BJP ally Shiv Sena today jumped into the controversy ignited by the Union Home Ministry issuing directives on use of Hindi language, saying reports of Hindi being "banned" in Odisha Assembly are shocking. "In Odisha legislature, the Speaker instructed that Hindi not be used. He told a legislator not to speak in Hindi.
English is accepted as a substitute for Oriya language but not Hindi," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece "Saamana" said. "PM Narendra Modi has given Hindi a place of pride. He also addressed Bhutan Parliament in Hindi. At a time when Hindi is being given such importance, reports that there is a ban in Odisha Assembly on speaking in Hindi and asking questions in Hindi are shocking," it said. "If Narendra Modi as the PM does not promote Hindi then who else will," it said. "Agreed that English is a global language. But is it justified to give a secondary status to national language Hindi," the editorial asked.
The Sena comments come in the backdrop of the Union Home Ministry issuing directives to use Hindi for interactions on the social media and different voices emerging from regional parties on the issue. "In Mumbai, even if a Hindi speaker were to slip on a banana peel, the Hindi devotees in North say injustice is being done to them," it said. "Now, injustice has been done to Hindi in Odisha Assembly. They should train their guns there," it added.
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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
Nobody is forcing Hindi on anybody: M Venkaiah Naidu
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