Acceding to the demand by Tamil parties led by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the government on Tuesday decided to cancel the examination for appointment of postmen held on July 14 to hold it in all local languages including Tamil.
"The examination will now be held in all local languages, as per the notification of 10-5-2019 of the department concerned (with) examination, including (in) Tamil," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Rajya Sabha.
Tamil parties had been protesting that questions in the postal department's examination for appointments of postmen and assistants in rural areas held on Sunday were only in Hindi and English, and not Tamil.
The AIADMK were joined in by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist members in the protests.
Proceedings of the Upper House were adjourned thrice during the pre-lunch period and again for 30 minutes after the Upper House re-assembled at 2 PM on the issue.
When the proceedings resumed, Prasad, who is the Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and IT said he has examined the matter and it has been decided to cancel the examination held on July 14.
"Certain issues were raised in this House by members, including my friends from Tamil Nadu. I have examined the matter today itself and it has been decided to cancel the examination held on 14-7-2019," Prasad said.
The minister said he would like to assure the House and the entire nation that the government led by Narendra Modi has respect for all regional languages, including Tamil.
"I have myself seen the depth of language of Tamil when I was (election) in-charge there, and all other languages. Therefore this government's commitment to respecting all languages is full and total," Prasad said.
His assurance satisfied the agitating members. V Maitreyan of the AIADMK expressed gratitude to Prasad and said 'due to the development in the last couple of days unfortunately we were forced to raise the issue in the morning today in our own way. I am really thankful on behalf of my party members'.
A Navaneethakrishnan of AIADMK said: "I really thank our minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Thank you Thank You Thank You".
T K Rangarajan (CPI-M) suggested that all departments should hold examinations in regional languages.
Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma (Congress) said the larger issue is to preempt and ensure that there is no recurrence.
"Therefore, will the government give a categorical assurance to this House, and through the House to the people of the country, that for all future recruitment, examinations, interviews, in all Central Government Departments, the PSUs, paramilitary forces, the three-language formula, the assurance for which was given by India's first Prime Minister (Jawaharlal Nehru) shall be adhered to".