Ranchi: Seeking to put to rest the controversy over his remarks on Hindi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Wednesday he has never asked for imposition of Hindi anywhere in the country but advocated its use as the second language.
Amit Shah asserted that he has been repeatedly pitching for strengthening regional languages. “I too come from a non-Hindi speaking state. I come from Gujarat where Gujarati is the language, not Hindi. One has to listen to my speech carefully. If someone wants to do politics, it is their choice,” the Home Minister said during an event here.
Amit was referring to his speech on the occasion of ‘Hindi Divas’, Saturday where he made a pitch for a common language for India. It drew strong reaction from southern parties who vowed to oppose any attempt to ‘impose’ Hindi.
The Home Minister said to end the confusion, people should listen to his speech carefully where he repeatedly said that Indian languages should be strengthened and people should realise their necessity.
“A child can perform, a child’s proper mental growth is possible only when the child studies in mother tongue. Mother tongue does not mean Hindi. It is the language of a particular state, like Gujarati in my state. But there should be one language in the country, if someone wants to learn another language, it should be Hindi,” Amit Shah pointed out. “I have just made the request. I have failed to understand what is wrong in that,” he added.
Shah said someday there has to be a movement in the country for strengthening local languages ‘or else India would be like New Zealand and Australia’.
“I often ask people coming from New Zealand and Australia – what is your language. They cannot look me into the eye.. There should not be a day when we lose our own languages. Local languages should be strengthened and along with that people should also learn Hindi,” asserted Shah.
“I want to appeal to people to promote their native languages but also use Hindi to make the dream of Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) and Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel of one language come true,” Shah said.