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Maharashtra government to make Marathi compulsory in all schools

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is set to bring in a legislation for making Marathi compulsory in all schools, irrespective of their Boards, in the state. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked officials to table a proposal making Marathi a mandatory language in non-state Boards such as the CBSE and the ICSE. According to the officials, they had issued a circular making Marathi a compulsory language, but many schools did not adhere to this order. “But there is no rule or act making the Marathi language a compulsory subject. It could be one of the reasons why the schools under central boards did not following our guidelines,” said an official.

Vishwajeet Kadam, MoS for Marathi language, confirmed that the government is committed to making Marathi compulsory in all boards. “If you are staying in Maharashtra, then you should speak and write Marathi. We will ensure that all schools must follow the state directives. If they fail to do so, then strict action will be taken against such schools,” Kadam said.

An official confirmed that the government wants to bring a law in this regard. “On the lines of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and West Bengal, the Maharashtra government also wants to pass the law for making Marathi mandatory in primary schools,” said an official, who is working on this proposal.

Sources said the move will help the Shiv Sena to formulate and consolidate its Marathi vote bank in the civic elections scheduled in 2022. “The BMC election is prestigious for the Sena. The BJP is trying to forge an alliance with the MNS that may damage the Sena’s Marathi votes. Therefore, this pro-Marathi stand is being taken to deny the space and agenda that can be taken by the Raj Thackeray-led MNS,” said a Shiv Sena leader.