Union Home Minister Amit Shah (File Photo)
Union Home Minister Amit Shah (File Photo)

Amit Shah's call for Hindi as national language triggers row

ANI | Updated: Sep 14, 2019 19:18 IST

New Delhi (India) September 14 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah's call to culturally unify India with Hindi as it's national language on Saturday triggered a row when some opposition leaders trained guns on him demanding to reconsider his appeal as it "poses a danger to the national unity".
Speaking as chief guest at a function to grace Hindi Divas Samaroh, Shah said that while unity in diversity is India's defining trait, a common language is needed as a culturally unifying factor.
"While diversity in languages is the strength of our nation, a national language needed so that foreign languages and cultures do not overpower our own," he said proclaiming that next year, the Hindi Divas Samaroh would be a public program, as Hindi belongs to the people.
He said that the government would take Hindi Divas outside Delhi, and would celebrate a Hindi Saptah across the country. He called Hindi the heart and soul of the freedom struggle.
"Our power to express our culture will die in the absence of our national language," he said.
Leading the attack, DMK chief MK Stalin demanded him to take back the statement and said that such remark "poses a danger to the national unity."
"After BJP came to power for the second consecutive time, there has been continuous attacks on the Tamil language. DMK has been waging its protest against Hindi imposition. Amit Shah's remarks have come as a jolt to us. Such comments pose a danger to the unity of the country," he said.
The Congress party used the occasion to attack the BJP, saying the threat to the country was not with languages but with its ideology.
"Linguistic diversity has been India's biggest strength. Hindi, due to its openness and diversity, has adopted words from several languages and has enriched itself. India is already united. Your ideology poses a threat to it, not the languages," the Congress tweeted from its official Twitter handle.
However, the party's Karnataka unit hit out at Shah. "Amit Shah should brush up his history knowledge. India is a country of unity in diversity and has never banked on one language for its existence. BJP agenda is the implementation of sinister hidden agenda of RSS to divide our country by inciting people on grounds of religion and language," the state unit said in a tweet.
CPI (M) also slammed Shah and said his comments were attacked on core principles of diversity.
"The push for one language by Amit Shah is an attack on core principles of diversity of this country. We must respect all languages and one specific language should not be forced on people. Imposing Hindi on others is the RSS plan of One Nation, One Language which is shameful," the party said.
Shah, in his address, appealed to people to accept Hindi as the national language to get connected while asserting that the growth of Hindi will never be at the cost of any other language and added that Hindi is the language of coexistence.
He said there was a unanimous consensus for Hindi as a national language in the Constituent Assembly, in spite of the Assembly's sheer diversity.
"This decision was an important factor in ensuring the cultural unity of India. A country that forgets its language kills its cultural existence. Language connects us to the roots of the nation," he said.
Shah remembered former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the first Minister of External Affairs to give a speech in Hindi at the United Nations in 1977 and hailed this as a seminal step to break the inferiority complex of Indians with respect to Hindi.
He also hailed former Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj's contribution to the global growth of Hindi, who encouraged the UN to use more Hindi, including on Social Media. This eventually led to the Hindi Twitter account of the UN.
Calling upon institutions and individuals to be committed to the growth and use of Hindi, he stressed on the need to proliferate Hindi in technical fields like medicine, engineering and law.
He expressed confidence that Hindi would have reached ever greater heights by 2024 elections.
On this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari as the official language of the Union. (ANI)

iocl
iocl