DMK president M K Stalin Monday called for a statewide strike in Tamil Nadu on September 20 to protest against Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s pitch to impose Hindi across the country.
“DMK will protest across Tamil Nadu districts on September 20 at 10 am against central government’s decision on the imposition of Hindi language. The decision was taken at the party’s high-level committee meeting,” Stalin was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The agitation was to nip in the bud the “adverse effects” of “Hindi imposition on “mother Tamil” and the mother tongues of people of other (non-Hindi speaking) states,” a resolution adopted at the meet said.
The DMK leader also said the agitation was the first phase of protest and that further course of action will be decided on the basis of the Centre’s response and discussions with like-minded parties.
On Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had pitched for Hindi as a common language for the country, reigniting the debate on the issue even as regional satraps in the south said they would oppose any attempt to “impose” the language.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said Kannada was the primary language of the state and the government was committed to promote it and their culture in the state.
Taking to Twitter, Yediyurappa said, “All official languages in our country are equal. However, as far as Karnataka is concerned, Kannada is the principal language. We will never compromise its importance and are committed to promote Kannada and our state’s culture.”
“No ‘Shah, Sultan or Samrat’ can break the promise made to protect our culture and identity,” the Makkal Needhi Maiam leader tweeted. “Now you are constrained to prove to us that India will continue to be a free country. You must consult the people before you make a new law or a new scheme,” Haasan added.
On Sunday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the Hindi language was not the mother tongue of a majority of Indians and his claims that it unifies the country is absurd.
(With PTI inputs)