West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday criticised the Centre for adding Gujarati as a medium for the Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) and asked why all other regional languages, including Bengali, should not be included as well.
The Central Board of Secondary Education had added Urdu, Marathi and Gujarati in 2014 to the exam medium. However, in 2016, it dropped Urdu and Marathi but continued with Gujarati apart from Hindi and English. The National Testing Agency (NTA) took over the exam in 2019 from the CBSE.
"Joint Entrance Exams so long were conducted in English and Hindi languages. Surprisingly, now only Gujarati language has been added. Such a step is not at all praiseworthy," Banerjee tweeted.
If Gujarati has to be there, then all regional languages, including Bengali must be there, the chief minister said.
"Our country is India, which is home to so many religions, cultures, languages, creeds and communities. However, maligning all regions and regional languages is the intention of the government at the Centre," Banerjee said.
"I love Gujarati language. But, why have other regional languages been ignored? Why injustice is being meted out to them?," she asked.
Unless the issue was decided "gracefully", there would be strong protests all around as sentiments of people who speak other regional languages would be deeply hurt due to "this injustice," the Trinamool Congress supremo said.
The notification of JEE 2020 states that candidates will have to opt language of Question Paper while filling up the online application form.
For all "centre cities", the languages of question papers will be in English and Hindi. But for the "centre cities" in Gujarat, Daman and Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, the languages should be English, Hindi and Gujarati.
Incidentally, Banerjee's nephew and party MP Abhishek Banerjee had also observed on his Twitter handle that it was "unconstitutional" to set the JEE question papers only in English, Hindi and Gujarati respectively.