Never sought to im­pose Hindi: Shah ‘Urged Peo­ple Stalin ‘post­pones’ To Learn It As anti-Hindi protest 2nd Lan­guage’

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The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - [email protected] times­group.com THE TIMES OF IN­DIA, NEW DELHI B Si­vaku­mar | THURS­DAY, SEPTEM­BER 19, 2019

Ranchi: Home min­is­ter Amit Shah on Wed­nes­day clar­i­fied that he was not for force­ful im­po­si­tion of Hindi across the coun­try but had only ad­vo­cated its use as a com­mon lan­guage.

Speak­ing at a func­tion in Ranchi, Shah said his com­ments were mis­con­strued and politi­cised. Stat­ing that he too hailed from a non-Hindi-speak­ing state to make his point, Shah said, “I come from Gu­jarat, which is a nonHindi belt and Gu­jarati is the mother tongue. I have re­peat­edly said that mother tongues (ma­tri bhasas) should al­ways be strength­ened. With this, I didn’t mean Hindi. It is not our ma­tri bhasha. But I feel there should be a com­mon lan­guage in the coun­try.”

He fur­ther said, “In this con­text, I have ap­pealed to peo­ple that af­ter their mother tongues, if you are learn­ing any other lan­guage, you should learn Hindi as the sec­ond lan­guage. I have only re­quested. What’s wrong with it? I don’t un­der­stand. I never ad­vo­cated im­pos­ing it force­fully. If any­one tries to do pol­i­tics, it is their choice.”

He added, “A child can per­form and pros­per men­tally only when he or she stud­ies in his or her mother tongue. And it doesn’t mean Hindi. But there should be one com­mon lan­guage in the coun­try.”

Shah went on to say that sooner or later, one will have to build a move­ment to strengthen lo­cal lan­guages. “I think we will have to build a mass move­ment (an­dolan) sooner or later to save and strengthen lo­cal lan­guages. Oth­er­wise, we will be­come like New Zealand, Aus­tralia or (those in) Africa which do not have their own lan­guages. When I ask del­e­gates from there about their lan­guages, they draw a blank. We shouldn’t go that way,” he said.

Stress­ing that sev­eral states had a three-lan­guage for­mula, Shah said noth­ing of this sort could be im­ple­mented by force. “When it comes to safe­guard­ing na­tional in­ter­est, I don’t be­lieve in com­pro­mis­ing on use of force. But in sit­u­a­tions like these (lan­guages), there has to be a di­a­logue and consensus, not force,” he said. Chennai: DMK on Wed­nes­day an­nounced its de­ci­sion to “tem­po­rar­ily post­pone” the Septem­ber 20 state-wide protest against Union home min­is­ter Amit Shah’s call for “ex­pand­ing the reach of Hindi” across the coun­try. DMK pres­i­dent M K Stalin de­cided to post­pone the protest af­ter a 45minute meet­ing with gover­nor Ban­war­i­lal Puro­hit.

Stalin said that the gover­nor ex­plained to him that Shah’s speech on Hindi Di­was on Septem­ber 14 had been mis­un­der­stood. “The gover­nor force­fully stressed that Hindi will not be im­posed on Tamil Nadu. We asked the gover­nor whether the Cen­tre will con­firm this. The gover­nor said he rep­re­sented the Cen­tre and was say­ing what the Cen­tre had con­veyed to him,” said Stalin.

Stalin said he came to know about a clar­i­fi­ca­tion is­sued by Shah on Wed­nes­day by way of a tweet. “Thus, based on what the gover­nor and Shah have said, we have de­cided to post­pone the protest,” said Stalin. Shah’s clar­i­fi­ca­tion and the gover­nor’s ex­pla­na­tion, com­ing as they did in the wake of the pro­posed protest, were a “vic­tory” for DMK, he said.

Sources told TOI that the NDA govern­ment had re­quested the gover­nor to per­suade DMK to with­draw its protest as it did not want any­thing to mar PM Modi’s visit to IIT Madras on Septem­ber 30 as well as the sec­ond edi­tion of the Indo-China in­for­mal sum­mit that may be held in Ma­mal­la­pu­ram.

PTI

‘I have re­peat­edly said that mother tongues (ma­tri bhasa) should be strength­ened. With this, I didn’t mean Hindi,’ Shah said

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