Hindi as link language

Hindi is not the only language spoken in India. This is a fact well established since the 1960s when the southern states of India refused to accept Hindi as the national language. But Amit Shah is known as the steam roller of the NDA Government. From scrapping Article 370 which takes away the status of Kashmir as a state and turned it into a Union Territory, to making loud claims about implementing the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and now the announcement that Hindi would be made the national language, Amit Shah is implementing everything in the RSS agenda. As expected this has sparked off nationwide acrimony. Amit Shah was speaking on National Hindi Day in New Delhi on September 14 where he emphasised the need for Hindi to be made the common language of the country. The vision of the BJP-RSS has always been of a Hindustan of one language, one religion and one race. But this goes contrary to the idea of an India known for its diversity and which defies the very idea of a nation-state with a single language, single race and one religion, as propagated by western philosophy. Critics aver that simply because Hindi is widely spoken it cannot be imposed on large sections of the population that cannot understand this language because it bears little resemblance to their own. The idea of an India united by a common language is flawed because of its diversity. It is but natural that strong voices of dissent should echo from across the country.

Again as expected, Opposition parties, particularly from the South have accused Shah of playing divisive politics and foisting the RSS agenda on the country. But the Opposition criticism does not seem to have got much traction since the BJP-RSS have been upfront in their design of  promoting a common language other than English. Amit Shah’s stance is one that the Sangh Parivar has held for decades. In fact, Amit Shah had stated that while vernacular languages should be given importance in their respective states, Hindi, not English should be the link language to promote and protect the core values of Indian culture and its philosophy as also the memory of the freedom struggle which becomes diluted by the fact that Indians continue to communicate in English even in officialdom.

But the BJP is emboldened to take this step after assessing the mood of the nation especially post the Balakot strike which shows an India united more than ever before in its aspiration to be a world power. The BJP believes that opposition to Hindi is now only a political slugfest and not a popular public opinion.

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