Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu kicked up a controversy on Saturday by saying that Hindi is our national language and India could not progress without it.
He said that it is our mother tongue and our identity and we should be proud of it.
Naidu added, “There should be no opposition to learning any language. But while learning English, our minds have become trained like the English people and this is not good. This is not in the interests of the nation.”
He said people who have made sacrifices for the nation and dedicated their entire lives, there is very little mention in our history about those great people, while adding “This is unfortunate”.
These were some of his statements as tweeted by ANI:
So is Hindi our national language?
As per Article 343 of the Constitution, Hindi is one of the 22 official languages in India but not a national language. Even though Hindi remains the most spoken mother tongue in the country, 60% of the population speaks a language other than Hindi.
Hindi in Devanagari script along with English, were deemed official languages under the Constitution in 1950 which also stipulated that Parliamentary business may be conducted in Hindi or English.
In January 2010, even the Gujarat High Court had observed that while a majority of the population who speak Hindi may have accepted it as a national language, but officially its not.
Meanwhile, Twitterati were quick to respond with #StopHindiImposition trending.