Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Monday urged the Karnataka government to not celebrate Hindi Diwas on September 14. The day is celebrated to mark the adoption of Hindi as the country’s official language by the Constituent Assembly in 1949.

In a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai, Kumaraswamy on Monday wrote that “forcibly celebrating” Hindi Diwas on taxpayers’ money would amount to an injustice to the citizens of Karnataka.

He noted that there were thousands of languages and dialects, and diverse social and cultural practices in India which make the country a “great union”.

“In such a land, celebrating one particular language is injustice,” Kumaraswamy wrote in his letter.

On September 14 last year, several Kannada organisations had staged a protest in Bengaluru against alleged imposition of Hindi. They had demanded that the day be celebrated as Karnataka Regional Day, according to The News Minute.

Last year too, Kumaraswamy had opposed the celebration of Hindi Diwas, saying that it holds no meaning for those whose mother tongue is not Hindi.

However, on the same day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asked citizens to make use of Hindi along with their mother tongue for important work.

In April this year, Shah had described Hindi as “the language of India” and said that it should be used by citizens from different states to communicate with each other. Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English, and not to local languages, he had said.

His remarks were strongly criticised by several Opposition leaders, saying they were against the imposition of Hindi in any part of the country.

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