After drawing flak for his recent statement on Hindi language, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday clarified that he had never spoken of imposing Hindi over other regional languages of the country.
Amit Shah said he had suggested that Hindi can be learnt as a second language.
Shah, who is also the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, made this clarification while speaking at a programme in Ranchi.
Reports quoted Shah as saying that his speech at a Hindi Diwas event had been ‘misconstrued’.
The Union Home Minister said being a Gujarati, Hindi is not his primary language.
A TOI report quoted Shah as saying: “People should carefully listen to my speech (delivered on Hindi Diwas). If one wants to do politics, they are free to do so. But I had repeatedly stated (in the speech) that Indian languages should be strengthened.”
“A child can study better and his mental development assured if he takes his lessons in his mother-tongue. By mother-tongue, I did not mean Hindi.”
“Every state has its own language. I only requested that if there is a second language being learnt it should be Hindi.”
“What is wrong in this? I don’t understand,” said Shah.
Saying that a campaign should be started for strengthening local languages, Shah said, “or else we will end up like Australia and Africa”.
Shah said along with the local languages, Hindi language should also be learnt.
It may be mentioned that Amit Shah reportedly made an appeal to accept Hindi as the national language in his speech during a Hindi Diwas event recently.
This was vehemently opposed by several organizations, intellectuals and litterateurs of Assam.
Protest was also raised against Shah’s reported statement in States like Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, where Hindi is not the dominating language.