Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin on Saturday threatened “another language protest” if Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not clarify Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement on the importance of having a single language for the country, News18 reported.
“We have been continuously waging protest against the imposition of Hindi,” Stalin said, according to ANI. “Today’s remarks made by Amit Shah gave us a jolt. It will affect the unity of the country. We demand that he takes his statement back.”
Stalin said his party will discuss the matter in its executive party meeting on Monday.
In a tweet, Stalin asked the Bharatiya Janata Party to withdraw the one language idea.
Meanwhile, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Vaiko said that India will be “Balkanised” if Hindi is imposed on everyone. “We will only have a ‘Hindi India’,” he said, according to News18.
Congress leader Brijesh Kalappa said the “one language, one nation” policy is deeply troubling. “We are not a unity system, we are a federal system,” he told the television channel. “We are a nation of many languages. This is not acceptable.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished everybody on the occasion of Hindi Divas, but also opposed Shah’s pitch for one language. “We should respect all languages and cultures equally,” she said in a tweet. “We may learn many languages but we should never forget our mother language.”
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi also hit out at Shah. “Hindi isn’t every Indian’s ‘mother tongue’,” he said in a tweet. “Could you try appreciating the diversity & beauty of the many mother tongues that dot this land? Article 29 gives every Indian the right to a distinct language, script & culture. India’s much bigger than Hindi, Hindu, Hindutva.”
Earlier in the day, Shah appealed to Indians to increase their use of the mother tongue and Hindi, and equated it with realising the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel of one language for the country.
“India is a country of various languages and each of them has its own importance,” Shah said in a tweet. “However, a single language is extremely important for the country, one that can become India’s identity globally. If there is one language that can do the job of uniting the country today, then it is only the most-spoken language of Hindi.”
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