Union Minister Amit Shah’s statement that Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English has stirred a hornet’s nest as many political leaders from the non-BJP states have questioned the linguistic ‘hegemony’ and the clamour for #StopHindiImposition is only growing. While the BJP said that it is the right time to introduce the ‘One Nation, One Language’ concept in the country.
On April 7, Amit Shah while presiding over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee had said, “Hindi should be accepted as an alternative language to English but not to local languages.” He said 70 percent of the Cabinet agenda is prepared in Hindi.
Taking an exception to Amit Shah’s Hindi language statement, the Telangana IT Minister and TRS leader KT Rama Rao criticised the BJP for what he calls its double standard on the language issue. He dared the saffron party to begin the change from Gujarat state. He came down heavily on the BJP-led government at the Centre and asked the BJP to desist from doing politics over language, clothing and food.
“Why don’t we let people of our great nation decide what to eat, what to wear, who to pray to and what language to speak,” said TRS working President K.T. Rama Rao
Congress is planning to oppose Centre’s move to implement Hindi in non-Hindi states. Congress Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Legislative Council BK Hariprasad said, “It’s not an easy thing as the non-Hindi speaking states will not accept it and we will oppose any such move. However I speak Hindi, but people will not accept this, the government should see the history, see what had happened before on the issue.”
While TS Nagabharana, Chairman of the Kakinada Development Authority (KDA), dubbed the idea of Amit Shah as conspiracy against regional languages. It is also against the principles of federal structure, he said.
The Tamil Nadu political leaders have vehemently opposed the preferential treatment being given to Hindi. The state BJP leaders have also said imposition of Hindi was not acceptable to them. The DMK and PMK said ‘One Nation, One Language’ would prove disastrous to the country.
The anti-BJP political leaders from West Bengal see this whole Hindi talk as a clandestine bid by the Union government to divert attention from burning issues like inflation, and increase in fuel prices etc.