People from different states should speak in Hindi, not English: Amit Shah
People in different states should communicate with each other in Hindi, not English, Interior Minister Amit Shah suggested on Thursday.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that the way to run the government is the official language, and this will certainly increase the importance of Hindi. Now is the time to make the official language an important part of unity of the country. When citizens of states who speak other languages communicate with each other, it should be in the language of India,” Shah was quoted as saying by the Home Ministry at the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Languages.
Shah, however, made it clear that Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English, not local languages. He also suggested that Hindi should be made more flexible by accepting words from other local languages.
Shah is chair of the Official Languages Committee and B Mahtab of BJD its vice-chair.
The Home Secretary stressed the need to impart elementary knowledge of Hindi to students up to Class IX and to pay more attention to Hindi teaching exams.
According to MHA, Shah informed members that 70% of the Cabinet agenda is now prepared in Hindi. He said 22,000 Hindi teachers have been recruited from the eight northeastern states and nine tribal communities in the region have converted scripts from their dialects to Devanagari.
All of these states have also agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to class X, he said, according to the MHA.
The ministry said the committee unanimously approved sending the 11th volume of the committee’s report to the president.
Shah has always lobbied for greater use of Hindi by officials and youths, and said India’s culture and value systems have remained protected primarily because of the language.
In 2019, giving his first speech on language in Hindi diwas, he pushed for the idea of ”One nation, one language”. He had said: “India is a country of different languages. Each language has its own importance. But it is absolutely essential that the whole country has a language that becomes the identity of the nation in the world. If there is one language that can tie the whole country together in a single thread, it is the most widely spoken language of Hindi.
The statement drew strong reactions from opposition parties. While the CPI(M) called it an attack on India’s fundamental principles of diversity, Congress leader Rajeev Gowda reminded the BJP that Article 29 of the Constitution honors multiple languages.
Since then, Shah has toned down his defense of the language and repeatedly clarified that Hindi does not compete with any other regional language and only complements them.