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Tamil Nadu Rediscovers Hindi

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From Forbes India Magazine.

Anti-Hindi agitations helped Tamil Nadu politicians build their careers. Now the state is rediscovering a fascination for the language

Read more: Forbes India Magazine - Tamil Nadu Rediscovers Hindi

As many as 600,000 students appear for its exams in Tamil Nadu each year, a number that is growing at 20 percent. In 1965, at the height of anti-Hindi protests, the number was less than 20,000. “The anti-Hindi agitation basically did our job. It raised curiosity among the people and brought them to us,” says Annamalai.


while it is economic sense to learn hindi, the reasons for anti hindi agitations of the 60s were very valid.

you had hindi shoved down our throats. the upsc exams were started to be conducted in hindi, with a view to phase out english exams. my neighbours, in mid level central service, out of chennai, had to take hindi lessons, in order to comply with govt orders.

hindi, hindu, hindustan - was the overt cry of the jana sangh, and the covert whisper of the congress party, in order to keep the dhal belt vote.

today, ofcourse, the tables have turned. there are more english language schools in UP and bihar than anywhere else in india. :)

... and we tamils, do not feel threatened by an imposed hindi. for economic purposes, if we have to learn inuvik (language of north canada arctic eskimos) that too is ok. though i think, we all would be better off learning mandarin :)
I think the numbers are for Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha which covers all the southern states and I know Kerala is one state where kids still learn Hindi as a general rule.

In TN also Hindi may now be more welcome because it is Bollywood which gives more 'skin shows' and Tamil movies vie with one another in aping those. Hindi cinema and hindi movie songs are current favourites of youngsters. That may be one reason for the new found love for Hindi in TN.
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