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Gujarat to implement Gujarati language policy, says High Court

Gujarat to implement Gujarati language policy, says High Court

Ahmedabad: Schools in Gujarat are now mandated to teach Gujarati and this applies to boards like CBSE and ICSE which refuse to implement a state government policy. Now, classes 1-8 will have to teach the Gujarati language as a mandatory subject.

The Gujarat High Court on Friday heard a PIL on the implementation of the policy that was introduced in April 2018 by the Gujarat government. Justice Sonia Gokani said the court will issue necessary directions if the government "feels helpless" to compel schools. NGO Matrubhasha Abhiyan approached the court to "ensure the Government Resolution of 2018 is implemented in its true letter and spirit."

Advocate Archit Jani, appearing for the NGO said that an RTI query revealed that 15 schools did not have Gujarati as part of their curriculum. "They (schools) are not teaching Gujarati at all. And, there are no consequences (for not following the government policy). Their (government's) affidavit does not clearly say what action the government will take against such schools."

Justice Gokani said the government should not feel helpless. "Don't feel helpless. Because you are the state and it is your policy. And, it is meant to preserve something which all of us know needs to be preserved and all states are doing this by making statutory provisions for it. You (the government) need to make it clear to them (schools) that they have to implement this policy. Otherwise, what consequences will follow is up to you to decide. Boards can have their own curriculum but they can't say no to this policy. If they need to operate in Gujarat, they will have to do that."

She stressed that schools won't implement it without deterrence. "This is a policy and you have asked them to follow it. What will happen to them if they do not follow? We always say there is no love without fear. If someone is flagrantly violating your policy, then there must be some command."

The next hearing is on December 22. The state government is collecting data about compliance.

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TAGS:Gujarat Gujarat high court Gujarati Gujarati language policy 
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