Let's respect all languages

LetHome Minister Amit Shah

Over a week ago, Home Minister Amit Shah pitched for Hindi as 'one language' of the country on the occasion of Hindi Diwas. Shah stressed on the...

Over a week ago, Home Minister Amit Shah pitched for Hindi as 'one language' of the country on the occasion of Hindi Diwas. Shah stressed on the ability of Hindi as a widely spoken language in uniting the country and said that it was necessary to have one language which could represent India in the world.

His statement created a controversy and evoked howls of protest all over the country as many people have gone against him in his view. Maharashtra, Assam and Tamil Nadu have always been among the sites of violent linguistic agitations as there erupted many conflicts based on Maratha language in Maharashtra. Opposition parties, particularly from the South, accused Shah of running a divisive agenda and foisting the RSS agenda on the country.

Leaders like the DMK's Stalin and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor condemned the move to impose Hindi. Demanding retraction of his statement, DMK president MK Stalin said 'Shah's remarks will affect the unity of the country.

But, above all, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that diversity is the foundation of India's democracy and the country's various languages are an important identity of its liberal and democratic society.

PM Modi won millions of hearts of Indian people at the historic event 'Howdy Modi' in Houston when he said, 'all is well' in multiple Indian languages from Punjabi to Bengali to Tamil among others. Actually, he found the perfect setting at Houston's NRG Stadium to end the controversy generated by his Home Minister Amit Shah who had called for 'one nation, one language'.

India has two official languages – Hindi and English – and 22 scheduled languages but the country does not have any national language. In spite of this, it is the fact that multiple languages of India are not the problem for the country rather they encapsulate the beauty of our country.

Unity always lies in diversity in India. This is why our Constitution clearly respects India's diversity as it recognises 22 languages spoken by a large number of people. Although Hindi is spoken by the majority of India but, based on this factor, other languages can't be ignored as they are also spoken by a large section of people such Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil and Urdu. So, we also, open heartedly, should respect all the languages.

-Faheem Usmani Qasmi, Mumbai

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