New Delhi: India’s Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday pitched for a common language for the country, saying Hindi is the most widely spoken and can unite the whole country.
The home minister also said efforts will be made to expand Hindi to different parts of the country and asked everyone to use their native languages as much as possible.
“India has many languages and every language has its importance. But it is absolutely necessary that the entire country should have one language that becomes India’s identity globally,” he said in a series of tweets in Hindi.
Shah said that today, if any language which can unite the country, it is Hindi that is spoken the most.
“I want to appeal to people to promote their native languages but also use Hindi to make the dream of Bapu [Mahatma Gandhi] and Sardar [Vallabhbhai] Patel of one language come true,” he tweeted.
Later, speaking at a ‘Hindi Divas’ function, Shah said Hindi should reach every individual and every home in the country.
“Next year we will hold the Hindi Divas functions in different parts of the country. I appeal to every parents to speak to their children in their own language and also with the co-workers,” he said.
He said when the country will face the next general election in 2024, Hindi would have achieved a monumental status.
The home minister said socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia had said in a democracy, the language of the government should be a language which people can understand.
“When I first took charge of the Home Ministry, in the first 10 days, not a single file has come to me with Hindi noting. Now, 60 per cent files which come to me have Hindi [notes],” he said.
Shah said a language can survive only if the new generation feels proud in speaking in the language.
“It is our strength that we have many languages and dialects. We have to see that a foreign language does not overtake a native language,” he said.
The home minister also said during the freedom struggle, the Congress conventions used to take place in different parts of the country and such initiatives empowered Hindi in those areas.
Shah said if a Hindi-medium student is asked to speak for 40 minutes in Hindi, he won’t be able to do so.
“There is so much influence of English on us that we cannot talk in Hindi without its help,” he said.
Shah said Hindi should be taken in areas like law, science and technology.
He said the Centre will teach children in northeast states to read and write Hindi.
“I was in Guwahati last week. I am told that many people are hiring private tutors to teach Hindi to their children. We have decided that we will teach them Hindi,” he said.
The home minister also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and late External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who delivered their speeches in UN General Assembly in Hindi.
“Swaraj had ensured that the UN issues regular Hindi bulletins also tweets in Hindi,” he said.
Hindi Divas is observed to mark the decision of the Constituent Assembly to extend official language status to Hindi on this day in 1949. It was first observed in 1953.