Telugu states honour Hindi, but stick to mother tongue

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The call to make Hindi the primary language of the country by Home Minister Amit Shah on 'Hindi Diwas' drew strong reactions from commoners and those concerned with the spread of Telugu as the mother tongue of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

While the Andhra Pradesh Adhikara Bhasha Sangham chairman Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad said that he will have to look into the comments of the Union home minister, Kuchibhotla Anand, the Founder of Silicon Andhra an organisation that works for the growth of Telugu in north America, told DH that one must respect Hindi as a national language and also because majority of the people speak that language.

“But there are 150 million people in India that speak Telugu. Languages other than Hindi are not simply dialects but are languages attached to a specific culture,” he said adding that there must be mutual respect for languages other than Hindi.

Anand says that at least 75% of those who speak Telugu don't know any other language.

“Research has shown that the more the languages the better. For instance Telugu is the most sought after foreign language in schools system,” he said.

Known for its mixed "Ganga-Yamuna Tehzeeb" the Hyderabad city reacted to the single language call with caution.

“The Deccani culture is unique despite the fact that Hyderabad is the gateway to south, and we want to retain that,” DR Manjula, a Telugu lecturer in a local college said.

While elevation of Hindi might not pose a big threat to Telugu in the Metro region, Telugu is still the mainstay in Telangana villages, making it indispensable there.

AIMIM president and local MP Asaduddin Owaisi said that Hindi is not every Indian’s mother tongue.

“Could you try appreciating the diversity and beauty of many other tongues that dot this land,” he questioned.

Telugu Desam Party which was founded to save Telugu pride also pointed out that students can be encouraged to learn Hindi as a national language but making it as the only option will be detrimental to the diversity of the nation.

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