#HindiDebate: HD Kumaraswamy joins Ajay Devgn, Kiccha Sudeep's Twitter tiff
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday chipped in amid an online tiff between Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn and his Kannada counterpart Kiccha Sudeep on Hindi being India's national language. In a series of tweets, Kumaraswamy sided with Sudeep and slammed Devgn for his "ludicrous behavior." Kumaraswamy also labeled the Bollywood actor a "mouthpiece of BJP's Hindi nationalism."
- The Hindi imposition row has been ongoing for decades.
- Non-Hindi-speaking states have repeatedly stressed the fact that Hindi—while among India's official languages—is not the national language.
- Around 56% of Indians don't identify Hindi as their mother tongue, according to the 2011 Census.
- Notably, on Hindi Diwas in 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah had controversially pushed for Hindi as the "unifying" language to represent India.
Kumaraswamy criticized the ruling BJP at the Centre saying, "An addiction for primacy is dividing the country. A seed sown by the BJP." He said this was divisive and remains a "threat to India's unity." "Just because a large population speaks Hindi, it doesn't become a national language. Less than 9 States, Kashmir-Kanyakumari, have Hindi as 2nd, 3rd language... not even that," he tweeted.
Actor @KicchaSudeep saying that Hindi is not a National Language is correct. There is nothing to find fault in his statement. Actor @ajaydevgn is not only hyper in nature but also shows his ludicrous behaviour. 1/7— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) April 28, 2022
After the latest Kannada film 'KGF: Chapter 2' was called a "pan-India film," Sudeep had said that Hindi could no more be considered a national language. Bollywood was now dubbing in Telugu and Tamil, he said. This seemed to have irked Devgn, who responded to Sudeep on Twitter in Hindi: "Hindi was, is, and always will be our mother tongue and national language."
.@KicchaSudeep मेरे भाई,— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) April 27, 2022
आपके अनुसार अगर हिंदी हमारी राष्ट्रीय भाषा नहीं है तो आप अपनी मातृभाषा की फ़िल्मों को हिंदी में डब करके क्यूँ रिलीज़ करते हैं?
हिंदी हमारी मातृभाषा और राष्ट्रीय भाषा थी, है और हमेशा रहेगी।
जन गण मन ।
Sudeep replied saying his statement had a different context and that he will explain it to Devgn in person. Sudeep said he understood Devgn's reply in Hindi because "we all have respected, loved, and learned Hindi." However, he asked Devgn what if he had typed in Kannada, a language the latter does not speak. He wrote, "Don't we too belong to India sir (sic)."
Hi @KicchaSudeep, You are a friend. thanks for clearing up the misunderstanding. I’ve always thought of the film industry as one. We respect all languages and we expect everyone to respect our language as well. Perhaps, something was lost in translation 🙏— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) April 27, 2022
Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah also joined the debate, tweeting, "Hindi was never and will never be our national language. It is the duty of every Indian to respect (the) linguistic diversity of our country... I am proud to be a Kannadiga!! (sic)" Karnataka's state Congress chief, DK Shivakumar, pointed out there were "nearly 20,000 languages in India and that none should dominate another."
Following the debate, actor Sonu Sood—who has worked in several southern languages films—commented, "I don't think Hindi can be called just the national language." "India has one language, which is entertainment," Sood told The Indian Express. "It doesn't really matter which industry you belong to. If you entertain people, they will love you, honor you, and accept you," he said.