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Nobody is forcing Hindi on anybody: M Venkaiah Naidu

Friday, 20 June 2014 - 3:52pm IST | Agency: PTI

As the Union Home Ministry's two circulars seeking to promote Hindi in the social media stirred up a big controversy, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said Hindi was not being forced on anyone and a "wrong propaganda" was on about Hindi imposition.

"This is again a wrong propaganda going on; nobody is forcing Hindi on anybody...," Naidu, also the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, told reporters here. "I'm for popularising more and more regional languages, giving them importance- that is the policy of this government.

There is no question of forcing any language. Let there be no apprehensions in this regard," he added. The Home Ministry circulars have invited criticism particularly from parties in Tamil Nadu, who have raised apprehensions about Hindi imposition on non-Hindi speaking sections.  The move has come under attack from DMK leader M Karunanidhi and NDA Tamil Nadu allies MDMK chief Vaiko and PMK founder S Ramadoss.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing the proposal as "against the letter and spirit" of the Official Languages Act. The "highly sensitive issue" had caused "disquiet" to the people of Tamil Nadu "who are very proud of and passionate about their linguistic heritage", she said. The Home Ministry's official language department had issued a circular on May 27 asking all Ministries and Departments, public sector undertakings and banks to give prominence to Hindi on official accounts in social media.  "...all officers and employees who operate official accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Google, Youtube should use Hindi and English languages. Prominence should be given to Hindi," Director, official language, Avadesh Kumar Mishra wrote in the directive.

Another circular announced prize money of Rs 2,000 to two employees who do their official work mostly in Hindi. Rs 1,200 and Rs 600 will be given to the second and third position holders respectively.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi cries foul over central government's directive on Hindi
Dubbing as beginning of "imposition of Hindi", the NDA Government's reported directive to officials to give priority to the language in social media, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said on Thursday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should focus on economic growth and social development. "Giving priority to Hindi will be construed as a first step towards attempt at creating differences among non-Hindi speaking people and making them second class citizens," the 90-year old leader, whose party spearheaded the anti-Hindi agitation in the 1960s in the state, said in a statement. Read more 

Ensure English is used on social media, Jayalalithaa tells PM Narendra Modi
The chief minister said she had learnt that the two office memoranda issued by the Union Home Ministry "direct that official accounts on social media like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Google and YouTube, which at present use only English, should compulsorily use Hindi, or both Hindi and English, with Hindi being written above or first". That makes the use of Hindi mandatory and English optional, she said in the letter. "As you are aware, as per the Official Languages Rules, 1976, communications from a central government office to a state or Union Territory in Region "C" or to any office (not being a central government office) or person in such state shall be in English." Read more 

Jammu and Kashmir will use its official languages: Omar Abdullah
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is the latest politician to condemn the government's push for prioritising Hindi in the official social media interactions. He said his state has two official languages, English and Urdu, which will continue being used. He said, "Whoever wants to use Hindi can use it but our country is so large that it becomes very difficult to impose one language or one religion on anyone." Abdullah also spoke for people who want to use their mother tongue, saying that if their language is different from Hindi, they should use it. Read more

ALSO READ: Why Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push for Hindi doesn't appeal to more than half of 1.2 billion Indians
Since taking office as India's prime minister last month, Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi has taken a clear stand in support of Hindi, pushing for it to replace English as the preferred language of the capital's urbane and golf-playing bureaucrats. Hindi and English are India's two official languages for federal government business, although India's constitution recognises a total of 22 languages. But with more than half of India's 1.2 billion people using another language as their mother tongue, the push for Hindi risks widening communication divides in a highly diverse country, especially in the southern and eastern states, where local languages or English are preferred. Read more 

Guideline on Hindi 'injustice to other national languages': CPI(M)
CPI(M) today attacked the Narendra Modi government for its directive on the use of Hindi as the medium for government communication on social media while seeking modification of the same. "Government should modify its policy and, along with Hindi, use other national languages as well as English for communication on social media," the party's Politburo said in a statement here.

The Modi government's decision to use Hindi as the sole medium of communication for government information on social media was "against the principle of linguistic equality and is an injustice to other national languages," it said. Read more


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