Students from Northeastern region today protested the Delhi University's decision to introduce a compulsory paper on Hindi or any other Modern Indian languages as part of the foundation courses of the four-year undergraduate programme beginning this academic session.
The students under the aegis of North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) burnt copies of the foundation course syllabus and broke the barricade outside the Proctor's Office after no one from the administration came to meet them to discuss the issue despite hours of sloganeering.
"No one from the administration came out to meet us despite our constant appeal to discuss the issue. We were manhandled by the security outside the office and sexist abuses were hurled at women students," NEFIS Coordinator Chinglen Khumukcham alleged.
He said compulsory imposition of Hindi or any other Indian language would cause immense hardship for the students who belong to communities that speak neither Hindi nor any of the modern Indian languages.
As per the new directive, besides English, students will have to either study one paper in Hindi or any MIL listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution such as Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam and Manipuri.
"There would be problems even for the communities that speak MILs like Manipuri, Assamese etc because the infrastructure and faculty strength for these languages is too small to be able to cover the whole of university," Khumukcham said.
The NEFIS has submitted a memorandum to the vice chancellor saying the imposition of Hindi or MILs upon the students of the North-East is unfair as most of these languages are alien to them. They had earlier staged two similar protests on the issue on March 22 and March 25.