Hindi Diwas 2019: Home Minister Amit Shah's tweet has triggered a debate on making Hindi as a national language.
Home Minister Amit Shah pitched for Hindi as ‘One Language’ of the country on the occasion of Hindi Diwas on Saturday. Shah stressed on the ability of Hindi as a widely spoken language in uniting the country and said that it is necessary to have one language which could represent India in the world.
Although India has two official languages – Hindi and English – and 22 scheduled languages, the country does not have any national language. While a national language is intended to have a patriotic and nationalistic identity, official languages and scheduled languages, on the other hand, are used to cater to the purpose of communication at the official level. Shah’s tweet has triggered a debate on making Hindi as a national language.
“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,” Shah wrote on Twitter.
भारत विभिन्न भाषाओं का देश है और हर भाषा का अपना महत्व है परन्तु पूरे देश की एक भाषा होना अत्यंत आवश्यक है जो विश्व में भारत की पहचान बने। आज देश को एकता की डोर में बाँधने का काम अगर कोई एक भाषा कर सकती है तो वो सर्वाधिक बोले जाने वाली हिंदी भाषा ही है। pic.twitter.com/hrk1ktpDCn
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 14, 2019
Amit Shah 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.
“Today, on the occasion of Hindi Day, I appeal to all the citizens of the country that we should increase the use of our mother tongue and also use the Hindi language as one language to realise the dreams of Bapu and iron man Sardar Patel. Happy Hindi Day,” he said in another tweet.
Shah’s statement triggered a row with the leaders from south India protesting against “imposition of Hindi”. AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi asserted that Hindi is not the mother tongue of every Indian and asked him to appreciate the country’s diversity. He also slammed Shah for imposing one language on the country.
“Hindi isn’t every Indian’s “mother tongue”. Could you try appreciating the diversity & beauty of the many mother tongues that dot this land? Article 29 gives every Indian the right to a distinct language, script & culture. India’s much bigger than Hindi, Hindu, Hindutva,” Owaisi tweeted.
Demanding retraction of his statement, DMK president MK Stalin said Shah’s remarks will affect the unity of the country. “We have been continuously waging protest against imposition of Hindi. Today’s remarks made by Amit Shah gave us a jolt, it will affect the unity of the country. We demand that he takes his statement back,” news agency ANI quoted Stalin as saying.
He said that the DMK will hold an executive party meeting to discuss the issue further.
Hindi Diwas, which is observed every year on September 14, marks the significance of the day when India’s Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi as the official language of India. Hindi is the largest spoken language and is spoken by around 40 per cent population across the country.