The Uddhav Thackeray led Maha Vikas Aaghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra tabled the bill making Marathi language mandatory in all the schools from standard 1 to 10 in the state. The bill was also passed unanimously by a majority, mandating Marathi language in all the schools in the state. This will be applicable to class 2 and class 6 from the upcoming academic year 2020-2021. This means that the students currently studying in 2 to 10 standards will not be affected by this bill.
While tabling the bill in the lower house, the state education minister, Varsha Gaikwad, said that the decision to table the bill a day prior to ‘Marathi Bhasha Divas’ will mandate all the schools functioning in the state to include Marathi language in their syllabus compulsorily. The state is celebrating Marathi Bhasha Divas on Thursday, February 27.
आज मराठी भाषा दिनाच्या पूर्वसंध्येला विधान परिषदेमध्ये महाराष्ट्र राज्यातील सर्व शाळांमध्ये पहिली ते दहावी इयत्तेपर्यंत मराठी भाषा विषय अनिवार्य करणारे विधेयक एकमताने मंजूर झाले आहे . राज्यातील सर्व बोर्डातील शाळांना , केंद्र शासन संलग्न शाळांना हा कायदा लागू असणार आहे
— Varsha Gaikwad (@VarshaEGaikwad) February 26, 2020
As a current practice, many schools in Maharashtra keep Marathi language as optional while some schools have omitted the subject completely. The education minister, Varsha Gaikwad, stated that those who don’t follow this newly enacted law shall be penalised with a fine upto Rs. 1 lakh and other.
The newly enacted law will be applicable to all the schools including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). The chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, was present in the state legislative council while tabling the bill.
Shiv Sena supremo said that he is fortunate enough to table the Marathi centric bill for the state under his reign. He stated, while delivering his speech, that though his children have studied in the English medium schools but they know to speak Marathi. “It was imperative for my generation to preserve this language for the future generation. Marathi has a glorious history, tradition, and culture and the time has come to embrace it,” stated CM Uddhav Thackeray in the lower house.
मुख्यमंत्री उद्धव बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांनी आज विधान परिषदेत महाराष्ट्रातील सर्व शाळांमध्ये मराठी भाषा विषय अनिवार्य करण्याच्या विधेयकावर आपले मनोगत व्यक्त केले. (भाग-१) pic.twitter.com/MsYeGcUiB3
— Office of Uddhav Thackeray (@OfficeofUT) February 26, 2020
Thackeray further stated that his “sons studied in the English medium school but can speak excellent Marathi”. Notably, similar bill has been passed in the southern part of the country like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.