Ten Stupid Things Hindi Politicians Said (India 1946-2013: Hindi Imposition, Fanaticism, Ignorance and Arrogance)

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2014 (ID. 2014-04-01)
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Here are some quotes from Hindi politicians and "intellectuals" about Hindi imposition (making Hindi the official, link or national language of India) and our brief retorts. You will see in these quotes ignorance, arrogance and an imperial attitude.

These are not uneducated people. One was Prime Minister of India, one was Home Minister of India, one was Chief Minister of the largest state in India, two were members of the Indian constitution assembly, two were Hindi writers including one recipient of Padmashree Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Indian government. Yet they have all made stupid and factually wrong statements. Are they ignorant, stupid or thought that people would believe their false utterances because of their high positions?


"For thousands of years one and the same culture has all along been obtaining here.... It is in order to maintain this tradition that we want one language and one script for the whole country." -  Seth Govind Das, Constitution Assembly member (in 1949)

Our Comment: Presumably the "country" he was referring to is the post-British India created in 1947. Never once in all history was there a single language that was spoken or understood in all these territories comprising India. At the time of this speech in 1949, very few people in the southern region of the country understood Hindi or Hindustani.


"People who do not know Hindustani have no right to stay in India. People who are present in this House to fashion a Constitution for India and do not know Hindustani are not worthy to be members of this Assembly. They had better leave." - R.V. Dhulekar (speaking at the Indian Constitutional assembly on December 10, 1946)  [Constitution Assembly Debates-Official Report, Volume 1 (p 26-27), Lok Sabha Secretariat, 1988] 

Our Comment: As stated in Section 1 above, at the time of this speech in 1946, very few people in the southern region of the country understood Hindi or Hindustani. If we were to follow Mr. Dhulekar statement that "those who do not know Hindustani are not worthy to be members of this Assembly", the entire south would have no say in the formulation of the Indian constitution. If we are to follow Mr. Dhulekar's dictate, "People who do not know Hindustani have no right to stay in India", how can we deport about half the population, numbering into a few hundred million people, and to where? The practical solution then is to separate the southern region into a separate country.


"Official work should be done in Hindi so that people can understand the matters which are related to them". - Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. (DNA India website, September 14, 2013). 

Our Comment: We agree with Mr. Yadav if he is talking of Uttar Pradesh State, but we disagree if he is talking of India. Yadav is a proponent that India's official language should be Hindi and non-Hindi peoples should learn Hindi. When Yadav was the Chief Minister of the Hindi speaking state of Uttar Pradesh he used to send correspondence to chief ministers of non-Hindi states in Hindi. 


"The biggest mistake that we made post-independence was not to make Hindi the national language. Had that happened, the country wouldn't have been divided into so many parts." - Naresh Agarwal, A senior Samajwadi Party leader (IBN Live website, November 18, 2013). 

Our Comment: Hindi is a divisive force and not a unifying force in India. Tamil Nadu students' January 1965 demonstrations against making Hindi the official language of India were larger than any demonstration in Tamil Nadu against British rule. Indian Government had to rush army into Tamil Nadu because police could not put down the demonstrations. Army and police shot and killed over 60 demonstrators in January-February 1965.


" Hindi was naturally accepted as the link-language before 1947 but became a subject of controversy after independence." - Lal Krishna Advani (L. K. advani), Home Minister of India (at a meeting honoring the Hindi writer Govind Misra in New Delhi) (Rediff on the Net, December 21, 1998) 

Our Comment: Opposition to Hindi imposition started when Hindi was made a subject in Tamil Nadu  schools in 1938 (that was nine years before1947).   [Foot Note: Tamil Nadu was part of the Madras Province in 1938.]


"If Hindi were announced as the official language immediately after independence, there would have been no opposition to it." - Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Dinamani, February 12, 2000)

Our Comment: See our comment in Section 5.


"Anti-Hindi people have tried their best to make it just a link-language in India, but they would never succeed because it is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people." - Padamshree Giriraj Kishore (Times of India, September 15, 2013).

Our Comment: The so called "anti-Hindi people", that includes almost the entire population of Tamil Nadu state, rose up against making Hindi the official or link language of India and sacrificed blood (over 60 shot and killed in 1965). Kishore talks of Hindi being rooted in the hearts of the people". What people? Hindi people? Yes. Tamil people? "No". Absolutely "no". Hindi is not in the hearts of Tamil people at all. What they have is a bitter taste of the spilled blood of 1965. May be, to Padmashree Kishore, people means Hindi people and others do not count. [Foot Note: Padmashree is one of the highest honours awarded by the Indian Government.]


"Hindi united India during freedom struggle. Today it has become divisive." - Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (speaking at a function in New Delhi) (Dinakaran (Tamil daily), December 21, 2003)

Our Comment: Hindi did not play any role in the independence movement (against British rule) in southern India. All communications with people were in local languages because very few southerners understood Hindi. Whenever northern leaders came to southern India, most of them spoke in English and was translated to the local language and the few who did not know English spoke in Hindi and was translated to the local language. Had meetings been addressed in Hindi, no one would have attended those meetings. Also, almost all communications between southern and northern leaders were in English. 


"The battle of independence was fought and won through Hindi." - Badri Narain Tiwari (a Hindi author) (Times of India, September 15, 2013).

Our Comment: Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.  See Comments in Section 8.


"All the great leaders and revolutionaries of any religion or state used Hindi in the freedom struggle." - Badri Narain Tiwari (a Hindi author) (Times of India, September 15, 2013). 

Our Comment: By this one sweeping sentence, Mr. Tiwari negated all the sacrifices of South Indian leaders who fought against British rule; none of them used Hindi to communicate with people.

Post your comments and/or Read other comments (Subject: April 2014)


History: A Chronology of Anti-Hindi Agitations in Tamil Nadu and What the Future Holds (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, January 2003 (33 KB) (h)

History of Anti-Hindi Imposition Agitations in Tamil Nadu from 1938, including the 1965 Tamil Nadu Students Anti-Hindi Agitation in which more than 60 unarmed Tamils were killed by Indian security forces and half a dozen Tamil patriots set themselves to fire (self-immolation) in protest. Events, names and dates.

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