Bengaluru: Several pro-Kannada organisations on Saturday took to streets in Bengaluru and other places in Karnataka to protest union home minister Amit Shah’s proposal of ‘One Nation, One Language’ that seeks to promote Hindi as the country’s common language.
Other non-Hindi speaking states such as Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andra Pradesh, among others, also saw several leaders lead protests against the Shah’s proposal made on the occasion of the ‘Hindi Diwas’, observed by the centre on Saturday.
"India is a country of different languages and every language has its own significance but it is very important to have one language that should become the identity of India in the world. If one language can unite the country today, it is the widely-spoken Hindi language," Shah tweeted in Hindi on Saturday.
Soon after, hashtags like #StopHindiImperialism #StopHindiImposition #MakeMyLanguageOfficial began trending on Twitter, with netizens targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
Former Karnataka chief minister Siddarmaiah, in a post on Twitter, said the Centre was spreading false information about Hindi being the national language. He said “like Kannada, Hindi too was one of the 22 official languages" of the country.
Siddaramaiah’s successor, H.D.Kumaraswamy asked when a national Kannada Diwas would be celebrated, reminding that Karnataka was part of the federal structure of the country.
“Hindi isn't every Indian's "mother tongue". Could you try appreciating the diversity & beauty of the many mother tongues that dot this land? Article 29 gives every Indian the right to a distinct language, script & culture. India's much bigger than Hindi, Hindu, Hindutva," Asaduddin Owaisi, Member of Parliament from Hyderabad, and the president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) posted on Twitter.
Non-Hindi speaking states have long protested the perceived imposition of Hindi by the Modi’s government.