"We are not imposing Hindi but promoting Hindi like any other language," stated Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju.
Rijiju is the minister in charge of the Department of Official Language.
His comments came in the backdrop allegations levelled by certain quarters that the Modi government is trying to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states.
DMK leader M K Stalin has accused the Centre of trying to relegate people who don't speak Hindi, to second-class citizens and of pushing the country into becoming "Hindia".
The controversy was generated after President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the recommendation of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language that all dignitaries including the president and ministers, especially those who can read and speak Hindi, may be requested to give their speech/statement in Hindi only.
The president has accepted several other recommendations, including making announcements on board aircraft in Hindi followed by English.