Joining the rising chorus of voices, megastar Rajinikanth on Wednesday said that “no language should be imposed” on any state.
His remark comes a week after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s pitch for Hindi as the nation’s common language.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai, Tamil icon Rajinikanth said that none of the southern states will accept the imposition of Hindi.
“If there is a common language, it is good for the country’s unity and progress but forcing a language isn’t acceptable,” he asserted.
Last year, the megastar had announced that he would not join politics. The 68-year-old has on numerous occasions given mixed signals on his political career and preferences.
While fellow actor Kamal Haasan entered politics and found the Makkal Needhi Maiam party last year, Rajinikanth is yet to announce his political party or an association with a political outfit.
Earlier on Monday, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan had opposed attempts to make Hindi the nation’s common language.
Kaasan said that it was a promise made to the country decades back which “no Shah, Sultan or Samrat must renege on.”
“The unity in diversity is a promise that we made when we made India into a Republic. Now, no Shah, Sultan or Samrat must renege on that promise. We respect all languages, but our mother language will always be Tamil,” he was seen saying in a video.
The “No Shah or Sultan or Samrat” remark was an obvious reference to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s pitch for Hindi as the nation’s common language, which drew sharp responses from many opposition leaders including DMK President MK Stalin, former Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramiah and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
“India is an excellent feast. Let us consume it together. If one thinks of shoving (food–Hindi in this context), it would lead to nausea please don’t do that,” Kamal Haasan said in the Tamil version of the video.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah pitched for ‘one nation, one language’ on Saturday while greeting the nation on the occasion of ‘Hindi Diwas’.
Pitching for a common language for the country, he said since Hindi is spoken the most, it can unite the whole country. He also asked people to use their native languages as much as possible but said efforts will be made to expand Hindi’s reach to different parts of the country.
He also asked people to increase the use of mother tongue and also use the Hindi language as one language to realise the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
In June the Centre had tried this emphasis on Hindi language through the Draft New Educational Policy 2019 which recommended mandatory Hindi teaching in all schools. It had created turmoil, especially in the southern states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Other states like West Bengal, Maharashtra and Karnataka also protested over the issue.
Days after widespread outcry over the draft version, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) released a revised draft removing any reference to ‘Hindi’.