New Delhi: Union home minister and BJP president Amit Shah’s assertion that Hindi can “unite the country” on Saturday received severe criticism from Opposition parties, who asked him to reconsider his appeal of Hindi becoming a “common language” of the country and “India’s identity globally.”
On Hindi Divas on Saturday, Mr Shah said Hindi, which is spoken the most, can unite the whole country. Though he also asked everyone to use their native languages as much as possible, he said efforts will be made to expand Hindi’s reach.
After Mr Shah’s appeal, pro-Kannada organisations staged protests in Karnataka and hashtags including #Stop Hindi-Imperialism, #StopHindi-Imposition started trending on the social media.
Prime Minister Naren-dra Modi also tweeted on “Hindi Divas”: “The simplicity, spontaneity and elegance of a language provide meaningfulness to expression. Hindi has incorporated all of these aspects beautifully.” Hindi Divas is observed to mark the decision of the Constituent Assembly to extend official language status to Hindi on this day in 1949.
MIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi reacted sharply, saying “Hindi is not every Indian’s “mother tongue”. Could you try appreciating the diversity & beauty of the many mother tongues that dot this land? Article 29 gives every Indian the right to a distinct language, script & culture... India’s much bigger than Hindi, Hindu, Hindutva.”
Tweeting in Kannada, former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said, “The lie that Hindi is a national language should stop. Let it be known to all that it is just like Kannada, one among the 22 official languages of India. You cannot promote a language by spreading lies and fake information.”
TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee said “We should respect all languages and cultures.”...