Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday did not mince his words when he said that Hindi is not our national language, hours after Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu urged citizens to learn the ‘Rashtra Bhasha’. In a Facebook post today, Tharoor said: “Hindi is not our national language. It is India’s most widely-spoken language and useful to know. But it cannot and should not be imposed on anyone.”
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu earlier in the day stressed that it’s important to learn Hindi as most people in the country speak the language. He also stressed on the promotion of ‘Matrubhasha’ (mother tongue) and lamented that too much importance was attached to English in the country. Naidu was speaking at an event in Sabarmati Ashram here where he presented 100 volumes of collected works of Mahatma Gandhi in English to the Ashram. In his address, the minister was quoted by PTI as saying: “Hindi as Rashtra Bhasha (national language) is very important, we cannot do without it…Most people in our country speak Hindi, so learning Hindi is also important… but we should be fluent in our mother language like Gujarati, Marathi, Bhojpuri….” Also READ: Important to learn ‘Rashtra Bhasha’ Hindi: Venkaiah Naidu
Meanwhile, in a move that is bound to have a far-reaching impact, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced on Friday that passports would now be bilingual, that is in both Hindi and English languages. “We have brought improvement in passport rules, services and focused on doorstep delivery,” Swaraj had said.