Union Home Minister Amit Shah
After facing strong protest from the Opposition as well as his own party members for apparently suggesting to make Hindi as the country's national language, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that he never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages. Shah said that he himself comes from a non-Hindi state and asked his critics to listen to his speech carefully.
"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, its their choice but they should listen my speech carefully," he said.
On September 14, Shah stressed how Hindi language has been a unifying force in India and emphasised that the country needs a language which can represent India in the world. He took to Twitter to appeal the nation to increase the usage of Hindi. Amit Shah's tweet comes on Hindi Diwas, which is celebrated on September 14 every year.
"Today, on the occassion of Hindi Diwas, I appeal all the citizens of India to increase the usage of our own mother tongues. Along with this, contribute to the fufillment of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel's dream of 'one nation, one language' dream by enhancing the usage of Hindi language," the BJP leader had twitted.
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However, his remarks were criticised widely and some of his own party leaders from Southern states opposed the idea of making Hindi India's national language, including Karnataka Chief Minsiter BS Yediyurappa, who pledged to never "compromise with Kannda, the principal language of his state.
"All official languages in our country are equal. However, as far as Karnataka is concerned, #Kannada is the principal language. We will never compromise its importance and are committed to promote Kannada and our state's culture," Yediyurappa had said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also opposed the idea and put out a tweet in 23 Indian languages. Gandhi said that India's many languages are not its weakness. Shah's collegue in the Union Cabinet and senior BJP leader Sadananda Gowda said that Hindi is indeed a unifying language but it can't boss over other regional language.