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Last Updated : Sep 17, 2019 06:03 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Regional BJP allies express displeasure over Amit Shah's 'one nation, one language' statement

The AIADMK, a BJP ally, stated that while the party believes in nationalism and 'one India policy', it does not subscribe to the 'one language' idea.

Amit Shah
Amit Shah

Even as the Opposition stepped up attack on Home Minister Amit Shah for his 'one nation, one language' statement, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) regional allies do not seem too happy about it either.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a BJP ally and a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) component, stated that while the party believes in nationalism and 'one India policy', it does not subscribe to the 'one language' idea.

"The AIADMK's concertised policy is two-language formula for the country. One is regional language for the state and English for intra-state," AIADMK's state organisation secretary, C Ponnaiyan, told Moneycontrol.

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"Hindi is one among the 22 official languages of the country. Hindi is not the only official language of the country. It is not the language spoken in majority of the states," Ponnaiyan said.

"Amit Shah and his followers are ignoring India's integrity. They should avoid it," Ponnaiyan said, adding that Shah should withdraw the statement.

In Maharashtra, the sentiments were repeated by the Shiv Sena, particularly by Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray during an interview with News18.

"Hindi and English have been languages that are commonly connected... Each language should be respected, each language has its own beauty. You cannot have a uniform pitch everywhere," Thackeray said.

The Sena, which rose to prominence in the state by espousing a regional identity pitch, is gearing up to fight the forthcoming Assembly polls in Maharashtra in alliance with the BJP. Reports suggest that a seat-sharing deal between the two parties will be sealed soon.

"While we have adopted the three-language formula, we will not tolerate the imposition of Hindi over Marathi. In Maharashtra, Marathi should be favoured," Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande told Moneycontrol, adding that it has always been Sena's stance that Marathi should be compulsory in Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, in Karnataka, the newly-minted BJP Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa, said that Kannada is the principal language in the state, and that its importance would never be compromised.

"All official languages in our country are equal. However, as far as Karnataka is concerned, Kannada is the principal language," he tweeted.

The statement came on the background of the opposition Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) coming out strongly against Shah's statements.

Shah had, on September 13, tweeted that there is a "need for our nation to have one language" on the occasion of Hindi diwas.

"Diversity of languages and dialects is strength of our nation. But there is need for our nation to have one language, so that foreign languages don’t find a place. This is why our freedom fighters envisioned Hindi as Raj Bhasha," Shah had tweeted.

The Opposition had hit back at Shah, with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) stating that it would launch an agitation across Tamil Nadu against Shah's statement.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had on September 16 tweeted that India's many languages are not its weakness.

"Hindi continues to grow, this is what we all want, but by putting pressure, by doing something, it is not appropriate to use that issue only for votes," Congress leader Rajiv Shukla had said at a media briefing on September 16.

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First Published on Sep 17, 2019 06:03 pm
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