Amid row over Hindi, BJP leader advocates Tamil as national lang

Chennai: As the controversy over Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks refuses to die down, BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan on Friday advocated for recognition of Tamil as the national language.

“My wish as a Tamilian is that we develop our language. If we improve the status of our language and if it is spread across all states, then Tamil can also become a national language,” he told ANI here.

“At the same time, we have to accept one language for communication only,” said Radhakrishnan, a former union minister in the first tenure of the Narendra Modi government.

On September 14, Shah had triggered a political row when he had said that it is important the country had one language reflecting its identity and only Hindi could unite the country.

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The Home Minister’s statements drew sharp reactions from Opposition parties, particularly those in the South.

Later, Shah, who is also BJP president, issued a clarification stating he had only requested people to learn Hindi as their second language and did not mean imposing it over any regional language.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) had planned to launch a protest on September 20 against Shah’s statement. However, the party postponed the agitation after the Home Minister issued the clarification.

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