The current Hindi language drive-by Union Home Minister Amit Shah has enraged Karnataka, with Opposition leader Siddaramaiah criticising it on Friday.
Former Karnataka chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah claimed on Friday that Hindi is not India’s national language and accused the ruling BJP of attempting to implement its “culture terrorism” plan against non-Hindi speaking states.
Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka assembly took issue with Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remark about the official language and accused him of betraying the former’s home state Gujarat and mother tongue Gujarati for his political purpose.
Shah’s statement on the Hindi language as an Alternative to English
On Thursday, Shah stated that the Hindi language should be regarded as an alternative to English rather than a regional language. Shah, who presided over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that Hindi will be the official language for running the government, which will boost Hindi’s prominence.
Shah had remarked at the committee meeting that the moment has come to make the official language Hindi an essential element of the country’s unity, pointing out that 70% of the Cabinet’s agenda is drafted in Hindi.
However, he stated that Hindi should be considered as a substitute for English rather than an indigenous language.
Opposition Leader from Karnataka Oppose Union Minister’s Move
“As a Kannadiga, I take strong offence to @HMOIndia @AmitShah’s comment on Official language & medium of communication. Hindi is not our National Language & we will never let it be,” Siddaramaiah tweeted with the tagline “#IndiaAgainstHindiImposition”.
Moreover, the former chief minister stated that linguistic diversity is the essence of our country and that we will respect each other’s feelings.
He also stated that pluralism is what has kept our country together and that any attempt by the BJP to undo this will be met with strong opposition and retaliation.
Siddaramaiah went on to say, “Imposing the Hindi language is a sign of coercive federalism rather than cooperative federalism. The myopic view of BJP regarding our languages needs to be corrected and their opinions are derived from pseudo-nationalists like Savarkar.”
Siddaramaiah stated the work of poets, novelists, actors, and icons of the Karnataka Ekikarana (unification) movement and others in strengthening the state will be protected forever, accusing the BJP of attempting to unleash its goal of cultural terrorism against non-Hindi language speaking states.
In addition, he stated, “It is time for the BJP to understand that more linguistic and cultural autonomy should be given to states. All All-India exams have to be held in regional languages, NEP has to be reworked to avoid Hindi imposition and all major state languages should be official languages.”
“It is disgraceful on the part of Amit Shah to betray his mother state Gujarat and mother-tongue Gujarati for Hindi language for his political agenda. I wonder how a person who betrays his motherland can ever work in the interest of India,” he said, adding that Shah’s roots are from where Mahatma Gandhi was born, but behaving like Savarkar”.
“We take pride in Kannada identity and we believe that Karnataka, as our poet laureate Kuvempu said, is the daughter of Bharata,” Siddaramaiah added, citing history as evidence that any attempt to impose the Hindi language on other states has failed.
Many opposition leaders revolting Union Minister’s move
The governing TMC of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that any attempt to impose Hindi on non-Hindi language-speaking states will be resisted, a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated the time has come to make Hindi the official language of the country.
The TMC said that his vision of “one nation, one language, and one religion” would remain unfulfilled because Hindi was not India’s national language. “If Amit Shah and the BJP trying to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states, it will be resisted. The people of this country, where there is so much diversity, will never accept such a thing,’’ the party started.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan has blasted Shah, claiming that the “three-language formula” is totally illogical.
“Why should I have a three-language formula?… It makes no sense…Union Home Minister Amit Shah`s comment is completely off logic. Hindi is not intrinsic to at least 60 per cent-70 per cent of the country… Not only it is chauvinism but it is economically inverse logic,” Tamil Nadu’s Finance Minister stated.
The Congress party has accused Home Minister Amit Shah of attempting to impose the Hindi language and claiming that he is harming the language by doing so.
However, Shah was also accused by the opposition party of attempting to deflect public attention away from the issues of inflation and price increases.
Meanwhile, Jairam Ramesh, a Congress MP, stated that the Hindi language is ‘Raj Bhasha’ (official language) rather than ‘Rashtra Bhasha’ (national language), as Rajnath Singh had stated in Parliament while he was the home minister.