New Delhi: Sanjay Nishad, a minister in Uttar Pradesh, has said that people who do not speak the Hindi language “should leave India and go elsewhere” and those who “do not love Hindi” will be assumed to be foreigners or linked to foreign powers.
According to The News Minute, Nishad was responding to a media query on the language debate – which has taken on significance once again after a Twitter exchange between actors Ajay Devgn and Kicha Sudeep.
“Those who want to live in India should love Hindi. If you do not love Hindi, it will be assumed that you are a foreigner or are linked to foreign powers. We respect regional languages, but this country is one, and India’s Constitution says, that India is ‘Hindustan’ which means a place for Hindi speakers. Hindustan is not a place for those who don’t speak Hindi. They should leave this country and go somewhere else,” The News Minute quoted Nishad as saying.
Nishad is the founder of the Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal, commonly referred to as the NISHAD Party. He is an ally of the BJP.
Even though it is a settled issue that Hindi is not the national language of India but an official language that can be used by governments, politicians have often argued for the primacy of the language over other Indian languages.
Earlier this month, Home Minister of India Amit Shah said when citizens who speak different languages communicate with each other, “it should be in the language of India” – by which he meant Hindi, The Wire reported.
His statement came under criticism from several opposition leaders. Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin said Shah’s Hindi push went against India’s ‘integrity and pluralism’. His party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, was at the forefront of anti-Hindi movements in the past.