Now, Hindi To Be a Pan-Indian Language?

People from different states of India should communicate with each other in Hindi, rather than English, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday.“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that the medium of running the government is the Official Language, and this will increase the importance of Hindi. When citizens of states who speak other languages communicate with each other, it should be in the language of India,” Shah made the statement at the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee.

However, he clarified that Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English and not to regional languages. He added that Hindi should be made more flexible and inclusive by accepting words from other local languages in order to widen its reach.

In 2019, delivering his first speech on the language on Hindi Diwas, Shah had pushed for the idea of “One Nation, One Language”. He had said, “India is a country of different languages. Every language has its own importance. But… If there is any language that can tie the whole country in one thread, it is the most spoken language of Hindi.”
The statement had drawn sharp reactions from opposition parties. The CPI(M) called it an attack on the core principles of India’s linguistic diversity, while Congress leader Rajeev Gowda reminded the ruling party that Article 29 of the Constitution honored multiple languages.

Shah is the chairperson of the Official Language Committee, and BJD’s B.Mahtab is its vice-chairperson. The Home Minister emphasized the need to give basic knowledge of Hindi to students up to Class nine and pay more attention to Hindi teaching examinations.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Shah informed members that 70 percent of the Cabinet agenda is now prepared in Hindi. He added that 22,000 Hindi teachers have been recruited in the eight states of the Northeast. Nine tribal communities of the region have converted scripts of their dialects to Devanagari and all the Northeastern states have now agreed to make Hindi a compulsory language in schools up to class X.

 

These facts and recommendations were proposed in the 11th volume of the language committee’s report that is now sent to the President. Shah has consistently pushed for greater use of Hindi by officials and the youth, saying that India’s culture and value systems are protected primarily because of the language.

However, he has toned down his advocacy of the language to prevent controversy and repeatedly clarified that Hindi is not competing with any other regional language. It is merely complementing them.

References: The Indian Express

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