Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday, April 7, said Indian people of different states should communicate with each other in Hindi, and not English. Presiding over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee, Shah said that when citizens of different states communicate with each other, "it should be in the language of India".
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that the medium of running the government is the Official Language, and this will definitely increase the importance of Hindi. Now the time has come to make the Official Language an important part of the unity of the country. When citizens of States who speak other languages communicate with each other, it should be in the language of India,” he said.
The Union minister and BJP leader said that "Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English and not to local languages. He said that unless we make Hindi flexible by accepting words from other local languages, it will not be propagated," as per a press release by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). He said that now the time has come to make the official language an important part of the unity of the country.
Shah also noted in the meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that the medium of running the government is the official language and this will increase the importance of Hindi. The Union minister, who chairs the Official Language Committee, informed members that now 70 percent of the agenda of the Cabinet is prepared in Hindi.
The Home Minister further stressed the need to give elementary knowledge of Hindi to students up to Class nine and pay more attention to Hindi teaching examinations. He said 22,000 Hindi teachers have been recruited in the eight states of the North East, while nine tribal communities of the region have converted their dialects’ scripts to Devanagari. Apart from this, all the eight states that lie in the Northeast have agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class 10, as per the MHA.
Shah's statements advocating Hindi as the lingua franca of India have elicited censure in the past. On Hindi Diwas in 2019, Shah had said, "If there is any language that can tie the whole country in one thread, it is the most spoken language of Hindi.” India has 22 official languages, of which Hindi is one.
Many residing in southern Indian states had taken offence to Shah’s statement that was seen as an imposition of Hindi language.
(This article has been republished from The Quint with permission. Read the original article here.)