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Thursday 9 April 2020

Mamata: Respect all languages, none at cost of mother tongue

Mamata said so after Union Minister Amit Shah pitched Hindi as a common language for India, adding that Hindi can unite the whole country

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said people should respect all languages and cultures equally but not at the cost of their mother tongues. Her statement came after Union Home minister Amit Shah pitched for a common language for the country and said it is Hindi which is spoken the most and can unite the whole country.

Greeting people on ‘Hindi Divas’, CM Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “My best wishes to all on #HindiDiwas. We should respect all languages and cultures equally. We may learn many languages but we should never forget our mother-language.” Mamata also posted the greetings in another tweet in Hindi.

In a series of tweets in Hindi, Home Minister Shah said, “India has many languages and every language has its importance. But it is absolutely necessary that the entire country should have one language that becomes India’s identity internationally”.

Shah said that today, if any language which can unite the country, it is Hindi that is spoken the most. “I want to appeal to people to promote their native languages but also use Hindi to make the dream of Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) and Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel of one language come true,” he tweeted.

Later, speaking at a ‘Hindi Divas’ function in New Delhi, Shah said Hindi should reach every individual and every home in the country.

“When I first took charge of the Home Ministry, in the first 10 days, not a single file has come to me with Hindi noting. Now, 60 per cent files which come to me have Hindi notings,” Shah said. He said a language can survive only if the new generation feels proud in speaking in the language. “It is our strength that we have many languages and dialects. We have to see that a foreign language does not overtake a native language,” he said.

The home minister also said during the freedom struggle, the Congress conventions used to take place in different parts of the country and such initiatives empowered Hindi in those areas. Shah said if a Hindi-medium student is asked to speak for 40 minutes in Hindi, he won’t be able to do so. “There is so much influence of English on us that we cannot talk in Hindi without its help,” he said.

Hindi Divas is observed to mark the decision of the Constituent Assembly to extend official language status to Hindi on this day in 1949. It was first observed in 1953.

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