Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said Hindi is the symbol of socio-political and linguistic unity of the country, and made a strong pitch for primary education in mother tongue.
Calling English an “illness” left behind by the British, Naidu said not enough had been done to promote Indian languages and emphasised the importance of translating regional literature into Hindi.
Addressing an event organised on ‘Hindi Divas’, Naidu said, “Hindi is the symbol of social, political, religious and linguistic unity of the country. Even today, these qualities make it acceptable among all other languages,” he said, adding that progress in India is not possible without the knowledge of “Hindi”.
“When I was young, I participated in anti-Hindi protests. When I came to Delhi and became the party president of Bhartiya Janata Party, I realised it was not possible to progress in Hindustan (India) without Hindi. I spoke in broken Hindi, but was accepted by all,” he said.
Claiming that it is not a matter of debate whether Hindi is the best among all Indian languages, he said: “Sanskrit is the mother of all languages and there are many regional languages which are very vibrant.”
The V-P, however, claimed as Hindi is an easy and acceptable language, it plays an important role in the implementation of government welfare schemes across the country. For this, it is important that the government works are done in people’s language, he said.
“If we desire that our democracy continues to be progressive… then we will have to use Hindi in the functioning of the Union government and the regional languages in the functioning of the state governments,” he said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also claimed that Hindi “is not only an expression of cultural heritage, but also national pride”.
“We should all commit ourselves on the occasion of Hindi Divas to promote Hindi as well as other Indian languages. This will strengthen the country,” he said.