Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has responded to Home Minister Amit Shah’s comments on the Hindi language, which the BJP leader had said is not a competitor of local languages but a “friend”.
“I want to make one thing very clear. Some people are spreading disinformation that Hindi and Gujarati, Hindi and Tamil, Hindi and Marathi are competitors. Hindi cannot be a competitor to any other language in the country. You must understand that Hindi is the friend of all the languages of the country,” Amit Shah said on Wednesday at the All India Official Language Conference in Surat on Hindi Day.
Mr Stalin, taking note of the Home Minister’s comment, said the BJP should stop any “attempt to turn India into Hindia.”
“Declare all the 22 languages in the 8th Schedule as official languages of the government. Hindi is neither the national language nor the only official language. We should celebrate Indian Languages Day instead of Hindi Day,” Mr Stalin said.
“The centre should bridge the huge difference in resources spent for development of Hindi vs other languages. The centre only imposes Hindi and Sanskrit via the NEP,” the Chief Minister said, referring to the National Education Policy.
Tamil Nadu has for long alleged the centre of trying to impose Hindi. The language divide became wider after the state fought against the centre’s alleged plan to introduce Hindi as a third language in schools.
In the sixties, the state saw anti-Hindi protests and the then prime minister had assured to have English as the official link language between the centre and the states.