Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M.K. Stalin said on Friday that the BJP government at the Centre was constantly working towards destroying India’s pluralistic identity, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement that “Hindi should be the language of communication between States” was an attempt to destroy India’s unity.
“Does Mr. Amit Shah believe that Hindi-speaking States alone are enough and that Indian States are not required? A single language will not be of use for unity. A single identity will not create unity,” he said.
Mr. Stalin, in a couple of tweets, further warned, “You are repeatedly making the same mistake. But you won’t win.”
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri, too, warned that if the Union government tried to impose Hindi on non-Hindi-speaking States, they would launch a protest. He said Mr. Shah’s statement went against the Constitution and the Official Languages Act.
Mr. Alagiri said in a statement that in the past eight years, the BJP was discriminating against people on religious lines for electoral benefits. This was against India’s unity and federalism. Now, the BJP government was trying to divide people on linguistic lines, he said.
The Congress leader said Mr. Shah’s statement caused a lot of anger and anxiety among citizens of non-Hindi-speaking States. He said an amendment to the Official Languages Act in 1967 made it clear that the language of communication between non-Hindi-speaking States must be English, and it ensured that Hindi was not imposed on any State.