hindi." This was also supported by DMK leader Kanimozhi.