“On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, I urge all the countrymen to take a pledge to progressively use official language Hindi along with their mother tongue in basic works,” Amit Shah said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah touching his foreheadFile photo
news Controversy Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 20:39

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday, September 14, which is marked as ‘Hindi Diwas’ (Hindi day), asked the citizens of India to ‘progressively’ make use of the “official language”, Hindi. Pushing for greater use of Hindi by officials and the youth to understand India's culture and value systems which remained protected primarily because of the language, Amit Shah further said that from 2014 onwards, more and more Members of the Parliament have been speaking in their own regional languages. His remarks pushing for the increased use of Hindi, however, garnered backlash on social media, as many non-Hindi speakers labelled this as an imposition of the Hindi language.

“On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, I urge all the countrymen to take a pledge to progressively use official language Hindi along with their mother tongue in basic works. The progress of India is contained in the coordination of mother tongue and official language. Wishing you all a very Happy Hindi Divas,” Amit Shah tweeted in Hindi. Shah was speaking at a ‘Hindi Divas’ function held in Delhi, where he said that Hindi is the 'Sakhi' (friend) of regional languages. He added that Hindi language is not competing with any other regional languages and it complements other regional languages. 

“Hindi has only complemented and strengthened other regional languages. It has never competed with any local language,” he said.  "Hindi has no conflict or contradiction with any local language. The official language Hindi is the 'Sakhi' of all local languages of India and its development can be done only by mutual cooperation of each other," he said. However, many on social media pointed out that his speech sounded like he was trying to impose Hindi on people who are not comfortable speaking that language. Many others countered Amit Shah’s statement that Hindi was the official language of India.

Addressing the gathering, Shah also said that one should not hesitate speaking in their own language, it was not a matter of embarrassment. Many of our freedom fighters including Mahatma advocated that Hindi should be promoted, he said. "If the Prime Minister can speak Hindi on international forums, what are we embarrassed about? Gone are the days when speaking in Hindi was a matter of embarrassment," he said.

The Minister also appealed to parents to communicate with their children at home in their native language, even if they study in English medium schools. Otherwise, the children will be cut-off from their roots, he said.

 

He added that, “Gone are the days when there was hesitation in speaking Hindi,” as Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks only in Hindi in international forums.

Referring to the New Education Policy (NEP) envisaged by Modi, Shah said it has provisions for promotion of regional and Hindi languages.

He said the technical education syllabus is translated into five Indian languages Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Bangla and it would be rolled out in 14 colleges across eight states.

With agency inputs

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