This is India, not ‘Hindia’: Stalin slams Shah’s Hindi push

The Chief Minister demanded to declare all 22 languages in the 8th schedule as official languages of the Union
M K Stalin; Amit Shah
M K Stalin; Amit Shah

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday slammed the pro-Hindi push of the BJP-led Union government and cautioned that a united country shall not be divided in the name of ‘Hindia’. Stalin also asked the Union government to declare all 22 languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as official languages of the Union government.

Taking strong exception to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement during Hindi Day celebration this morning, Stalin said, “This is a united India. Let no attempt be made to divide it in the name of Hindia. To protect native languages, the Union government should announce the 22 native languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as official languages of the union govt on par with Hindi.” Tamil among the Indian languages should be made the administrative languages of the Union government and an “Indian Languages Day” should be celebrated instead of Hindi day, he suggested.

Adding that Amit Shah’s statement, “One should learn Hindi to understand the culture and history”, is against the plural values of the multilingual country, Stalin said, Indian history and culture are not buried in Hindi.

“Several historians have propounded that the Dravidian language family had spread beyond the Indian boundary thousands of years before Hindi was even born. Even Dr BR Ambedkar has concluded that in his research.”

Quoting historians as concluding that Indian history should be written from the south for true understanding of the country’s culture and history, the Chief Minister also made a veiled reference to the anti-Hindi agitation of the State in the distant past.

“Legally, Hindi is neither the national language nor the sole official language. It is the administrative language of the Union government. The Union Home Minister has used ‘native languages” as a friendly illustration to prioritise Hindi. Linguists have proved with evidence that native languages of currently Hindi speaking states like Bhojpuri, Maithili, Chandali and Avvadi are on the verge of going obsolete due to Hindi’s dominance. The local people are struggling to protect the languages from the verge of extinction,” he said.

Reasoning that English as a link language was a Constitutional protection created to protect distinct languages like Tamil from the dominance of official language Hindi, he said that the Constitutional safeguard provided by Pandit Nehru has protected classical Tamil from dominant official languages. “If the Union government is really concerned about native languages it should create a parity in budgetary allocation to them and Hindi-Sanskrit. Instead, the Centre is keen on imposing Sanskrit and HIndi through National Education Policy, ” added Stalin in a strongly worded statement.

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