Madras HC bench pulls up ASI for leaving Tamil out of list of classical languages

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Madras HC bench pulls up ASI for leaving Tamil out of list of classical languages
Court says omission appears to be “deliberate”, directs ASI to submit a report on action taken against official concerned

Published: 09th October 2020 09:04 PM | Last Updated: 09th October 2020 09:04 PM | A+A A-
Madras High Court Madras High Court (File photo| EPS) By Express News Service
MADURAI: A day after Chief Minister Edappadi Planiswami sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to direct Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to include Master’s degree in Tamil as one of the minimum qualifications for admissions to Pandit Denndayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archeology, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday criticised the ASI for excluding Tamil from the list of classical languages.

Though Assistant Solicitor General L Victoria Gowri informed the court that ASI had issued a corrigendum on Thursday and added Tamil and a few other languages to the list of eligible languages, a Bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi said that the agency ought to have done that in the first instance itself.

ALSO READ: ASI relents, includes PG degree in Tamil as minimum qualification for Archaeology course

“Despite our warnings to the Central government to be careful while dealing with matters on language, the government has unnecessarily given room to linguistic chauvinists to raise their voice,” they said.


The judges also pulled up the official responsible for issuing the earlier advertisement and said that the omission of Tamil language seems to be a ‘deliberate’ one. They also sought the list of classical languages in India and asked whether Pali, Prakrit, Arabic and Persian are among them. If not, on what basis the official included them in the advertisement and excluded Tamil, the judges questioned. They directed the ASI to file a report on the action taken against the official concerned and adjourned the case to October 28. “However, we cannot find fault with the government for the mistake of a few officials,” they added.

The directions were issued in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an advocate S Ramesh Kumar of Sivagangai inclusion of Tamil as an eligibility criteria in the admissions to the institute.

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