Centre rejects Stalin's 'Hindi imposition' charge

Centre rejects Stalin's 'Hindi imposition' charge

Rejecting the charge that it was seeking to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking States, the Centre on Monday said it was former Home Minister P Chidambaram led Parliamentary Committee which had recommended that all those occupying high political offices may be requested to give speeches in Hindi.

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said all that the present government has done was to notify this recommendation of committee on March 31.

Chidambaram, however, said that he could do little to stop the panel from making the recommendation as he did not have a veto. He said he could not overrule the views of “the overwhelming majority” in the panel.
The row over Hindi speech by those occupying high political offices including President of India kicked off with the  Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (DMK) acting chief MK Stalin accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking States.

“I was pained to read in a section of the press wherein Stalin has been quoted alleging imposition of Hindi by the Central Government. Government of India has no intention of imposing any language on anyone,” Naidu said

The Parliamentary Committee on Official Language, headed by the then Home Minister (Chidambaram), recommended that all those occupying high political offices and who can speak and read Hindi language may be requested to give their speeches  or statements in Hindi.

 “President and all Ministers come in this category,” Naidu quoted the committee as saying in its report.

The suggestion of the committee was “only recommendatory and not mandatory”

“It is totally false and mischievous to allege that an Ordinance was passed in this regard. It may be recalled that DMK was a member of the Government of India in 2011 when this recommendation was made and forwarded by the Parliamentary Committee to the President,” Naidu added.

Reacting to the row, Chidambaram said in statement he was an ex-officio chairman of the committee as he was the then Home Minister while Congress MP Satyavrat Charurvedi was its deputy chairman.

 “Out of the 30 members of the Committee, 28 belonged to Hindi speaking or Hindi knowing states. As can be expected, all of them were protagonists of Hindi. They were distributed among three sub-committees,” he said.

The evidence and drafting sub-committee was chaired by Chaturvedi, he said.

“The report was prepared by that sub-committee and adopted, after discussion, by the Committee. If the overwhelming majority of the Committee adopted a report, there is little that the ex-officio Chairman can do. The Chairman does not have a veto and he cannot overrule the views of the overwhelming majority,” Chidambaram maintained.

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