Bengaluru: Amid growing clamour over Amit Shah's 'one nation, one language' appeal, senior BJP leader and Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday joined the voices in opposition and stressed on the importance of Kannada, the state's language.
"All official languages of our country are equal. However, as far as Karnataka is concerned, Kannada is the principal language," he tweeted, adding that he will never compromise on its importance and his government is committed to promote Kannada and the state's culture.
The tweet came after much uproar over Shah's renewed one nation, one language pitch. "Today, if there is one language that has the ability to string the nation together in unity, it is the Hindi language which is the most widely-spoken and understood language in India," he had tweeted.
Amit Shah also said that the country should increase the use of our mother tongue while appealing to the citizens to learn Hindi language as one that would unite the country.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said it was a war cry while DMK leader MK Stalin called it forced imposition.
The claim that Hindi unifies our country is absurd. That language is not the mother tongue of a majority of Indians. The move to inflict Hindi upon them amounts to enslaving them. Union Minister's statement is a war cry against the mother tongues of non-hindi speaking people.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) September 15, 2019
Actor Kamal Hassan also voiced his strong opposition to the idea.
Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah opposing the move for a common language said that the country should embrace the diversity to remain United.
India has rich history & diverse geography. Each explains its own vibrant culture & practice. We have to embrace the diversity to remain United.@AmitShah is like a wicked insider in a joint family who find ways to break the unity. This home wrecker needs to be taught a lesson!! pic.twitter.com/00yjotxVf1— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) September 15, 2019
Yediyurappa's opposition to the “One Language Policy” have put the rival parties on the same side.
The debate over language imposition has risen yet again at a time when Kannadigas were demanding equal opportunities for non-Hindi speakers for bank exams.
People also pointed out that most central government websites were available only in Hindi and English, and not Kannada.