Chennai: In the face of the backlash across the Vindhyas over his comments on Hindi, which he had described as a "unifying language", Home Minister Amit Shah clarified on Wednesday that he had never asked for the imposition of Hindi over regional languages and added, "If some people want to do politics, it is their choice."
"I never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages and had only requested for learning Hindi as the second language after one's mother tongue.
I myself come from a non-Hindi state of Gujarat. If some people want to do politics, it's their choice," Amit Shah was quoted by news agency ANI as saying today.
Clarifying his comments, he further said, "A child’s proper mental growth is possible only when the child studies in his/her mother tongue. Mother tongue does not mean Hindi.
It is the language of a particular state, like Gujarati in my case. But there should be one language in the country, if someone wants to learn another language, it should be Hindi."
"I have just made a request. I fail to understand what is wrong in that," he said at an event organised by Hindi daily 'Hindustan' in Ranchi.
"I too come from a non-Hindi speaking state. I come from Gujarat where Gujarati is the language, not Hindi. One must listen to my speech carefully...," Shah said.
Following Shah’s clarification and Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s intervention on behalf of the Centre, DMK president M K Stalin announced that they had put off a scheduled state-wide protest.
Purohit called Stalin and his delegation to the Raj Bhavan in Chennai and held a meeting with them. Emerging from the meeting, Stalin told journalists that the Governor had assured the DMK delegation that Hindi will never be imposed in Tamil Nadu. Therefore, the DMK had decided to put off its September 20 protest against Hindi imposition.
“The Governor informed us that Shah’s speech was misunderstood. Shah has also clarified that his remarks were misunderstood. When I asked the Governor if the Central Government was ready to guarantee that Hindi would not be imposed, he said that he was conveying what the Centre wanted him to convey,” the DMK leader said.
By DRAVIDA THAMBI