New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected petitions challenging a legislation passed by the Tamil Nadu government making Tamil a compulsory subject from Standards I to X in all schools in the State from academic year 2006-2007. A Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice J.M. Panchal dismissed, at the admission stage, special leave petitions filed by the Kanyakumari District Malayala Samajam and the Yogakshema Sabha, Kanyakumari, against a Madras High Court judgment upholding the constitutional validity of the law. Justice Pasayat cited an earlier apex court judgment, which had said that resistance to learn local language would not be in the interest of the country’s unity. Learning the local language would be in the interest of the child. The petitioners challenged Tamil Nadu Tamil Learning Act 2006 gazetted on June 12, 2006. While making compulsory Tamil as the first language and English, the second language, it made study of any other language by students who had neither Tamil nor English as their mother tongue optional. Under the law, Tamil was made compulsory for students of Standard I from academic year 2006-07. They must learn Tamil as compulsory language in the subsequent years and continue to do so till Standard X. Unfettered rights Senior counsel C.S. Rajan and U.R. Lalit, appearing for the petitioners, contended that the law curtailed the unfettered rights of minority institutions to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice guaranteed under Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution. They argued that introduction of a foreign language to children of tender age was not desirable and cited the examples of Maharashtra and Karnataka, where learning of Marathi and Kannada had been made compulsory from fifth standard onwards. Justice Pasayat intervened and asked counsel, “If children can learn Marathi or Kannada from Class V, what is the difficulty in children learning Tamil from class I?” The petitioners submitted that by making the learning of Tamil compulsory, people whose mother tongue was a language other than Tamil could give education to their children in that language only as an optional subject. This would be violative of the constitutional provisions. The Bench dismissed the SLPs and declined to interfere with the High Court judgment dated August 23, 2007. http://www.tn.gov.in/acts-rules/law/ACT_13_136_12JUN06.pdf - this is the link of the ACt that was challenged.. (courtesy hindu) I feel, making it compulsary may not gel with everybody. there are already two school of thoughts IF it is made compulsory your child is forced to learn one more language. and as per studies, it is said children b y the age of 8 can grasp more languages..so why not from I. Others feel that nothing should be forced. there should be freedom to choose. So what do you think..