Amit Shah should stop trying to ram Hindi down India’s throat

Union Minister Amit Shah’s attempt to impose Hindi meets with opposition all around

The National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre is back with its Hindi-for-all narrative. Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s call to make Hindi an important part of the unity in the country could well be welcomed by some, but not all.

The statements made by Shah at the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee in New Delhi on 7 April would not be something that the people who swear by their mother tongue would find amusing.

The Union government had attempted the same earlier too, but faced backlash. The attempt to impose Hindi, as senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh says, is a disservice to the language. True that.

Shah’s call to use Hindi instead of English will hurt unity of India, Says MK Stalin

Amit Shah’s call comes as an attempt to divide, and that is what many would want to believe. Predictably, the Opposition parties have lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Minister for his controversial comment. As Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has said, the Amit Shah’s call to use Hindi instead of English is an act that will hurt the unity of India.

“The BJP continues to engage with its job of eroding the diversity of India,” Chief Minister Stalin tweeted. Chief Minister MK Stalin went on to say that the Union Home Minister’s statement would only erode the unity of India.

Stalin wasn’t the only leader who took offence. Shah’s remark was countered by former Karnataka Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramiah, who stated that “Hindi is not our National Language and we will never let it to be.”

It may be recalled that the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee organised in New Delhi witnessed Amit Shah stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had decided that the medium of running the government is the Official Language and this will definitely increase the importance of Hindi. He went on to add that, when citizens of states who speak other language, communicate with each other, it should be in the language of India. Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English and not to local languages.

The backlash was expected, of course. A Union Government ruling a big diverse nation like India imposing a single language claiming that it is the national language comes as foolish, in the strictest sense of the term. Such idiotic moves, when the Centre knows that it wouldn’t be possible or easy to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states, comes as a surprise. But then, the BJP has always been bent on making Hindi the single most important language in India.

TMC to resist imposition of Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states

The Opposition is raging. The non-Hindi speaking states would never adhere to such an imposition of language. The Trinamool Congress has also lashed out at the move proclaiming that the party would of course resist the imposition of Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states.

What Amit Shah, PM Modi and the Union Cabinet need to understand is that many people in India, who are from the Hindi heartland or beyond, would not just be okay with such an imposition of Hindi as the language of the nation. Jairam Ramesh’s tweet is something that Shah and company should chew on. According to the senior Congress leader and former Union Minister, “I’m very comfortable with Hindi, but I don’t want it rammed down anybody’s throat.”

Yes, Amit Shah should drop his foolish idea of trying to ram Hindi down India’s throat!

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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