This comes just days after Amit Shah said that there should be a language of the country so that foreign languages do not dominate our country, so our Constitution makers unanimously accepted Hindi as the official language.
Amid a raging debate over the Centre’s alleged attempts to impose Hindi on all states following Home minister Amit Shah’s remarks, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today took the opportunity to send a stinging message to the ruling party through a tweet on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 69th birthday. In a subtle message to Prime Minister Modi, Shashi Tharoor said: “#HappyBirthdayPMModi from multi-lingual India! A reminder of all the diversity and pluralism we hope you will embrace today and during the year ahead!”
#HappyBirthdayPMModi from multi-lingual India! A reminder of all the diversity & pluralism we hope you will embrace today & during the year ahead! ജന്മദിനാശംസകൾ! @satishacharya pic.twitter.com/Ov7bTLUhsS
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 17, 2019
Tharoor shared a cartoon with birthday greetings written in 14 different regional and national languages including Hindi and English. This comes just days after Amit Shah, while addressing an event to celebrate Hindi Diwas, said that many languages and dialects of India are its greatest strength. “But there should be a language of the country so that foreign languages do not dominate our country, so our Constitution makers unanimously accepted Hindi as the official language.”
Shah’s remarks, however, got construed as the government pushing for Hindi as a common language for all. Several opposition leaders including Congress attacked Shah for his comment and said that the Centre was trying to thrust Hindi on non-Hindi speaking people which was not acceptable. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that the country’s many languages are not its weakness.
DMK chief MK Stalin and Kamal Haasan threatened to launch massive protests if the central government tried to impose Hindi on Tamil people. TMC chief Mamata Banerjee too batted for mother-language and said: “We should respect all languages and cultures equally. We may learn many languages but we should never forget our mother-language.”
The opposition leaders’ reactions to Shah was somewhat off the mark as the minister never talked about making Hindi mandatory. At the same event, he had said that the breadth and richness of all the languages of the country are much greater than any other language in the world. “I call upon the countrymen to talk to their children, to their colleagues in their own language, because if we leave our languages then how will they be kept alive for a long time,” the home minister had stated.