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'Use English or Hindi, avoid regional languages': Southern Railways direct station masters

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New Delhi, June 14: Amid protests from opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, the Southern Railway GM on Friday clarified that the circular asking its officials to speak only in English or Hindi was given only for operating part of it, so that they understand and do not misinterpret railway signals.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Southern Railway issued a circular dated June specified to station staff and train operation controllers, directing them to avoid using regional languages in official communications.

Use English or Hindi, avoid regional languages: Southern Railways direct station masters

The circular said only English and Hindi should be used to communicate in order to ensure instructions are "fully comprehended".

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The letter was addressed to Section Controllers, Station Staff, Traffic Inspectors and Station Masters of the Chennai division, and was intended 'to improve communication between officials.'

Speaking to ANI, Gajanan Mallya, general manager of South Central Railway said,''That communication was given only for operating part of it, so that they understand and do not misinterpret railway signals.''

On the other hand, the opposition has criticized this circular, because in South Indian states, especially in Tamil Nadu, Hindi is generally opposed. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin termed the circular arrogant. "Through the circular, the Railway is not only trying to impose Hindi on Tamil Nadu but is also attempting to make it a dominant language," The Times of India quoted him as saying.

The Southern Railway network covers Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and parts of Andhra Pradesh.

However, this didn't go well with the netizens and criticised the Southern Railways circular.

It must be noted that the circular comes at a time when the Centre was recently forced to revise the new Draft National Education Policy, which had recommended Hindi learning mandatory in schools of non-Hindi speaking states, and suggested a three-language formula without naming Hindi. It was strongly opposed by all the parties, including the main opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu had alleged that it was an attempt to impose Hindi over Tamil. After this, the government of the ruling AIADMK had announced that it would continue the two-language formula in the state.

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