Malayalam Made Compulsory Till X Class In Kerala, Telugu Zealots Squirm

In the wake of an ordinance issued by Kerala Government making Malayalam compulsory till X Class, the Telugu proponents in Telugu States feel disappointed with their unresponsive Governments.

Hyderabad: The ordinance issued by Kerala Government making Malayalam mandatory in all schools in the State upto X standard has spurred the Telugu language proponents in both the Telugu speaking States. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said in Tiruvanantapuram on Tuesday that the new law will come into effect from this academic year. The law would apply to all the schools in the State without any exception, he averred. If any school is found violating the law the headmaster of such institution would be fined ₹5,000.

People like Samala Ramesh Babu and Varadachary have been demanding such action by the Governments of AP and Telangana. Intellectuals and Telugu language lovers have been waging prolonged battles against the apathy of the rulers. GO No 86 was issued by Kiran Kumar Reddy Government of the united Andhra Pradesh in 2013.  But it remains only on the paper. The Government of Telangana has done nothing to promote Telugu language teaching in schools. On the other hand,  it is in favour of introducing English medium in all the schools. It has decided to introduce LKG and UKG in Government run schools and make teaching English language from the first class compulsory. In Telangana and AP, Telugu is either first language or second language. But the policy is not strictly enforced. In Maharashtra, Marathi is compulsory till X class.

In Tamil Nadu, The Tamil Nadu Tamil Learning  Act, 2006 ensures implementation of the language policy. In AP and Telangana it has been vague ever since the three-language policy was introduced. In Maharashtra, Marathi is made mandatory in all English convent schools for classes 1-4 through a GO passed in 2009. Kerala has promulgated an ordinance on Tuesday making Malayalam compulsory till X class. The language learning abilities are tested in all the States. In Karnataka, Kannada is given top priority just like Tamil in Tamil Nadu.

This is one area in which NT Rama Rao, founder of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and a strong proponent of Telugu language and culture could not leave a lasting impression on the language policy despite being a powerful Chief Minister for six years. The leaders of the Telugu language movement have been demanding that a ministry should be created for protecting and developing Telugu as a modern language. They also want a Telugu Development/ Empowerment body to be created. In spite of Mandali Buddha Prasad, Deputy Speaker of AP Assembly and a leader of the language movement, being in power, nothing tangible has been done so far.

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