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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Kamal Haasan wades into Hindi row with ‘no Shah or Sultan’ jab at Amit Shah

On Saturday, Amit Shah, speaking at a Hindi Divas event, said that while “unity in diversity” is India’s defining trait, the nation needed one language that it could be identified by globally. He said Hindi was the one language that could “bind the nation”.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2019 21:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kamal Haasan, the chief of the Makkal Needhi Maiam, said the debate over Hindi could become bigger than the ‘Jallikattu’ protest.
Kamal Haasan, the chief of the Makkal Needhi Maiam, said the debate over Hindi could become bigger than the ‘Jallikattu’ protest. (PTI)
         

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan trained his guns on home minister Amit Shah on Monday in the row over imposition of Hindi. Shah has faced criticism from leaders across political parties in southern India for pitching Hindi as the unifying language of India.

Haasan, the chief of the Makkal Needhi Maiam, said the debate over Hindi could become bigger than the ‘Jallikattu’ protest. Jallikattu is a Tamil bull-taming sport which is held during Pongal. There were massive protests in the state in 2017 after Supreme Court ordered a ban on it.

“Unity in diversity is the promise we made when we made India a republic. Now no Shah, Sultan or Samrat should go back on their promise,” Haasan said in a video shared on Twitter.

Watch: Kamal Haasan warns Amit Shah over one nation, one language push  

On Saturday, Amit Shah, speaking at a Hindi Divas event, said that while “unity in diversity” is India’s defining trait, the nation needed one language that it could be identified by globally. He said Hindi was the one language that could “bind the nation”.

Haasan warned that if “inclusive India” is made into an “exclusive one” all will suffer due to such “short-sighted folly” . “Most people happily sing their national anthem with pride and will continue to do so and the reason is the poet who wrote it gave due respect to all languages and culture within the anthem and hence it became our anthem,” he added.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said Shah’s Hindi comment was a “planned attempt” to divert attention from pressing national issues and an attempt to launch a new battlefield. Former Karnataka chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah called Amit Shah a “home-wrecker”.

Vijayan said the perception that only Hindi can unite the nation is wrong. He said the home minister’s remarks despite protests is seen as a Sangh Parivar ploy to open a “new battlefront” in the name of language.

First Published: Sep 16, 2019 16:20 IST

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