Protests erupt across India against Amit Shah’s language proposal

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 Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (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 organizations, 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. Pluralism is India’s biggest strength and unity in diversity is the nation’s cultural identity, Stalin said, claiming that the BJP government is taking steps to ‘erase’ such an identity since assuming office at the Centre.

On the other hand Asom Sahitya Sabha also makes oppose in this regard. Asom Sahitya sabha President Paramananda Rajbangshi told, “Assamese language always have to get the first priority in the State. Moreover, Hindi and English also important for us in our daily life.”

Similarly, Assamese intellectual Arup Borborah told, “Without any regional language, its really impossible to constitute a state. After independence of India, whenever a state has constituted, it always depends upon the regional language.”

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