New Delhi: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu may seem to have stoked up another controversy, amid the agitation over imposition of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking belts, by terming Hindi as the ‘Rashtrabhasha’ (national langauage). Speaking at an event on Saturday, Naidu said, “Hindi rashtrabhasha hai. Hindi ke bina Bharat mein aage badhna sambhav nahi hai. Hamari matrabhasha hamari pehchan hai. Hamein ispe garv karna chahiye (Hindi is the national language. It is impossible to move ahead in India without Hindi. Our mother tongue is our identity and we should be proud of it).”
He also termed the widespread use of English language in daily life as detrimental to the progress of the nation. “Angrezi seekhte seekhte hum angrezi mind mein bhi aa gaye hain. Ye desh ke hit mein nahi hai (While learning English, we have trained our minds like English people. This is not in the interests of the nation),” he said.
Earlier in April, Naidu had defended a move by the Parliamentary Committee on proposing to make use of Hindi mandatory both in speech and writing for MPs and Union ministers, who could read and write the language. He had said that the Centre was only ‘promoting’ not ‘imposing’ Hindi on anyone.
Noteworthy, many political parties like the DMK have vehemently opposed the attempts made by the Centre to introduce Hindi in various forms. According to reports, DMK’s MK Stalin had threatened to begin an anti-Hindi agitation after milestones bearing Hindi writing were seen on Tamil Nadu highways.
Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, anti-Hindi imposition protests were launched after Hindi sign boards appeared in Namma Metro.
Interestingly, on January 25, 2010, the Gujarat High Court had observed that though majority of people in India have accepted Hindi as a national language, there was nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country. Notably, in the constitution, Hindi has been declared as an official language and not a national language, the court had said.