Published: 18th September 2019
Never asked to impose Hindi: Amit Shah urges Indians to learn Hindi as a common second language
Last week, Shah had pitched for Hindi as a common language for the country, reigniting the debate on the issue even as regional leaders in the southern part of the country
Amid a raging debate over his appeal for Hindi as the common language across the country during his Hindi Diwas speech, Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said he never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages but proposed that it should be learned as a common 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, but my speech should be reheard to clear the confusion," ANI quoted him as saying.
"It is a national responsibility that Hindi expands and prospers. Every language has its own importance. But it is absolutely essential that the entire country has one language that becomes the identity of the nation in the world. If there is any language that can tie the whole country in one thread, it is the most spoken language of Hindi," Amit Shah had said on the occasion of Hindi Diwas.
Last week, Shah had pitched for Hindi as a common language for the country, reigniting the debate on the issue even as regional leaders in the southern part of the country said they would oppose any attempt to "impose" the language.
Almost all political parties in the southern states had vehemently opposed Shah’s suggestion to learn Hindi as a unifying language, including the BJP’s tallest leader in the south and Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who said his government would never compromise with the importance of Kannada.
On Tuesday, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan protested against Hindi imposition, saying the battle for the Tamil language would be "exponentially bigger" than the Jallikattu protest. "Unity in diversity is the promise we made when we made India a republic. Now no Shah, Sultan or Samrat should go back on their promise," Haasan said in a video shared on Twitter.