‘Hindi a little Child in Diapers’: Kamal Haasan on Language Debate

The actor-turned-politician said that it is a good language but should not be forced on people.

Published
India
2 min read
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan. 
i

Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan called Hindi a ‘little child in diapers’ in comparison with older languages of the country.

He was speaking at an event organised by the Department of Visual Communication of Loyola College in Chennai on Tuesday. He was responding to a comment by a student on his latest video on Hindi imposition.

“Among the family of languages, the youngest is Hindi. It is a little child in diapers. We will have to take care of that language because it is our child too. We will definitely take care of it. Compared to Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, it is still young,” he said, adding that it was with compassion, kindness and a lot of affection he was saying this and not with derision.

Reiterating his stance on imposing Hindi on citizens who do not speak Hindi, the actor-politician said that it is a good language but should not be forced on people.

“Our contention is, do not stuff it down our throats. You called us for dinner, lay it on the plate. Don’t make us a guest and give us a menu, which order to eat. We will not accept it,” he said.

His remark comes a few weeks after he took a jibe at Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the imposition of Hindi. Kamal Haasan had slammed Amit Shah’s statement that only Hindi can unite the country, in the precincts of Hindi Diwas celebrations. Amit Shah had said, "There are several languages in India and they have their own value, but it is important for the nation to have one language that it is identified by in the world. If there is one language that can unite the country, it's Hindi.”

Responding to this statement, Kamal Haasan had retorted not to make an inclusive India into an exclusive one. In his 1.33-minute-long video, Kamal Haasan said that Indians were promised unity in diversity when India became a republic and that ‘No Shah, Sultan or Samrat should renege on the promise of unity in diversity of India’.

(This article was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)

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