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Facing criticism from various sections, the Narendra Modi-led government today said the use of Hindi on social media is only for states speaking the language and is not being imposed on non-Hindi-speaking states.
"Use of Hindi on Government of Indiaís social media platforms is only for Hindi-speaking states.... Hindi is not being imposed on non-Hindi-speaking states," an official spokesperson said.
"Existing policy on Hindi reiterated for official social media platforms," the spokesperson said.
The clarification came after two Home Ministry circulars seeking to promote official language Hindi in the social media sparked a controversy with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, two of BJP's allies and DMK opposing it strongly.
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat also opposed any move to impose Hindi while in Odisha assembly a member's attempt to put a question in Hindi was disallowed by the Chair.
The Home Ministry's official language department had issued a circular on May 27 asking all Ministries and Departments, public sector undertakings and banks to give prominence to Hindi on official accounts in social media.
"...all officers and employees who operate official accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Google, Youtube should use Hindi and English languages. Prominence should be given to Hindi," Director, official language, Avadesh Kumar Mishra wrote in the directive.
Another circular had announced prize money of Rs 2,000 to two employees who do their official work mostly in Hindi - Rs 1,200 and Rs 600 will be given to the second and third position holders respectively.