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Annals of the Students’ struggle (1963-68) for retention of English

as the official Language of the Indian Union- Bangalore view

May 28, 1963- Public meeting of supporters of English as the Official Language of
the Indian Union at the Town Hall, Bangalore, with Karnataka,s Poet Laureate D.V.
Gundappa and Mr P. Kodanda Rao and large number of students from I.I.Sc and
Bangalore colleges participating. Resolutions passed included Two-Language
Formula i.e., English for the Union and Regional Languages for the States.
Committee for English formed.

November 15, 1964- Brochure “Reject Hindi: Retain English” distributed far and
wide.

Jan 4, 1965- Tamil Nadu Students’ Anti-Hindi Agitation Council Formed and passed
resolutions on the same lines.

Jan 12, 1965- Pongal/Sankaranthi appeal from IISc students to Madras State
Students & public to protest against Govt move to jettison English from 26-1-1965.
An English version was sent to all colleges in South India and West Bengal.

Jan 25, 1965- Day observed as Black Day all over South. Mammoth procession in
Madras. Police arrest student leaders. Part XVII burnt in Madurai and students
arrested. Central College students in Bangalore hold a peaceful procession.

Jan 26, 1965- NCC boycotted in Tamil Nadu. Police resort to teargas on student
procession. Sivalingam, Aranganathan commit self-immolation.

Jan 27, 1965- Rajendran dies in police firing in Chidambaram.

Jan 28, 1965- Universities and colleges closed indefinitely in Tamil Nadu.

Feb 1,1965- Mysore State Students’ Action Committee organised Protest Meeting
against imposition of Hindi at Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs.

Feb 2, 1965- Tamil Nadu Students’ Anti-Hindi Agitation Council meets Madras CM.
Talks fail. Students decide to continue fight.

Feb 9, 1965- Public meeting of the Supporters of English and opponents of Hindi at
the Town Hall demanding amendment to the Constitution.

Feb 10, 1965- Protest before Post Offices. Police and Army firing in Coimbatore,
Tiruppur, Tiruchencode, etc., High school student dies in police firing and a large
number injured.

Feb 11, 1965- Central Ministers CS and OVA conduct resignation drama.

Feb 12, 1965- 343 members of the IISc submit a comprehensive memorandum to Shri
Lal Bahadur Shastri, Prime Minister.
Feb 15, 1965- Tamil Nadu Students suspend agitation to avoid violence and cool
tempers.

Feb 18,1965- Tamil Nadu council meeting banned by Bhaktavatsalam Govt.

Feb 21, 1965- IISc students suspend relay hunger-strike to create an unfettered
atmosphere for the Chief Ministers’ meeting.

Feb 22, 1965- Hartal all over Madras State.

Feb 24, 1965- Sant Fateh Singh joins issue in the Punjab.

Feb 25, 1965- All-India Students’ Anti-Hindi Agitation Council Formed and passed
resolutions and intensified the agitation all over South India, Orissa and West Bengal.

March 1, 1965- Coimbatore CIT student consumes poison and becomes a martyr in
the cause causing closure of reopened colleges.

March 5, 1965- Tamil Nadu Council meets secretly in Thanjavur and resolves to
continue struggle.

March 7, 1965- Madras Govt withdraws cases against students.

March 8, 1965- Students resume strike.

March 12, 1965- Two die of police firing in Ooty.

March 14, 1965- Tamil Nadu Council meets in Madurai secretly and students return
to classes.

May 11, 1965- Tamil Nadu Students’ Anti-Hindi Agitation Council submits
memorandum to PM, Central Ministers headed by Shri Ravichandran.

July 15, 1965- A. Doraikkannu arrested in Coimbatore for the first time under DIR.
P.Srinivasan, Raja Muhammad, Navalavan, Kamarasu, Kalimuthu,
Ramasubramanian, Anthony Louis arrested.

July 17 and August 11, 1965- Token strike in protest against invocation of DIR.

August 27, 1965- Students released.

Jan 1, 1966- Appeal from All-India Council to students in the South to commemorate
the supreme sacrifice of the dead on 26-1-66.

Jan 25, 1966- Remembrance day observed all over. Students strike in Tamil Nadu.

Feb 20, 1966- First State wide conference of Tamil Nadu students Council.

March 7, 1966- Case filed under DIR against A. Doraikkannu in Coimbatore.


Arrested.
March 30-31, 1966- The All-India Council writes to PM on case against
Doraikkannu and misuse of DIR. PM’s office responds.

April 6, 1966- Case withdrawn.

June 18-19,1966- Thanjavur State Conference.

Aug 27,28,29, 1966- All-India Conference at Kolkata with over 400 delegates from
all non-Hindi states. Unanimous resolution to seek repeal of Part XVII and retain
English passed. Visit: http://www.scribd.com/doc/19720575/All-India-Students-
Language-Conference-1966

Oct 30, 1966- secret meeting of All-India Council at Madurai and resolved to
form Students’ Election Army to canvass against Congress in the ensuing
elections.

Jan 14-15,1967- Coimbatore State Conference. Students choose P.Srinivasan to


contest against Kamaraj in Virudhunagar as per decision taken at Bangalore by the
Council earlier.

Feb 23, 1967- Kamaraj defeated. Congress goes packing in Tamil Nadu. CN
Annadurai becomes CM.

May 29-30,1967- Kodaikanal Conference.

Dec 19, 1967- Protest against Official Languages (Amendment) Act 1967 which did
not adequately address students grievances with respect to the three-language formula.
Students strike peacefully.

Jan 5, 1968- 112 student representatives meet CM and on CM’s request suspend the
agitation indefinitely. Subsequently Tamil Nadu Assembly passed the resolution to
follow only a Two-Language Formula jettisoning Hindi.

Encl: all evidences copies.

Thus was ensured for posterity the indefinite continuance of English at the Union
as well as higher education until all the non-Hindi State Assemblies and both
Houses of Parliament by majority review the Act. Every non-Hindi State thereby
gets the veto against Hindi. One cannot even imagine the harm which could have
befallen the Nation without English and the possibility of the IT revolution that
turned the tide for India from the Hindu rate of growth to the hope of her
rightful place amongst the comity of nations.
Appeal from IISc students to Madras State Students &
public to protest against Govt move to jettison English
from 26-1-1965. An English version was sent to all colleges
in South India and West Bengal.
This was a sequel to conferences held at Madras
on 20/2/66 and at Thanjavur on18-19/6/66.
These conferences were funded by Bangalore
students especially from IISc.
.