Amit Shah Bats For Hindi as National Language, Twitter Slams Him

If one language can unite the country today, it is the Hindi language, said Amit Shah, but Twitter disagrees.

3 min read
Union Home Minister Amit Shah. 

On the occasion of ‘Hindi Diwas’ on Saturday, 14 September, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to social media to claim that Hindi is the only language that can unite the country today. Shah stated that,

“India is a country of different languages and every language has its own importance, but it is very important to have a language which should become the identity of India in the world. If one language can unite the country today, it is the widely spoken Hindi language.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah 

He further appealed to Indians to promote their mother tongue as well as use Hindi as ‘one language’ to realise the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel.

The tweet read, "Today, on the occasion of Hindi Day, I appeal to all the citizens of the country that we should increase the use of our mother tongue and also use the Hindi language as one language to realise the dreams of Bapu and iron man Sardar Patel. Happy Hindi Day,"


‘Every Child in Northeast Will Be Taught Hindi’

Speaking later at a Hindi Divas event in Delhi, Shah said the Centre will teach children in northeast States to read and write Hindi.

He said “Today if you ask a Hindi-medium student to speak for 40 minutes in Hindi, he won’t be able to do so.”

The union minister added that Hindi had to be taken in areas like law, science and technology.

“I was in Guwahati last week, I heard that many people are hiring private tutors to teach Hindi to their children. The Centre has decided that we will teach them Hindi,” he said.


Opposition Hits Back

Hours after Shah’s statement, the Congress said the three-language formula should not be tinkered with, and controversies must not be stirred up on "emotive" issues settled by Constitution-makers.

The opposition party also said that no indication should be given of a rethink on the "three-language formula", as it will create strife and unrest in the country.

The three-language formula is commonly understood to comprise Hindi, English and the regional language of the respective states.

Asked about Shah's remarks, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said, "Let me make it very clear, if that is true then the Home Minister of India should know that Hindi has been declared as the official language long back."

“The Constitution clearly respects India's diversity as it recognises 22 languages spoken by a large number of people,” Sharma said.

DMK Chief MK Stalin lashed out at Shah over the comment, demanding Prime Minister Modi clarify his stand on the matter. He added that the ‘DMK will get ready for another language war’.

“Threat to India’s unity after attempting to thrust Hindi in railways, postal and railway jobs. DMK will not hesitate to unite states which stand to lose rights due to Hindi dominance.”
MK Stalin, DMK Chief

Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy also lashed out at the Minister's tweet and said, "Today, the government is celebrating Hindi Divas across the country. Along with Hindi, Kannada is also constitutionally recognised as one of the official languages. When are you going to celebrate Kannada Divas across the country Mr Narendra Modi? Remember that Kannadigas are also a part of this nation."

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee meanwhile, stressed on the importance of respecting all languages and cultures equally.

The CPI lashed out at Shah’s statement over Hindi, saying it was an "attack" on India's federal structure and diversity.

The Left party in its statement said, "the statement of Amit Shah on Hindi Diwas saying that if there is any single language that can ensure unity of our nation that is only Hindi smacks of attack on the very concept of diversity. The need today is to respect, protect and nurture diversity of our nation so that unity is ensured".

"Home Minister's statement is an attack on federalism extending the politics and ideology of RSS to every sphere of life. Communist Party of India strongly condemns these repeated attempts of Modi-Shah government to impose Hindi as part of Hindutva agenda of RSS. This will actually divide our Nation," it added.

Warning the government to desist from such "nefarious attempts" the CPI demanded that Shah withdraw his statement, PTI reported.


'Proud Of Diversity’

Amit Shah’s comments received massive backlash on social media. People took to Twitter to state that all languages need to be respected.


(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!