Panaji (Goa) [India], April 8 (ANI): After Union Home Minister Amit Shah emphasized the need to accept Hindi as an alternative to English, Siddesh Bhagat, National Vice President of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Youth Wing and Goa State Coordinator raised concerns over tourism getting affected in the coastal state.
Noting that people in the Southern part of the country use English more than Hindi in official works, the AAP leader said that tourism will be adversely affected as people from across the country and the world visit Goa.
"We do accept that Hindi is our language and it binds the country together. But to pressurise the use of only Hindi for official works curtails our freedom of expression and speech," he said.
Bhagat also asked the Union Home Minister to study why Hindi was not declared as a national language.
"We are competing with a global market. We cannot communicate with them in Hindi. To cope up with today's speed of development and other technologies, we have to keep English, Hindi and concentrate on other local languages also," the youth leader said.
Hitting out at the Union Ministers, Bhagat claimed that their children are studying in English-medium schools rather than Hindi-medium schools.
"They have sent their kids for studies in the US or the UK in English-medium schools," he said.
Terming Shah's statement as a "political stunt" ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Bhagat called for discussing inflation and fuel price hike instead.
Congress general secretary Janardhan Bhandari also demanded that the Centre discuss inflation, unemployment and other matters of national importance than language.
"Stop the discussion on language and talk for the welfare of the country. Why is nobody talking about the soaring prices of fuel, kerosene, and gas cylinders? Nobody from the Prime Minister's office is talking about it. Not even Union Home Minister Amit Shah talked about it. They are only misleading people," Bhandari alleged.
Amit Shah on Thursday emphasized on the need to accept Hindi as an alternative to English and not to local languages. The Home Minister's remarks came when he was presiding over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee here on the Parliament premises.
"Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English and not to local languages," Shah said, adding, "unless we make Hindi flexible by accepting words from other local languages, it will not be propagated".
He said that now the time has come to make the official language an important part of the unity of the country. Meanwhile, Shah said when citizens of states communicate with each other, it should be an Indian language whether it is regional or state-specific. (ANI)