Never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages: Amit Shah clarifies after backlash

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New Delhi | Updated: Sep 18, 2019 7:57 PM

Amid huge backlash over his comments on Hindi as "unifying language" of the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that he never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages, adding if some people want to do politics, it's their choice.

Shah clarified that he had only requested for learning Hindi as the second language after one’s mother tongue (File)

Amid huge backlash over his comments on Hindi as “unifying language” of the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that he never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages, adding if some people want to do politics, it’s their choice.

Amit Shah, who invited sharp criticism from regional parties mainly from south India for his comments advocating Hindi as unifying language of India, argued he himself came from a non-Hindi speaking state – Gujarat. He clarified that he had only requested for learning Hindi as the second language after one’s mother tongue.

“I never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages and had only requested for learning Hindi as the second language after one’s mother tongue. I myself come from a non-Hindi state of Gujarat. If some people want to do politics, it’s their choice,” news agency ANI quoted Shah, as saying.

After Shah clarified on the matter, DMK President MK Stalin took back the statewide protest against “imposition of Hindi”. “Our statewide protest against imposition of Hindi has been postponed after Union Minister Amit Shah has given his clarification on the matter. DMK we will continue to oppose Hindi imposition, he said.

Earlier in the day, superstar Rajinikanth said “no southern state would accept” any such move. “A common language not just for India but any country is good for its unity and progress. Unfortunately, (one cannot) bring a common language in our country. So you cannot impose any language,” Rajinikanth told reporters in Tamil at the Chennai airport.

“Especially, if you impose Hindi, not just Tamil Nadu, no southern state will accept that. Many states in northern parts will also not accept that,” he added.

Shah’s statement drawn sharp response from BJP’s BS Yediyurappa, the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Yediyurappa tweeted that his government would not compromise on the importance of Kannada in the state. “As far as Karnataka is concerned, Kannada is the principal language. We will never compromise its importance,” he had posted.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said the claim that “Hindi unifies our country is absurd”.

What Amit Shah said earlier

On the occasion of Hindi Diwas on Saturday, Shah pitched for a common language for the country and said as Hindi is spoken the most, it can unite the whole country.

“India is a country of different languages and every language has its own importance but it is very important to have a language of the whole country which should become the identity of India in the world. Today, if one language can do the work of tying the country to the door of unity, then it is the most spoken Hindi language,” Amit Shah had tweeted.

He had also appealed to the citizens to increase the use of their mother tongue along with the use of Hindi, equating it to realising the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel of one language of the country.

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