Shah's Hindi appeal miffs southern States

Shahs Hindi appeal miffs southern States

Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s appeal to unify India with the country's most widely-spoken language, Hindi, was met with sharp criticism from the southern states on Saturday.

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah's appeal to unify India with the country's most widely-spoken language, Hindi, was met with sharp criticism from the southern states on Saturday.

Veteran leaders such as DMK president MK Stalin and former Karnataka chief ministers Siddaramaiah and HD Kumaraswamy came down heavily on Shah for pitching for his "one nation, one language" pitch on the occasion of Hindi Diwas.

Several pro-Kannada organisations, including Karnataka Ranadheera Pade, also held protest marches in Bengaluru against Hindi Diwas. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi should issue a clarification on Amit shah's statement.

Else, the DMK will prepare itself for another language protest. Is it India or Hindi-a? India stands for unity in diversity. The BJP-led government is trying to destroy this and go against it. The Home Minister should withdraw his statement," said Stalin.

Earlier in June, responding to the suggestion of a three-language formula for schools in Tamil Nadu, the DMK chief had said that "Hindi is not in the blood of the people of Tamil Nadu".

"We have always stood against the imposition of Hindi and have raised our voices against the same in cases of exams like the railways and postal departments.

We strongly condemn the home minister's statement," Stalin said on Saturday. The DMK would take a decision on the ways and means to oppose Shah's stand at a high-level party meet to be held on September 16, Stalin said.

AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Culture Minister K Pandiarajan said, "If the Centre imposes Hindi unilaterally, there will only be (adverse) reaction and no support, not only in Tamil Nadu but also in states like Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh."

MDMK chief Vaiko said if India has to be a country of Hindi alone, then only Hindi-speaking states would be part of it and not several other regions like Tamil Nadu and the northeast.

PMK founder-leader S Ramadoss dubbed Shah's remark as flawed and said Hindi must not be "imposed." The PMK and the BJP were part of the AIADMK alliance in Tamil Nadu for the recent Lok Sabha polls.

"Never can Hindi be India's identity it not condemnable to try to usurp the identities of other languages to make Hindi India's global identity," Ramadoss said in a tweet.

The Karnataka Congress also slammed Shah, accusing the RSS of trying to push its "sinister hidden agenda" to divide people. Tweeting in Kannada, former chief minister Siddaramaiah said, "The lie that Hindi is a national language should stop.

Let it be known to all that it is just like Kannada, one among the 22 official languages of India. You cannot promote a language by spreading lies and fake information. Languages flourish by affection and respect for each other."

JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy sought to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi when 'Kannada Diwas' would be organised across the country. "The central government is celebrating 'Hindi Diwas'.

When will you celebrate Kannada Diwas Narendra Modi, which is also an official language like Hindi? Remember that the people of Karnataka are part of the federal system," Kumaraswamy tweeted, with the hashtag 'Stop Hindi Imposition'.

Meanwhile, a pro-Kannada outfit has warned of agitations from October 1, if the Centre 'imposes' Hindi in the state.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) also lashed out at Shah, saying his comments were an "attack" on India's federal structure and diversity.

Protests were also seen over in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The Centre went into damage control mode later, with senior cabinet ministers tweeting reassurances that Hindi would not be imposed without further consultations. Finally, the revised draft was uploaded by the Human Resource Development Ministry.

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