On the occasion of Hindi Diwas on Tuesday, Home Minister Amit Shah pushed for more usage of the language in the country, calling it “the essential foundation of our cultural consciousness and national togetherness.”
Mr Shah also connected Hindi to the government’s ambitious goals for an ‘atmanirbhar Bharat,’ self-sufficient India,’ which is difficult given India’s many languages, each with rich spoken and literary histories. Atmanirbhar Bharat’, he said, means being ‘atmanirbhar’ with language and that “development is embodied in the coordination of mother tongue and official language.”
He lauded prime Minister Narendra Modi, and he said: “What are we embarrassed about if the Prime Minister can communicate in Hindi on a global scale? Gone are the days when learning Hindi was a difficult task.” He stated that the administration is “dedicated to the simultaneous growth of Hindi and all Indian languages.”
Mr Shah wasn’t the only high-ranking government official to tweet in support of Hindi today; Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were among others who did so. In recent years, Hindi Diwas, which was observed on September 14, has been a contentious subject, with several states objecting to what they view as the government’s imposition of the language. For this reason, the government’s new education policy, which goes into effect this year, has been criticised.
Read also: Amit Shah worships at Srisailam temple
Protests erupted in 2019, mainly in southern areas, because the government’s education strategy was perceived as pushing schoolchildren to study Hindi. Mr Shah had tweeted that Hindi was “an essential common language to become the stamp of India’s identity internationally,” prompting DMK chairman MK Stalin to reply, “This is India, not Hindia.”