The BJP on Friday sought to defend the government’s move to promote Hindi, saying it seeks to bind the nation together and should not be construed as an “insult” to English.
“Hindi is the national language and is the heart of the country. Priority to Hindi cannot be (construed as) an insult to English. The government’s initiative for according priority to Hindi and regional languages is a welcome step,” BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
He said Hindi is a mixture of different regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayali, Gujarati, Bengali, Assamese, Urdu and other regional languages.
It was unfortunate that despite Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Rammanohar Lohia’s efforts to propagate Hindi to connect the people of different parts of the country, the previous governments have not taken enough steps to promote it, Mr. Naqvi said.
“This time, the government is honestly doing everything to promote Hindi,” he said.
“There is no conflict between Hindi and English. If somebody is opposing Hindi, it is not the right thing because they have to understand that Hindi and other regional languages have not got their proper right in the past,” Mr. Naqvi said.
Two Home Ministry circulars seeking to promote official language Hindi in the social media has raked up a controversy with DMK accusing the Centre of imposing the language on non-Hindi speaking sections.
While the government decision was attacked by DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had said on Thursday that he will promote use of Hindi in all official work and public life
Home Minister Rajnath Singh had, however, sought to down play the controversy by saying the Centre will promote all languages of the country.
The Home Ministry’s official language department had issued a circular on May 27 asking all Ministries and Departments, public sector undertakings and banks to give prominence to Hindi on official accounts in social media.
“....All officers and employees who operate official accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Google, Youtube should use Hindi and English languages. Prominence should be given to Hindi,” Director, official language, Avadesh Kumar Mishra wrote in the directive.
Another circular announced prize money of Rs. 2,000 to two employees who do their official work mostly in Hindi. Rs. 1,200 and Rs. 600 will be given to the second and third position holders respectively.