SURAT, SEPT 14 – Hindi is not against any other regional language, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday on Hindi Diwas, adding that the future of India will be written by those who use Indian languages.
Addressing the All India Official Language Conference here, Shah recalled learning Hindi after entering national politics.
The Home and Cooperation Minister, whose mother tongue is Gujarati, said he had the option to learn either Hindi or English, and he chose to learn Hindi. He said he could take his message to people only because he talked in Hindi.
“It was easy for me to learn Hindi because I studied in Gujarati medium. I had the option to learn either Hindi or English, many leaders said you are working hard, why aren’t you learning English,” Shah said.
“I told them I will speak in my own language. I could communicate with people in every state because of Hindi, if I was speaking in English, I may not have been able to take my message to so many people,” he said.
“The future of India will be written by those who talk in Indian languages,” he said.
The Home Minister stressed that the inferiority complex around languages should be shunned, and language does not determine one’s talents.
“As long as the youth of the country cannot express their original thoughts in their mother tongue, they cannot realise their full potential,” Shah said.
“Modi ji has spoken in Hindi with pride at every stage in the world. I can say, on the global stage, he has received more attention that many leaders who speak in English,” he said.
The Home Minister said use of ‘swbhasha’, or Indian languages is an important part of ‘Swaraj’. He mentioned freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak and said, “Tilak’s imagination of swaraj was also ‘swabhasha’, ‘swadharma’, ‘swasanskruiti'”.
‘In the leadership of Modi ji, we have vowed taken it will achieve the Swaraj that Tilak talked about,” he said.
Shah said language is a medium of expression and not the measure of talent.
“Youth should not have any inferiority complex related to language. Accept your mother tongue and take it forward. As long as the youth of the country cannot express their original thoughts in their mother tongue, they cannot realise their full potential,” he said.
The Minister said the National Education Policy focuses on promoting education in mother tongue.
He also said that Hindi is a friend of other Indian languages and not their competitor.
“Some people are spreading propaganda that Hindi is against Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil…. Hindi is not a competitor of any Indian language, it is a friend. If Hindi is enriched, all Indian languages get enriched,” he added.
Hindi Diwas is celebrated on September 14 every year to commemorate the day in 1949 when the Constituent Assembly accepted Hindi in the Devanagari script as the official language of India.
The first Hindi Day was celebrated on September 14, 1953, after the then Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru decided to commemorate this day as Hindi Diwas.