An 85-year-old South Indian man MV Thangavel, has set himself on fire protesting plans by the central government’s to impose the Hindi language that is primarily spoken in the northern parts of the country, as the national language, the police said in a statement on Monday.
The incident, according to the police, “happened on Saturday in front of the Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK party office of which he was a member, raising slogans against Hindi imposition. Then, he set himself on fire after dousing himself with petrol.”
“Although the party workers and the public tried to save the elderly man, he died of self-immolation at the scene,” the statement said.
A local party leader who confirmed the incident, said before setting himself of fire, Thangavel had demonstrated with a placard that said:
“Modi government stop imposing Hindi. Why do we need to choose Hindi over our literature-rich Tamil? It will affect future of our youth.”
The usage of Indian languages was encouraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who described the use of English as having a “slave mindset” but opponents have accused his administration of trying to impose Hindi over the southern Indian languages, causing rising anger in south.
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