THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s ‘One nation, One language’ call created a furore, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, who had initially supported the idea, softened his stand.
“To me, all languages spoken in India are national languages because they’re spoken by Indian nationals. Languages enable us to understand and appreciate one another. Each language is a medium to bridge distances. All languages lead to the same destination --- understanding,” the Governor tweeted on Sunday.
Khan’s tweet on Saturday, “Let us strengthen our unity through Hindi our national language,” had evoked criticism, especially on social media.
Meanwhile, political parties in the state, except the BJP, were united in opposing Shah’s statement, saying Shah floated the idea to divert attention from the prevalent grim economic situation of the country.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described Shah’s statement as a “war cry” on the people of non-Hindi-speaking states.
“The claim that Hindi unifies our country is absurd. It’s not the language of a majority of Indians and the move to impose this language upon them is in a way leading to enslaving them. The union minister’s statement is a war cry on the people of non-Hindi-speaking states,” the CM said in a social media post.
Echoing his words, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said imposing Hindi on people is a direct move to bring in fascism through the back door.
“At first they’re trying for one nation,one language; next will be one nation, one religion followed by one nation, one party. This is fascism, which has to be opposed at any cost by a pluralistic country like India which believes ‘Unity in Diversity’ as its strength,” said Mullappally.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the BJP was trying to divide the country on a linguistic basis.
“The sangh parivar agenda of division and separation is now coming out in the open. Court orders say that all languages have equal importance and that Hindi doesn’t have any national language status. The secret agenda is being implemented by surpassing them,” he said.
Congress party’s senior leader K Muraleedharan, MP, said the BJP was trying to impose same language on the people of the country.
“The Congress party is for three languages (English, Hindi and respective regional language) and I strongly stand by that. Shah is speaking about a dream which Mahatma Gandhi had never spoken of,” he said.