New Delhi: Amid the controversy over making Hindi the national language of India, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said today that he had never spoken of imposing Hindi on regional languages.
News agency ANI quoted Amit Shah as saying, “I never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages&had only requested for learning Hindi as the second language after one’s mother tongue. I myself come from a non-Hindi state of Gujarat. If some people want to do politics, it’s their choice.”
There was a ruckus over the speech of BJP president Amit Shah on the Hindi Day. That day, Home Minister Amit Shah had appealed to connect the whole country through Hindi as a common language. Shah had said that different languages and dialects were the strength of the country, but the country needed one common language, too, for communication with the world. Home Minister Amit Shah had appealed to make Hindi that common language in the nation. His tweet that day:
भारत विभिन्न भाषाओं का देश है और हर भाषा का अपना महत्व है परन्तु पूरे देश की एक भाषा होना अत्यंत आवश्यक है जो विश्व में भारत की पहचान बने। आज देश को एकता की डोर में बाँधने का काम अगर कोई एक भाषा कर सकती है तो वो सर्वाधिक बोले जाने वाली हिंदी भाषा ही है। pic.twitter.com/hrk1ktpDCn
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 14, 2019
In opposition to this, even some BJP leaders raised their voices. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who is arguably also the most powerful leader of the BJP in southern India, indirectly said ‘no’ to party chief Amit Shah’s appeal to use ‘Hindi as a common language across the country’.
Yediyurappa tweeted, “All official languages are the same in our country. However, as far as Karnataka is concerned, Kannada is the predominant language here. We will never compromise on its importance. We are committed to promoting the Kannada language and the culture of our state.”
All official languages in our country are equal. However, as far as Karnataka is concerned, #Kannada is the principal language. We will never compromise its importance and are committed to promote Kannada and our state's culture.
— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) September 16, 2019
Meanwhile, Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi issued a statement on this. Bedi appealed to citizens in southern India to learn the Hindi language and join the Indian government. Bedi, who was India’s first woman IPS officer, further said that languages created an emotional relationship between people. She said, “I have to use a translator all the time here”. She added that non-Hindi speakers who learned “our language” would not “feel the diminishing of their cultural value or heritage”.
Some of the other leaders who had objected to the speech of Shah were DMK chief MK Stalin and MIM head Asaduddin Owaisi. Even some journalists who practise their profession in the Hindi language were not too comfortable with Shah’s speech. As reported by Sirf News on the Hindi Day (second link from the top in this report), a few leftist journalists, pouncing on the opportunity to cash in on the controversy, went even to the extent of quoting their ideological adversaries to score some brownie points against the BJP.