Amit Shah’s ‘people from various states should speak in Hindi, not English’ remark draws flak

Amit Shah. Reuters file photo

India's Union Home Minister Amit Shah's remark – on last Thursday – that people from various states should speak in Hindi, not English, and that Hindi should be regarded as an alternative to English, is drawing sharp criticism, Time of India reports.

Amit Shah made the remark while presiding over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee.

The BJP leader's remarks have been drawing strong criticisms from various top political parties including Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka, the report said.

On Friday, opposition leader Siddaramaiah claimed the remark was not just against the country's federal principles, but also an insult to other languages, the Times of India said yesterday (April 9).

"Amit Shah should immediately withdraw the statement," he said.

According to the report, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy claimed that the Centre and the Union Home Minister are attempting to impose their personal agendas on the country. "But they won't succeed," he said.

Under the hashtag "#IndiaAgainstHindiImposition" social media was also buzzing with comments, the report said.

Pointing out that Hindi is not India's national language, Siddaramaiah accused Shah of betraying Gujarat, his home state, and Gujarati, his mother tongue, for Hindi for his political agenda.

"Linguistic diversity is the essence of our country and we will respect each other's sentiments," the former chief minister was quoted as saying.

"Pluralism is what has held our nation together and attempts by BJP to undo this will be met with strong opposition."


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