Stalin, Mamata disagree with Shah's 'Hindi for all' idea
The Hindi language took center stage in Indian politics on Saturday after Home Minister Amit Shah linked it with country's unity. Seeing it as an attempt to impose Hindi across India, Opposition leaders like Trinamool's Mamata Banerjee and DMK's MK Stalin reminded Shah of the nation's diversity. Even the youth wing of Congress said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has forgotten about India's geography.
First, let's tell you what Shah said
On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, Shah pushed for making Hindi the national language. "India is a country of many different languages, and each language has its own significance, but it's extremely important to have one language represent India's identity globally. If there's one language that can unite the country, it's the widely-spoken Hindi language," he wrote on Twitter earlier today.
Subsequently, Stalin demanded that Shah takes his statement back
Hitting out at Shah, DMK chief Stalin threatened another "language war" if Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn't clarify. "We have been continuously waging protests against the imposition of Hindi. 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 wrote on Twitter in Tamil.
In June, a language policy sparked a controversy
To recall, a draft version of the National Education Policy 2019, which warranted school-going kids to learn Hindi, stoked a major controversy in June. Apart from DMK, even AIADMK, a BJP ally, had strongly opposed the Hindi imposition. Back then, Congress' Shashi Tharoor had said, "Most of us in the South learn Hindi as a second language but nobody in the North is learning Malayalam or Tamil."
Respect all languages but shouldn't forget mother-tongue: Banerjee
Separately, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also slammed Shah's comments. She tweeted, "My best wishes to all on Hindi Diwas. We should respect all languages and cultures equally. We may learn many languages but we should never forget our mother-language." Ironically, not long ago, Banerjee had pushed for Bangla saying those living in the state should learn the language.
Identities of 22 official languages will not perish: Congress
Unsurprisingly, Congress also didn't lose the opportunity of taking a dig at Shah and BJP. "There are 22 official languages and over 1652 mother tongues spoken across the length and breadth of India. Their identities will not perish," the youth wing of Congress tweeted. The youth wing reminded that unity in diversity is India's foundation and asked if BJP has forgotten it.