Pani puri row: K Ponmudy issues clarification following controversial speech

Claiming that those who speak Hindi are engaged in menial jobs here, the minister at a Convocation ceremony at Bharathiar University Ponmudy said
Pani puri row: K Ponmudy issues clarification following controversial speech
Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy at 37th convocation of Bharathiar University@KPonmudiMLA

COIMBATORE: Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy on Friday issued a clarification after making a controversial statement in the ongoing language debate claiming that Hindi speaking people are selling 'Paani Puri' in the state. He made a controversial statement while questioning the rationale behind the argument that learning Hindi could open more employment opportunities.

Claiming that those who speak Hindi are engaged in menial jobs here, the minister at a Convocation ceremony at Bharathiar University Ponmudy said, "If the argument that learning Hindi could open more employment opportunities was true then why are those speaking the Hindi language selling 'Paani-Puri' here?" After much criticism, the minister issued a clarification and said, "Various persons from Tamil Nadu go and work in the Northern States. I said in this sense that various persons from the North come here and work because there is no work available in Northern states."

Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy at 37th convocation of Bharathiar University
'Hindi is the language of those selling pani puri': K Ponmudy

"Hindi is neither a national language nor a link language. In the federal system, one can't impose any language forcefully.We don't have any problem learning other languages, "Former Karnataka CM and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah had said on Union HM's remark 'Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English'. The minister's remark came amid the raging debate over the imposition of Hindi, which erupted after a Twitter spat between actors Ajay Ajay Devgn and Kiccha Sudeep.

Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn, got into a war of words with South star Kichcha Sudeepa after the latter's comment that Hindi is no longer India's national language. As per media reports, during an event, Sudeepa stated that "Hindi is no more a national language." Following this, Devgn took to his Twitter handle and expressed his views on Sudeepa's comment.

In Hindi, he wrote, "Kiccha Sudeep, my brother, according to you, if Hindi is not our national language then why do you release your native language [mother tongue] films by dubbing them in Hindi? Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language. Jan Gan Man." The duo's Twitter exchange soon turned political after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai extended support to Sudeep saying that regional language is the most important.

The Karnataka Opposition leaders HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah also commented on Devgn and Sudeepa's Twitter exchange.

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