Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier said that citizens of different states should communicate with each other in Hindi instead of English.

Music composer AR Rahman in a black t-shirt, red and black blazer and sunglasses
news Controversy Monday, April 11, 2022 - 09:42

Tamil is a link language, said AR Rahman on Monday, April 11, in response to a question about Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s comment. His response came days after Shah said that Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English. Rahman had earlier tweeted out an illustration of ‘Thamizhanangu’ (meaning Goddess Tamil), on April 8.

Addressing a reporter's question on Amit Shah’s comment that “Hindi should be the link language”, the oscar-award winning musician is seen saying, “Tamil is the link language.”

In the earlier image he tweeted, a footnote to the image is from a popular poem of celebrated Tamil nationalist poet Bharathidasan roughly translating to “beloved Tamil is the root of our existence.” An artistic depiction of a white saree-clad woman, against a background of red is seen as a subtle reference to mother Tamil and opposition to imposition of Hindi.

While a section of social media users lauded Rahman saying he has posted this image with a red background to denote opposition to Hindi and full support to Tamil, there were others who questioned him on the intent behind posting the image.

Watch: AR Rahman unveils Maajja’s Tamil anthem, Moopilla Thamizhe Thaaye

Presiding over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee in New Delhi on April 7, Shah had said that 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, according to a statement issued by the Union Home Ministry. He informed the members that 70% of the agenda of the Cabinet is prepared in Hindi. He also said that the time has come to make Hindi an important part of the unity of the country, adding that Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English and not to local languages. Amit Shah also suggested that when people of different states speak to each other, they should do so in Hindi, and not in English.

Read : Amit Shah says Indians from different states should talk to each other in Hindi

Meanwhile, the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu on Sunday, April 10, 'warned' the Union government against imposing Hindi saying that the Tamil people still remembered the anti-Hindi agitation by late party patriarch M Karunanidhi, implying that they would not allow it to happen. The ruling party's mouthpiece 'Murasoli' in its edition carried a well-known slogan of Karunanidhi (1924-2018) against foisting Hindi on people and captioned the write-up as 'Warning to the Union government.'

The crux of the Tamil slogan, which involves figurative use of language, is a clarion call to the people to staunchly oppose imposition of Hindi and an assertion that there is no 'coward' in the state hinting that Hindi cannot be imposed on them. The DMK Tamil daily said people still remembered Karunanidhi's rally and added, 'Do not forget it', which implied that people would not permit imposition of Hindi to happen in Tamil Nadu.

Read : Usurping states’ powers: CM Pinarayi and CM Stalin launch scathing attack on BJP

(With PTI inputs)

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