Striking a middle path on Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s views on Hindi becoming a common language to unite the country, Andhra Pradesh Official Language Commission Chairman Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad has said Hindi can not be imposed but its spread is inevitable.
Though the views of Mr. Shah were well-intentioned, the way they were expressed led to panic among non-Hindi speaking States leading to reactions, he said at a press conference here. He said just as English turned out to be a link language internationally, in the Southern States of the country as well as in the North-East the use of Hindi was increasing day by day.
The reasons could be departments like the railways and the postal, television, cinema or need-based, he said.
In such a scenario, imposing Hindi was wrong but asking people not to learn Hindi was equally wrong, Dr. Laskhmi Prasad, a former MP and former Chairman of A.P. Hindi Academy, said. It’s a historic fact that people benefit as they learn many languages, he said commenting that former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao could turn a minority government into a majority one because of his proficiency in Hindi. But Mr. Deve Gowda failed to do it though he started learning Hindi. In spite of his image of a being a kingmaker, former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu could not become a national leader because of his lack of proficiency in Hindi, he said.
Mr. Shah’s views were expressed at the Hindi Day celebration and he never said anything that amounted to imposing Hindi, Dr. Lakshmi Prasad pointed out adding he would oppose any attempt at imposing it. In a federal setup according to Schedule VIII of the Constitution all languages were national languages, he said.
The benefits of learning of Hindi should be campaigned and for scoring more marks scholarships should be given and employment created, he suggested.
With Andhra Pradesh following the three-language formula in schools, students benefited because of their learning some Hindi and could communicate elsewhere. He assailed the Tamil Nadu government not allowing SSC students who studied in Telugu medium to take examinations in Telugu. A timely High Court order saved the day for them, he said.