Never asked for imposing Hindi over regional languages, says Amit Shah

The Free Press Journal

Ranchi/Chennai: Amid a heated debate over his remark that Hindi should be a common language, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said he has never asked for imposition of Hindi over native languages in the country but advocated its use as the second language, following which DMK announced postponement of its September 20 protest.

Referring to his speech on the occasion of Hindi Divas on Saturday where he made a pitch for a common language for India, the home minister said to end the confusion, people should listen to his speech carefully but "if someone wants to do politics, it is their choice." Clarifying his comments, he said, "A child can perform, a child's proper mental growth is possible only when the child studies in mother tongue. Mother tongue does not mean Hindi. It is the language of a particular state, like Gujarati in my state. But there should be one language in the country, if someone wants to learn another language, it should be Hindi."

"I have just made the request. I have failed to understand what is wrong in that," he said at an event organised by Hindi daily 'Hindustan' in Ranchi. "I too come from a non-Hindi speaking state. I come from Gujarat where Gujarati is the language, not Hindi. One has to listen to my speech carefully...," Shah said. Following Shah's assertion, DMK president M K Stalin said the party's proposed protest on September 20 on the issue has been postponed. Talking to reporters in Chennai, the DMK chief said Shah has also opined that his view had been "wrongly understood".

"We consider his (Shah's) clarification as a big victory for the DMK," he said. However, the leader from the south said if Hindi was imposed, the DMK will oppose it at all times. Referring to his meeting with Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit at Raj Bhavan, Stalin said Purohit told him that Hindi will not be imposed. State Congress chief K S Alagiri claimed the Centre was "rattled" by the protest call by parties in Tamil Nadu and hence utilised the office of Governor to convey that Hindi will not be imposed.

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