Varanasi : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday called for creating an environment for the growth of Hindi and regional languages, adding that the ‘inferiority complex’ attached to Indian languages should be replaced with ‘pride for one’s mother tongue’.
Shah, who is visiting Uttar Pradesh ahead of the assembly polls scheduled early in 2022, pitched strongly for promotion of Hindi and other languages, and also said “development of ‘Rajbhasha (official language-Hindi)’ and regional languages is interdependent”.
“Hindi and local languages are symbiotic. Hindi can grow only when regional languages grow, and regional languages can grow only when Hindi is strong. The Rajbhasha Department should be strengthened alongside regional languages,” Shah said at the inaugural session of a two-day Akhil Bharatiya Rajbhasha Sammelan in the holy city of Kashi in Uttar Pradesh.
He said the history of Varanasi is linked to the history of the Hindi language, and the language has developed and grown here over the ages.
“The first Hindi grammar text was written here. First dictionary was written here. The first history of Hindi was written by Ramchandra Shukla; one of the earliest stories ‘Raja Bhoj Ka Sapna’ was written by Shiv Prasad here in Kashi,” Shah said.
He also referred to the Bhartendu Harishchand, Madan Mohan Malviya, and Munshi Premchand, for their contribution to the language.
He mentioned Tulsidas and his Ramayana and said had it not been in Hindi it would have been lost to the world.
“Ramayan tells how an ideal husband should be, an ideal father, ideal brother, and ideal wife…, Ramrajya is still used as reference for good administration… Even the arch-rival Ravana is an ideal example,” Shah said.
“When Ravana was on his deathbed, Ram sent his younger half-brother Bharat to him to get lessons in good administration… and Ravana passed him the knowledge without any hesitation,” he said.
The Union Minister called upon people to promote the use of local dialects, and urged parents to talk to their children in their mother tongue.
“Original thinking develops only in our mother tongue,” he said.
“I urge people to talk to their children in their mother tongue. Make them confident in their mother tongues, remove the hesitation they have. Original thinking can only evolve in your mother tongue,” he said.
Shah lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Varanasi, for promoting Indian languages at the global stage.
“I doubt if there is another Prime Minister who has received as much respect on the global stage as PM Modi has. On every forum, PM has spoken in his Rajbhasha and enhanced the respect for Hindi around the world,” Shah said.
“The inferiority complex developed during the British Raj should be removed from the minds of the youth. Instead of nervousness, there should be pride.You should present your thoughts in your mother tongue at all platforms,” Shah said.
The Home Minister highlighted that preservation and promotion of Rajbhasha and regional languages is a primary objective of the National Education Policy.
He said the government is using Hindi as its language.
“Democracy cannot succeed if the administration uses a language that people cannot understand. I can say with pride, there is not a single file in the Ministry of Home Affairs today that is written in English, we have adapted to Rajbhasha completely,” Shah said.
He also urged the participants to work on developing a new dictionary of Hindi.
“Modiji always speaks in Hindi, the government is now using Hindi more and more. But it is not enough, unless we create an environment that favours the Rajbhasha,” he said.
Shah is on a two-day visit to the poll-bound state, where he held a meeting with in-charges of 403 assembly segments, and office bearers of different districts on Friday. The BJP, which presently has 304 MLAs in the 403 member assembly, has set a target of over 300 seats for the polls.