Chennai: The Congress in Tamilnadu on Tuesday announced it would hold a black flag demonstration against Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his future visit to the State in protest against his Hindi pitch. Asserting that Tamilnadu Congress was second to none in opposing “Hindi imposition,” the party accused Shah of slighting the safeguards provided to non-Hindi speaking people in the Constitution and the Official Languages Act, 1963.
A special consultative meeting chaired by TNCC chief K S Alagiri, in a resolution, attacked Shah for his “arrogant views,” favouring Hindi as “the only official language of India.” The black flag demonstration is to condemn Shah for his remarks, the resolution said. The party said Jawaharlal Nehru had on 6 January 1958 during his Chennai visit had staunchly opposed “Hindi imposition” and had assured continuation of English alongside Hindi.
The TNCC, however, said it was not opposed to Hindi but only its imposition. “Nobody can mistake someone learning Hindi on his own interest.” The party said it opposed “sidelining” of languages other than Hindi by the Centre in matters like railways and postal department competitive examinations. The Congress State unit also hit out at the Centre for “vendetta politics,” vis-a-vis the arrests of former union minister P Chidambaram and Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar, who have been arrested in money laundering cases.
AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, secretaries Sanjay Dutt and Sirivella Prasad (the duo are in charge of Tamilnadu) and Tamilnadu Legislalture Party leader K R Ramasamy participated in the meeting. The Congress’ announcement comes a day after the DMK said it would hold protest demonstrations across the state on 20 September to condemn Shah’s Hindi pitch.
Shah had on 14 September pitched for a common language for the country and said it is Hindi which is spoken the most and that it can unite the whole country. His remarks had drawn sharp reactions from opposition parties, especially in Tamilnadu where all of them including the ruling AIADMK, opposed any move to ‘impose’ Hindi.