Acharya Shree Tulsi - A Legend Of Humanity: The Voice Against Hindi

Published: 23.12.2013

Annamalai University, located at Chidambaram is a well-known institution of higher studies. It was the center of the opposition to Hindi language in Southern India. This issue sparked violent clashes between the police and students of the university. In 1968, Acharya Shree went to Chidambaram to celebrate Maryada Mahotsava. Three days before his arrival, several university professors approached Acharya Shree to request him to deliver his sermon on campus. Acharya Shree accepted their invitation. They respectfully asked to refrain from delivering his sermon in Hindi because of the antagonism students felt against the language. They wanted to avert any chaos.

Acharya Shree replied, "I have no problem resolving this issue. Had I known Tamil, I would have been delighted to speak in this language. I cannot speak in English. So this is not an option. You plan your program at the university and I will send my disciples who know either English or Tamil, as you prefer."

The professors wanted only Acharya Shree to speak and did not agree with this suggestion.

One professor replied, "No, this is not what we want. You are our choice to deliver the talk. The students frighten us with their aggressive posture. However, if Tamil or English are not realistic options, you must speak in the language you know. We only know that your voice is the one that needs to be heard at this time."

Then the professors requested Acharya Shree to talk in Sanskrit.

Acharya Shree replied, "The students will not understand Sanskrit. It will be hard for anyone to translate also. Therefore the talk will be meaningless. It will not serve the purpose."

The professors disagreed with this. Finally, they decided that Acharya Shree would begin his lecture in Sanskrit and conclude it in Hindi.

Two days later, Acharya Shree arrived at Chidambaram to deliver his lecture. The vice-chancellor Mr. Adinarayan and Mr. Ramlingan, the head of the philosophy department welcomed Acharya Shree and his team. In the beginning Muni Nathmal (Acharya Mahapragya) delivered his speech in Sanskrit. As soon as Acharya Shree was going to start his sermon in Sanskrit, Mr. Ramlingan suggested Acharya Shree to speak only in Hindi.

Acharya Shree began his speech with few sentences of Tamil: "I would have been happy if I could have delivered my lecture in Tamil. But I do not know Tamil and so I will speak in the language I know. I will speak to you in Hindi." He said, "Tamil Teriyadu" which means 'I do not know Tamil.' Upon hearing this, the Tamilians were very pleased with his honest approach to the issue. The atmosphere lightened with a big round of applause and the audience listened to the lecture in Hindi with earnest enthusiasm.

Later, Acharya Shree Tulsi's discourse was translated into the Tamil language so that each Tamilian could understand it. In his speech, Acharya Tulsi traced the status of teachers, students and education system in the country. Everyone there was delighted to hear his sermon and the program turned out to be extremely successful and overcame the feelings of hostility towards the Hindi language.

Acharya Shree Tulsi - A Legend Of Humanity

First Edition:

Acharya Tulsi Janam Shatabdi Samaroh Samiti, Anurvat Bhawan, New Delhi HN4U Online Edition:

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahapragya
  3. Acharya Tulsi
  4. Chidambaram
  5. Mahapragya
  6. Maryada
  7. Maryada Mahotsava
  8. Muni
  9. Muni Nathmal
  10. Sanskrit
  11. Tamil
  12. Tulsi
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