Adding to the ongoing debate on making Hindi a compulsory language, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday, 14 May, requested Union Minister Amit Shah to make "Ek desh, ek vidhaan, ek bhasha" (One country, one law, one language) as the "whole country understands" Hindi.
"Hindi is the language of the country. The only language which is recognized in the whole country, which is spoken in the whole country is Hindi... Home Minister Amit Shah should accept the challenge that one language in all the states... There should be one mark and one language," Sanjay Raut was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"Whenever I get an opportunity in the Parliament, I speak in Hindi. Because the country should listen what I want to say, it is a language of the country. Hindi is the only language which has acceptability and is spoken in the entire country [sic]," Raut said.
Raut's comments come a day after Tamil Nadu Education Minister K Ponmudy said that the English language was more valuable than Hindi, and that those speaking Hindi were doing menial jobs and selling "pani puris."
'Centre Not Imposing Any Language on Tamil Nadu': Governor
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi said on Saturday that an impression was being created by some people that the Centre was imposing a language on Tamil Nadu, and said that "it was far from the truth."
"People who go to seek justice, they must get justice in the language they understand. We've to encourage and enrich all the languages of this country. Tamil is a very ancient and rich language," he was quoted as saying by ANI. He also noted that the focus of the National Education Policy (NEP) was to conduct teaching and learning in regional languages.
English & Pani Puris: What Tamil Nadu Minister K Ponmudy Had Said
Ponmudy, while speaking at a convocation ceremony in the state, had asked why one should learn Hindi when the international language English was being taught in schools in Tamil Nadu.
He also noted that Tamil students are willing to learn any language and added that Hindi should be an optional language and not a compulsory one.
The minister said: "They say that if you learn Hindi, you will get jobs? Is it so? You can see in Coimbatore who are selling panipuris now? English is the international language and not Hindi."
Ponmudy also promised to implement the beneficial aspects of the National Education Policy 2020 but added that the state government was determined to only implement a two-language system.
(With inputs from IANS and ANI.)