Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

India's many languages are not it's weakness, says Rahul, BJP hits back

ANI | Updated: Sep 16, 2019 23:58 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 16 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday listed all 22 languages in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution besides English and said that 'India's many languages were not its weakness.'
The former Congress president, in a tweet, mentioned the eighth schedule languages that prompted Union Minister Kiren Rijiju to hit back at the main opposition party asking what was the problem in accepting Hindi as a unifying language of India.
The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution consists of the Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri.
Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. The Sindhi language was added in 1967. Thereafter three more languages Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in 1992. Subsequently Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali were added in 2004.
Rijiju, the Youth and Sports Affairs Minister, tweeted a video of former Home Minister P Chidambaram in which the Congress leader urged the people to work with dedication to make 'Raj Bhasha' Hindi as the 'language of the entire country.'
"This video is only for Congress leaders. The Official Languages Act, 1963 and 'Hindi Diwas' started under Congress Govt. Now, what's the problem with Congress party? Let's respect all the languages of India and also accept Hindi as a unifying language of India," said Rijiju.
The controversy over Hindi began on Hindi Divas after Home Minister Amit Shah's call to culturally unify India with Hindi as its national language.
He said that while unity in diversity is India's defining trait, a common language is needed as a culturally unifying factor.
His remarks triggered a row when some opposition leaders with DMK chief M K Stalin taking the lead, trained guns on the BJP, saying Shah's appeal "poses a danger to the national unity". (ANI)