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Shah’s Hindi push draws sharp reaction from the South

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 15, 2019 Published on September 15, 2019

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan   -  The Hindu

It’s a ‘war cry’ against non-Hindi speaking people: Kerala CM; DMK’s Stalin warns of massive protest

BJP President Amit Shah’s thrust on Hindi seems to have exposed historical linguistic fault-lines with sharp political responses continuing to emanate from the southern States on Sunday. DMK President MK Stalin and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan termed Shah’s comments as a “war cry” against non-Hindi speaking people while Congress leader Jairam Ramesh maintained that “one-nation-one-language” can never become a reality in a country which celebrates linguistic diversity.

The BJP President had, on Saturday, said that “while India has many languages and every language has its own significance, it is important to have one language in the country that will become known in the world. Today, if there is one language that can unite the country in one thread, it is the most widely spoken language which is Hindi.”

From Chennai, the site of historical anti-Hindi agitations, Stalin warned that the BJP’s effort to “impose” Hindi would force a fresh round of protests not just in Tamil Nadu but across the country.

Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan pointed out that Shah had not withdrawn his comments despite the protests that followed since Saturday, a move he interpreted as a “planned attempt” to stir up a needless controversy to divert attention from the real issue of economic crisis.

‘All languages are equal’

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury   -  THE HINDU

 

According to CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, the BJP President was only repeating the RSS’s long-term civilisational agenda to impose Hindi on the whole country. “All the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution are our national languages. Hindi can emerge as a language of communication but any effort to impose Hindi will only lead to a negative reaction as it happened in the past. All languages must be treated equally,” he said.

Addressing MDMK’s 111st birth anniversary celebrations of Dravidian ideologue CN Annadurai, MK Stalin accused the Centre of “autocratic imposition of Hindi” and maintained that Tamil was sidelined in the competitive examination conducted by the Railways and Postal Department.

“We have been compelled to go the protest mode everyday to get our rights;” he said. “They (the Centre) will thrust Hindi and ease out Tamil even if we so much as snooze”.

Anti-Hindi protests

Stalin said that since 1938, Tamil Nadu had been protesting against Hindi imposition and several such agitations continued through the years including those held in 1949 and 1953.

Recalling the massive agitation against Hindi in 1965, Stalin said the need has once again arisen warranting an agitation of that scale.

DMK President MK Stalin   -  BusinessLine

 

“They are continuously imposing Hindi and we are opposing it all along,” he said and alleged “thrusting of Hindi is being carried on in an autocratic fashion (by the Centre) despite such opposition.”

Pinarayi Vijayan said the notion that Hindi can unite the country was “absurd” and the move was a “war cry” against those loving their mother tongue.

“The claim that Hindi unifies our country is absurd. That language is not the mother tongue of a majority of Indians. The move to impose Hindi on them amounts to enslaving them. The Union Minister’s statement is a war cry against the mother tongues of non-Hindi speaking people,” he said.

Vijayan said people in the southern, western and eastern parts of the country do not speak Hindi and to make it the primary language in these areas amounted to rejecting their mother tongue.

“The Centre is clearly inclined to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking States which would not be brooked in the larger interest of national integrity,” he added.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy demanded that the Home Minister withdraws his comments as they may lead to unrest in the non-Hindi speaking regions.

“India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and a secular nation. Any move to impose Hindi would only strike at the pluralistic features of the nation and its cultural identity,” he said.

Published on September 15, 2019
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