Tamil Nadu has a history to showcase that the fashion of imposing Hindi won't work well in the state and it is proven for yet another time when Union Home Minister Amit Shah divulged his advocacy for Hindi and said that Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English. While BJP is striving to disseminate its propaganda in the south through Karnataka, the saffron camp has been getting deterrence from Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Recently, Amit Shah has said that Hindi should be the link language and that it has to be accepted as an alternative to English. While speaking at the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee, Amit Shah said, "Time has come to make the official language an important part of the unity of the country. When people from states which speak other languages communicate with each other, it should be in the language of India."
"Unless we make Hindi flexible by accepting words from other local languages, it will not be promoted", he added. His remarks had swiftly drawn national attention and Tamil Nadu had immediately reacted to the Home Minister and the state has been voicing against Amit Shah for his fresh round of Hindi campaign. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had hit back at Amit Shah's remarks by speaking Malayalam, which was in the fashion of denying Shah's comments that Hindi should be the link language.
Stalin spoke in Malayalam at a seminar organized by the Kerala ruling Marxist Communist Party. He, along with his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, had called upon the states to fight for their autonomy and for a strong connection to be formed between parties with common thinking. The seminar was held on Saturday - April 9 in Kannur under the theme of 'Centre-State Relations'. During the event, MK Stalin called Pinarayi Vijayan his 'comrade'.
Stalin said that both Kerala and Tamil Nadu have the right to talk about the Union-state relations. He said, "We are not putting forth a call to save Tamil Nadu or Kerala, but to save India, the states should be saved first. Only if the states are saved, India can be saved." He greeted the occasion in Malayalam and his speech was going viral as it has turned heads in the midst of his efforts to converge the opposition parties across India against the BJP.
Besides MK Stalin, Oscar-winning music director AR Rahman, whose campaign for Tamil is widely-known, has also reacted to Amit Shah's Hindi comments. Within hours after Shah's comments, Rahman had tweeted out an illustration of 'Thamizhanangu', portraying the Goddess Tamil. His tweet was going rampant and sparked a wave of voices against Hindi imposition. AR Rahman had reiterated his stand on Sunday and said that Tamil is the link language.
On Sunday, AR Rahman had faced reporters during an event in Chennai during which a reporter had asked him about Amit Shah's comment on Hindi as the link language. Responding immediately to the question, Rahman has asserted that Tamil is a link language. The red-background illustration that he posted on social media had drawn huge support as the section of social media users had said that this image with a red background denoted opposition to Hindi and full support to Tamil.
On the other hand, several leaders and celebrities beyond Tamil Nadu had also reacted strongly against Amit Shah's comments. Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah said that any attempt to impose Hindi in other states has not gone well. He wrote, "Amit Shah's roots are from where Gandhi was born, but behaving like Savarkar. Gandhi advocated linguistic diversity, while Savarkar used Hindi to help the British 'Divide & Rule'".
"History clearly suggests that any attempt to impose Hindi in other states has not gone well. We take pride in Kannada identity & we believe that Karnataka, as our poet Laureate Kuvempu said, is the daughter of Bharata", Siddharamaiah added. Actor Prakash Raj joined the contingent against Amit Shah's Hindi remarks and by taking to Twitter, he wrote, "Don't try to break homes, Mr Home Minister...We dare you (to) stop Hindi imposition. We love our diversity. We love our mother tongue. We love our identities."
Through its mouthpiece 'Murasoli', Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK has warned the Union government against imposing Hindi and said that the Tamil people still remember the anti-Hindi agitation by the late DMK President M Karunanidhi. The headline was titled 'Warning to the Union government' and the article, which was published on Sunday, had carried Karunanidhi's well-known slogan against the Hindi imposition.