In a bid to endorse and propagate Marathi language, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has planned to form a special committee that would ensure the two-lakh immigrant population in the city learns Marathi.
Samartha Marathi Sanstha, which works for the conservation of Marathi language, had proposed the formation of ‘Marathi Bhasha Sanvardhan’ in November last year. The PMC’s Standing Committee had approved the proposal on December 17.
However the plan may now receive major setback, as Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is against any such idea. The party says introducing the language to migrants would prove as a bane to the locals because the former would snatch away jobs —, which require ability to read and write Marathi — from the Marathi manoos.
‘Waste of money’
“There is no need to waste tax payer’s money on teaching Marathi to immigrants, who will later dominate and snatch jobs meant for the sons of the soil. How they learn Marathi is their problem.
Why is the civic body so bothered about them?” said Bala Shedge, city president of the MNS. He added that his party has, in writing, expressed its disagreement to PMC Commissioner Mahesh Pathak.
“Rather than spending money on this, the civic body should look after the Marathi medium schools it runs. The quality of education is falling drastically in these schools,” said Ajay Shinde, city vice-president of the MNS.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Anil Gore, chairperson of Samarth Marathi Sanstha, said, “The committee hasn’t been formed as yet, since we are awaiting final approval of PMC’s General Body.” Gore added that there are around 2 lakh people in the city who do not understand Marathi.
“If we really want to conserve the language, we’ll have to introduce the language to them. As an organisation, we are firm on our stand.”