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1-min read

Mother-tongue Above Everyone: Mamata Banerjee's Quick 'Hindi Diwas' Spin Post Amit Shah's Appeal

In 2017, this language issue invited violent protests from the Gorkha and Nepali community in Darjeeling and adjoining areas after TMC government decided to make Bengali mandatory in all government schools.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:September 14, 2019, 12:50 PM IST
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Mother-tongue Above Everyone: Mamata Banerjee's Quick 'Hindi Diwas' Spin Post Amit Shah's Appeal
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a rally in West Bengal. (Image: Twitter)

Kolkata: An hour after Union Home Minister Amit Shah appealed people to use the "widely-spoken" Hindi language more often, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee posted a counter "mother-tongue" tweet.

Reacting to Shah's "one nation, one language" tweet, Banerjee said, "My best wishes to all on Hindi Diwas. We should respect all languages and cultures equally. We may learn many languages but we should never forget our mother-language," she said.

Recently, during a public meeting at Kancharapara in North 24-Parganas, the CM had said that people from other states will have to speak in Bengali in West Bengal. "We have to take Bangla forward. When we go to Delhi we speak in Hindi, when we go to Punjab we have to speak in Punjabi. I do it. When I go to Tamil Nadu, I don't know Tamil, but I know a few words. So in the same way if you are coming to Bengal, you have to speak in Bengali," Banerjee had said.

Her statement then evoked mixed response on social media, with many non-Bengali speaking people opposing the idea as it was seen as "a clear attempt to divide people on the basis of language".

In 2017, this language issue invited violent protests from the Gorkha and Nepali community in Darjeeling and it’s adjoining areas after Mamata Banerjee government had decided to make Bengali mandatory in all government schools till Class 10. Then, nearly 986 schools and colleges in the Hills were closed due to protest.

Sensing more law and order problem – then the state government later clarified that schools falling within the jurisdiction of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) will be exempt from the compulsory provision of learning Bengali.

Then, Gorkha Janamukti Morch (GJM) General Secretary, Roshan Giri had said, “We are not going to support the autocratic attitude of Mamata Banerjee. This is an attempt to crush our Nepali language.”

Not the least, debate over Hindi language has once again erupted in Tamil Nadu after the National Education Policy draft, proposed by Ministry of Human Resources and Development suggested teaching of Hindi language in non-Hindi speaking states. This has sparked a massive protest and faced criticism in Tamil Nadu and other southern states.

Nearly 40 percent people speaks Hindi across the country and it is the single largest spoken language among the 22 languages in the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution.

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