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New Delhi: Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday said Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English in Indian states. He added that while it should not replace local languages, states using Hindi would act as a unifier.
Presiding over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee, Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that the medium of running the government is the official language and this will definitely increase the importance of Hindi, according to a statement issued by the Union home ministry.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that the medium of running the government is the Official Language, and this will definitely increase the importance of Hindi. Now the time has come to make the Official Language an important part of the unity of the country. When citizens of States who speak other languages communicate with each other, it should be in the language of India,” Shah said.
He informed the members that now 70% of the cabinet’s agenda is prepared in Hindi. He said unless Hindi is made flexible by accepting words from other local languages, it will not be propagated.
The home minister said when citizens of states, who speak different languages, communicate with each other, it should be in “the language of India”, the statement said.
Shah emphasised on three main points. Firstly, the committee is requested to hold a meeting in July for implementation of the recommendations made from 1st to 11th volumes of its report.
Shah said the Secretary of the Official Language Committee should inform the members about the implementation of the volume-wise report in that meeting.
Under the second point, he stressed the need to give elementary knowledge of Hindi to students up to Class 9 and pay more attention to Hindi teaching examinations.
Under the third point, the home minister suggested to republish the Hindi dictionary by revising it, the statement said.
On this occasion, Shah unanimously approved the sending of the 11th volume of the committee’s report to the president.
He said the pace at which the current Official Language Committee is working has rarely been seen before.
The home minister said sending three reports to the president in the same tenure of the committee is a joint achievement of all.
He said after meeting with all secretaries concerned, an Implementation Committee should be constituted to review the progress of implementing recommendations of the 1st to 11th volumes of the Official Language Committee report.
He said 22,000 Hindi teachers have been recruited in eight northeastern states. Also, nine tribal communities of the Northeast have converted their dialects’ scripts to Devanagari.
Apart from this, all the eight states of the Northeast have agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class 10, the statement said.
Union ministers of state for home Ajay Kumar Mishra and Nisith Pramanik, vice-chairman of the Official Language Parliamentary Committee Bhartruhari Mahtab and other members of the committee were present at the meeting.
Ever since independence, non-Hindi-speaking states have expressed concerns about the “imposition” of the language on their people, saying that no one Indian language should be given precedence over others in official business, schools, etc.
(With PTI inputs)