New Delhi: Three Tamil Nadu MPs from different parties on Sunday made a strong pitch for making Tamil one of the official languages and opposed any move to impose Hindi on the country.
MPs M Thambidurai (AIADMK), TKS Elangovan (DMK) and Thol Thirumaavalavan (VCK) raised the demand while participating in the debate in Lok Sabha on the completion of 60 years of the first sitting of Parliament.
Thambidurai said they only want Tamil, "one of the ancient and classical languages", to be accorded equal status and it be made an official language of the country.
"Our language must be respected and this Parliament must come forward to enact a law to make ours an official language. Link language is different and official language is different."
"The status of official language must be awarded to Tamil and not only that, the same equal status and importance must be given to Malayalam, Odiya, Bengali and all other languages of the country. This is our avowed policy and principle," he said.
He said one must not give importance to just one language in an "unjustified manner" and it will be "inappropriate" and also referred to party founder C Annadurai's speech in Rajya Sabha.
Elangovan said DMK had in 1957 itself demanded that Hindi "should not be imposed" on non-Hindi speaking states. "At that time, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru gave an assurance that Hindi will not be imposed and until the non-Hindi speaking states prefer, English will also continue as a linklanguage.
"When the DMK Member sought a legislation in this regard, Nehru firmly stated that an assurance given by the Prime Minister in this House is, in itself, a law. Nobody can deny that, nobody can change that. That is the strength of this House," he said.
Thirumaavalavan also demanded that Tamil be made an official language of the country.