JNU Asks Staff to Communicate in Hindi

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor Prof. D Santishree Pandit, in a recent notice has requested that all official work and communication for the month of September be conducted in Hindi, the “official language”.

The letter mentions that September 14 is celebrated as Hindi Diwas and, in connection with the celebrations, the Indian government conducts most of its official work in Hindi. In a letter the VC “appealed” to all instructors, officers, and staff members of the JNU to communicate in Hindi.

The “request” was published on the official JNU Twitter account in Hindi, along with an accompanying post that claimed the JNU VC had demonstrated “commitment” to Hindi as the university’s “official language.” According to the letter, the goal of doing official business in Hindi during the month of September was to “fulfil our constitutional and moral objectives as well as respect the official language.” The VC continued in the plea by stating that even if “much of the work” is completed by the institution in Hindi, “targets set for the official language are yet to be accomplished.”

Following the notice, the All India Students’ Association (AISA) objected to the request. Speaking to the media, the students said, that it is regrettable that a central university’s vice chancellor is publicly advocating for the adoption of a single language.

The students said that JNU welcomes students from a variety of linguistic origins, just like any other central institution. To mark Telugu Diwas, Assamese Day, or Bangla Diwas, however, JNU administration has never published a circular? Why?.

In 2017, JNU faced massive backlash from students when they protested against the university’s requirement for PhD students to transliterate their name, their centre and the topic of their dissertation or thesis into Hindi.

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