BENGALURU: Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took strong exception to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks that people from different states should speak in Hindi with each other, and it should be accepted as an alternative to English.
“Hindi is not our official language and we will never let it be. Imposing Hindi is a sign of coercive federalism rather than cooperative federalism,” the Opposition Leader in the Assembly stated on a social media platform.
Siddaramaiah said as a Kannadiga, he takes strong offence to the Home Minister’s comment on official language and medium of communication. “Linguistic diversity is the essence of our country and we will respect each other’s sentiments. Pluralism is what has held our country together and any attempt by the BJP to undo this will be met with strong opposition and retaliation,” he said.
The former CM said it is time for the BJP to understand that more linguistic and cultural autonomy should be given to states. “All-India exams have to be held in regional languages, NEP has to be reworked to avoid Hindi imposition and all major state languages should be official languages,” he said. History clearly suggests that any attempt to impose Hindi in other states has not gone well, he said.
Taking to twitter, State Congress president DK Shivakumar said, “All Kannadigas are proud of our mother tongue but we do need a second language to be part of a globalised world. English is the second language as without English, so many Kannadigas won’t be working across the world, and Bengaluru wouldn’t be India’s IT capital.”
The ruling BJP hit back at the former CM by stating that at no point did the Home Minister mention that Hindi should replace the native language. He has clearly stated that Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English and that Hindi should be made more flexible by accepting words from native languages, the BJP stated. “We appeal to Siddaramaiah not to lecture needlessly to others. He should concentrate more on staying relevant in the Congress and find a safe seat to contest in the 2023 Assembly elections,” the party said.
Parameshwara condemns remarks
Bengaluru: Congress leader and former deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara on Friday criticised Home Minister Amit Shah for suggesting that people from different states should use Hindi when interacting with each other and not English.
Taking on Shah, Parameshwara tweeted: “I strongly condemn HM @AmitShah’s recent statement that people from other states should speak in Hindi and not English. He must stop repeatedly imposing Hindi on us and instead must embrace the diversity of India. Language should be a choice and not imposed in a federal structure (sic)”.
The Congress leader had grabbed the headlines when he shared the dais with Shah during the 115th birth anniversary of Sri Shivakumara Swamiji at Siddaganga Mutt on April 1 while skipping Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s brainstorming session held simultaneously in Bengaluru. During the event, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had introduced Parameshwara to Shah.