• Monday, Oct 14, 2019
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Tripura CM: People who oppose Hindi, don't love India

  • Published at 06:12 pm September 17th, 2019
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb gestures during the swearing-in ceremony of Tripura legislative assembly at Assam Rifles ground in Agartala on March 9, 2018AFP
File phoro of Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb AFP

He was speaking in support of country’s Home Minister Amit Shah, who had last week alleged that Hindi was the only language that could unite the country

Northeast Indian state of Tripura’s Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday claimed people who were opposed to making Hindi as India’s national language did not love their country, PTI reported. He was speaking in support of country’s Home Minister Amit Shah, who had last week alleged that Hindi was the only language that could unite the country.

Shah had appealed to Indians to increase their use of the mother tongue and Hindi, and equated it with realizing the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel of one language for the country.

“The people who are opposing Hindi as the national language are those who have no love for the country,” Deb said while inaugurating the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Regional Cancer Centre in Agartala. 

“I am supporting Hindi as the national language as most of the people of our country speak Hindi.” But the chief minister also claimed that he was neither opposed to English nor was he trying to impose Hindi.

He claimed that if the British did not rule India for 200 years, then there would have been no use for English in official work in the country. “Due to loyalty to the colonial rule, English became a status symbol for many people,” he said, adding that English was not necessary for a country to progress. 

“Had it been the case, countries such as Germany, China, Japan, Russia and Israel would have not developed.”

Meanwhile, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a political party based in southern India, on Monday announced that it would hold demonstrations across the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu on September 20 to condemn Shah’s pitch for a single common language in India.

On Monday, the southwest Indian state of Karnataka’s Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had said that all the official languages in the country had equal status and asserted that Kannada was the “principal language” in his state.

Several other politicians, especially from the southern part of the country, opposed Shah’s demand. Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan had made a reference to the home minister on Monday, saying that “no shah, sultan or samrat” can renege on the promise of unity in diversity made when India became a republic.