Indian man dies after setting self on fire in language protest

An 85-year-old worker allegedly poured kerosene on his body and then set himself on fire, in protest against the imposition of Hindi.


DMK worker sets himself on fire over ‘Hindi’ imposition

November 28, 2022

BENGALURU – An 85-year-old DMK member Thangavel set himself on fire on Sunday near the party office at Thazhaiyur near Mettur in Salem district of Tamil Nadu in protest against the move to introduce Hindi as the medium of instruction in the schools and colleges across the state.

According to police, Thangavel, a former DMK farmers’ wing functionary, reached the party office and raised slogans against the ‘imposition of Hindi’ and allegedly poured kerosene on his body and then set himself on fire. The party workers tried to save him. But Thangavel died on the spot.

Police recovered a paper addressing the Union Government which reads “there is no need for imposing Hindi when Tamil language is here.”

Expressing grief over the incident, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said that he was saddened to hear about the tragic demise of Thangavel.

Before that, Thangavel had reportedly written a letter to the party secretary of the local unit, suggesting that the imposition of Hindi would greatly affect the lives of students in the state and hamper them.

Chief Minister Stalin condoled the death. He said that he is pained by the death of a party functionary. Stalin said the party would continue to resist the imposition of Hindi in a democratic way. Already the party has lost several lives over the issue. This should not continue, he maintained.

Stalin recalled the anti-Hindi agitations led by the DMK from the late 1930s, in the sixties and later at regular intervals, especially in 1986 and 2014.

The DMK and its allies have condemned the Centre’s alleged move to impose Hindi on the people of the state after the Committee of Parliament on Official Language headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah recommended that the medium of instruction should mandatorily be Hindi in all technical or non-technical educational institutions including the central universities.

DMK youth wing secretary and CM MK Stalin’s Udayanidhi Stalin had recently warned that the party would stage a protest against the Centre for its move to enforce Hindi in the state.

While leading a protest against the Centre over this issue, the DMK MLA said the only response from Tamil Nadu to the Centre that sought to impose Hindi is “Get lost. We do not know Hindi (Hindi Theriyathu Podaa).”

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