The request has come at a time when the Centre was forced to revise the new Draft National Education Policy.
New Delhi: In the midst of a controversy over Hindi being part of a three-language formula, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include Tamil as an optional language in curriculum across India.
"Request Honourable PM Narendra Modiji to include Tamil as an optional language for study in other states. This will be a great service to one of the most ancient languages of the world," he tweeted.
The tweet has come at a time when the Centre was forced to revise the new Draft National Education Policy, which had recommended Hindi learning mandatory in schools of non-Hindi speaking states, and suggested a three-language formula without naming Hindi.
In the draft National Education Policy 2019, a three-language formula has recommended the inclusion of English and Hindi besides mother tongue in non-Hindi speaking states, while Hindi-speaking states were to include English and an Indian language from other parts of the country.
Many leaders from non-Hindi states, especially Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, had opposed the policy.
In Tamil Nadu, leaders cutting across party lines have said the state would not tolerate any imposition of the third language.
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said that the Centre cannot force any language.
The Centre has, however, maintained that the policy was just a draft subject to changes and ensured that no language will be pressed upon.
It is important to know that the Tamil language is the official language of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and the Andaman Islands, and was also the second official language of Haryana till 2010.
One of the oldest surviving languages still spoken by crores of people, Tamil is an accepted minority language in Canada, USA, South Africa and other countries.