Hindi opposition denied me a chance to learn it: Nirmala

She also dismissed the arguments that the state paying more tax should get more share from the Centre. “If one agrees with such an argument, then rich people should be provided more as they pay more taxes,” she argued
Hindi opposition denied me a chance to learn it: Nirmala
Union Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman being presented with a Thanjavur painting at the annual function of a Tamil magazine in Chennai on Sunday

CHENNAI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday expressed regret over being unable to speak Hindi as fluently as English as she was not allowed to learn the language in Tamil Nadu.

“Those who opposed ‘Hindi imposition’ prevented me from learning Hindi. Today I am not able to speak Hindi as fluently as English. I am saying this with regret. If I had learned Hindi, I could have raised Tamil Nadu issues in the Parliament in the language understood by the ‘North people’. But that was not possible. Is politics about reducing opportunities or creating opportunities?” she said while addressing the 52nd annual function of a Tamil magazine.

Denying any attempts to impose Hindi, she wondered why do you (Dravidian Movement) control someone from learning another language? She alleged that her right to learn another language was taken away by the Dravidian Movement. “If an individual wants to learn a language, do you have so much power to prevent him/her from doing it?” she asked.

She asserted that no one could question her love for Tamil. “Even after living outside the state for the past 30 years, I could speak fluently in Tamil,” she said, adding that no one should be prevented from learning any language of their choice.

On the issue of pending GST dues to the state, the Finance Minister said that no one has the power to deprive a state of getting its share of GST compensation. “So far Rs 7.35 lakh crore was given to all the states as GST Compensation. Only Rs 78,000 crore for the month of February and March 2022 is pending for all the states. It is wrong to say it is pending for Tamil Nadu,” she said.

She also dismissed the arguments that the state paying more tax should get more share from the Centre. “If one agrees with such an argument, then rich people should be provided more as they pay more taxes,” she argued

She hit out at the Congress for doing politics during vaccination drive.

“The leaders of Congress questioned the vaccine manufactured by Indian companies. Prime Minister and even I have shared photos after taking the vaccine shot. To date, no one knows whether the Congress leader took the vaccine shot or not. If so, it is manufactured by Indian companies or foreign,” she asked.

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