Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged BJP leaders on May 20 to alert citizens about attempts being made to trigger controversies on the basis of language and asserted that the saffron party considers all Indian languages the soul of "Bharatiyata" (Indianness) and worthy of reverence.
In his virtual address to a meeting of the party office-bearers in Jaipur, Mr. Modi said it is the BJP that has linked India's cultural and linguistic diversity with national pride.
"Giving priority to local languages in the National Education Policy manifests our commitment to all regional languages. The BJP considers Indian languages the soul of Bharatiyata and the link to a better future for the country," he said.
“I want to mention this especially because attempts have been made in the recent past to create new controversies on the basis of language. We have to constantly alert the people of the country about this,” the Prime Minister said.
He asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sees a reflection of the Indian culture in every Indian language.
It considers every Indian language worthy of reverence, Mr. Modi added.
His remarks came amid allegations by several regional parties, mostly from south India, that the Modi Government is trying to give primacy to Hindi at the cost of regional languages.
Recently, the BJP's rivals had latched on to a row over languages sparked by actor Ajay Devgn's claim that Hindi is the national language. As the controversy spiralled, politicians and film personalities were among those who spoke up to say Hindi is like any other language in India and not the national language.