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Not imposing Hindi but promoting it: Centre on DMK’s ‘Hindia’ barb

New Delhi: The Centre on Monday said it is not imposing Hindi on anyone but promoting it like other regional languages.

“We are not imposing Hindi but promoting Hindi like any other language,” Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters in Kashmir.

Rijiju is the minister incharge of the Department of Official Language.

His comments came in the backdrop allegations levelled by certain quarters that the Modi government is trying to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states. DMK leader M K Stalin has accused the Centre of trying to relegate people who don’t speak Hindi, to second-class citizens and of pushing the country into becoming “Hindia”.

The controversy was generated after President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the recommendation of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language (CPOL) that all dignitaries including the president and ministers, especially those who can read and speak Hindi, may be requested to give their speech/statement in Hindi only.

The president has accepted several other recommendations, including making announcements on board aircraft in Hindi followed by English.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the allegation that Hindi is being imposed is “completely false” and the government has “no intention” of imposing any language, including Hindi, on anyone.

“I was pained to read in a section of the press today news reports wherein DMK leader MK Stalin has been quoted alleging imposition of Hindi by the central government,” he said.

The minister said the suggestion of the CPOL was “only recommendatory and not mandatory”. “It is totally false and mischievous to allege that an Ordinance was passed in this regard (making use of Hindi mandatory for MPs and Union ministers),” he added.

Naidu said it was only the recommendation of the CPOL, headed by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram, which was forwarded to President Pranab Mukherjee on June 2, 2011 and the present government notified it on March 31 this year. He said that DMK was part of the UPA in 2011 when this recommendation was made and forwarded by the committee to the president.

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