DMK’s Stalin threatens agitation after Amit Shah says Hindi must be “single language” across country

Published : September 14, 2019 15:20 IST

DMK leader M.K. Stalin addressing a seminar against imposition of Hindi and NEET in Vellore on May 6, 2017. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. His tweet on Hindi day has evoked strong responses on social media. Photo: PTI

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M.K. Stalin on Saturday asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to retract his statement that Hindi was the best language suited for national integration and asserted that the country was “India”, and not “Hindia”.

In a strong statement against Amit Shah’s tweet which virtually encouraged Hindi imposition across India, Stalin demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarify his stand on the issue. He threatened to launch a second language agitation if the Prime Minister failed to do so. He warned that this time the agitation would not be restricted to Tamil Nadu and that all like-minded political parties across India would be approached for a joint agitation against Hindi imposition.

Hindi is one of the 22 scheduled languages in the Constitution.

Stalin pointed out that the Constitution had made it clear that India was a union of States. India’s cultural identity and its greatest strength was the unity in the diversity of its States. With many ulterior motives, the Bharatiya Janata Party, since the day it assumed office at the Centre, has been trying to erase this identity. The statement of the Home Minister was just another in this series of assaults on India’s diversity, he said.

There was no reaction from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which runs the government in Tamil Nadu.

Amit Shah’s tweet in Hindi earlier in the day, on the occasion of Hindi Diwas [day] went thus: “India is a land of diverse languages and each language has its greatness. But it is extremely important for the whole country to have a single language which becomes India’s identity in the world. If there is one language that can achieve national integration, that is the language which is spoken by the majority in the country, Hindi.”

Responding to Amit Shah’s tweet, #StopHindiImperialism and #StopHindiImposition began trending on Twitter. One person tweeted former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai’s quote on the question of a link language: “Since every school in India teaches English, why can’t it be our link language? Why do Tamils have to study English for communication with the world and Hindi for communication within India? Do we need a big door for the big cat and a small door for the small cat? I say, let the small cat use the big door too.”

Srivatsa, a Youth Congress functionary from Karnataka, tweeted: “Amit Shah, my mother tongue is Kannada. I am conversant in Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam as well. I love and respect all our languages, especially Hindi. But India is not a Hindi-speaking nation. There is no ‘one language’ and there will never be.”

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