Home Minister Amit Shah’s push for Hindi as a common language to unify the country has drawn sharp criticism from politicians from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana, who feel the move will break the country’s diversity. Tamil Nadu, known for its agitations against Hindi imposition for many decades, reacted sharply with most political parties condemning the idea.
“During 1965, many Tamils had ended their life protesting Hindi imposition by the then Congress regime. TN will have only Tamil and English,” said TN School Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan. Asking Shah to withdraw his statement, DMK president M K Stalin said, “Is it India or Hindi-a? India stands for unity in diversity.”
Kerala’s ruling party CPI(M) smelt a conspiracy. “India is characterised by its very diversity and any attempt to destroy it will have an adverse impact on the nation’s cultural fabric,” said Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the party’s state secretary.
Slamming Shah, Hyderabad MP and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi pointed out that Article 29 of the Constitution gives citizens the right to a distinct language.In Karnataka, both Congress and JD(S) derided the move. Ex-CM Siddaramaiah said, “Stop this false propaganda that Hindi is the national language.
‘RSS agenda revealed through Shah’s words’
“Currently, the BJP has been able to exert its influence only in Hindi-speaking regions. That is why it has targeted regional languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bengali. The RSS agenda of imposing one language and one culture by decimating India’s rich and diverse culture is now being revealed through Amit Shah’s words,” said Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
Terming Shah’s suggestion a ‘dangerous proposition’, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said it could only lead to dividing the country on linguistic lines. “India being a multi-linguistic country, any move to impose Hindi on the entire nation will only lead to dividing people on linguistic lines. And that is definitely a dangerous proposition. Each language has its own unique identity and prominence, as per our Constitution.”
Questioning the move, former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said, “Stop this false propaganda that Hindi is the national language. Let it be known that like Kannada, it is one of the 22 official languages. A language cannot be promoted with lies and misinformation. Language grows with mutual love and give-and-take. Languages are windows to knowledge. They should be promoted with love, not by imposing them.”
Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy too attacked the Centre for celebrating Hindi Diwas.