A draft bill promoting Marathi language within Maharashtra proposes a penalty of upto Rs 10,000 and even cancellation of the no-objection certificates (NOC) to schools for failing to introduce the language within their institution. The bill proposes making Marathi compulsory in all educational institutions up to class XII. The draft bill has been prepared by ‘Marathichya Bhalyasathi’, a platform of 24 organisations working towards the development of the language.
The organisation has proposed imposing a fine of Rs 5000 followed by another one of Rs 10,000 for the second violation of failing to introduce the language by all educational institutions including aided and non-aided ones. For a third violation, it has proposed the cancellation of the school’s no-objection certificate.
The demand for promoting Marathi language within the state and at a national level has been gaining traction over the past few years with many Marathi language intellectuals also supporting its cause. On 24 June more than 20 literary and teacher’s organisations came together to protest the state government’s apathy towards promoting Marathi language. The group comprising prominent Marathi writers and academicians rued the fact that many Marathi language schools within the state were shutting down because of the government’s failure to promote the language.
Among the key demands by the state’s Marathi intelligentsia is the construction of a ‘Marathi Bhasha Bhavan’ in Mumbai and ensuring Marathi language is given the status of a classical language by the central government.
‘Marathichya Bhalyasathi’ has asked the public and organisations to submit suggestions for possible amendments to the final bill by 15 August. The organisation wants to ensure the state government promulgates an ordinance and makes the bill into a law before the model code of conduct comes into force. The state’s assembly polls are slated for the end of September this year.
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