Taking forward the issue of Hindu imposition debate one step ahead, BJD MP and chief whip in the Lok Sabha Tathagata Satpathy replied in Odia, his mother tongue to a letter written by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Hindi.
The MP from Odisha tweeted, “Why are Union Ministers forcing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking Indians? Is this an attack on other languages?”
The tweet contained the photo of the letter written by Tomar on August 11 Inviting him to attend an India 2022 vision event.
Why are Union Ministers forcing Hindi on non Hindi speaking Indians? Is this an attack on other languages? -TS pic.twitter.com/QkcMwKXV1J— Office of T Satpathy (@SatpathyLive) August 18, 2017
On Saturday, he tweeted the photo of the letter he sent in reply, stating that he did not understand the content of Tomar’s letter as it was written in Hindi.
Replied in Oriya to Hon'ble Union Minister Sri Narendra S Tomar expressing inability to comprehend his Hindi letter.— Office of T Satpathy (@SatpathyLive) August 19, 2017
In his letter, he said, “Shri Narendra Singh Tomar ji, I have received your letter dated 11/08/2017. Thank you for that. But I would like to inform you that I can’t understand anything written in this letter as I don’t understand Hindi language. I would also like to state that our state Odisha falls in the C category so kindly send us a letter in English or Odia. May Lord Jagannath bless you!”
Communications from a Central Government office to State or Union Territory in Region "C" or to any office (not being a Central Government office) or person in such State shall be in English, according to the Official Languages (Use for Official Purpose of the Union) Rules 1976.
States other than Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar, Pradesh, Union Territories of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh fall under “C” category.
The current Narendra Modi-led government has been facing opposition from several quarters for its purported attempt to give Hindi more importance than other languages especially after the then President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the recommendation made by the Committee of Parliament on Official Language which allowed dignitaries to be requested to only speak in Hindi.
However, Union MoS Kirren Rijiju denied the charge in Rajya Sabha saying, “There is no question of imposition of Hindi over any other language. Hindi is the official language. There is no one language which is the national language."