Hindi Imposition Row: Not Written In Constitution That Hindi National Language, Says Sonu Nigam

New Delhi: Despite the fact that Hindi is the most widely spoken language in the country, it cannot be imposed on non-Hindi speakers because the language is not listed as a “national language” in the Constitution, according to singer Sonu Nigam, who expressed his thoughts on the controversy that erupted last week after a Twitter exchange between Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn and Kannada actor Sudeep Sanjeev.

“As per my knowledge, Hindi is not written as a national language in the Constitution of India. I have consulted experts regarding this also. Hindi is the most spoken language in the country, I understand that. Having said that are we aware that Tamil is world’s oldest language? There is a debate between Sanskrit and Tamil. People say Tamil is the oldest language in the entire world, Mr Nigam, a Padma Shri awardee, said when asked about his views on the matter.

Mr Nigam said that the controversy will create unwanted tension in the country, which was already facing many internal problems.

“Do we have fewer problems in the country that we need a new one. We are creating disharmony in the country by imposing language on others, saying you are a Tamilian, you should speak Hindi. Why would they? People should have the right to decide the language they want to speak,” Mr Nigam added.

Mr Nigam made the comments during an interaction with Sushant Mehta, the Founder and CEO of BEAST Studios.

“Chodo yaar (Leave all this). Let them chill. A Punjabi should speak Punjabi, Tamil should speak Tamil. If they are comfortable in English, they will speak in that language,” said Mr Nigam, who has sung songs in over 32 languages, to loud applause.

“Even in our courts, the judgments are in English. The flight attendants also prefer the language,” he said.

Mr Nigam also related an incident on a flight in which a cabin crew member continued to speak in English despite his Hindi response.

Following a heated exchange between Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn and Kannada actor Sudeep Sanjeev on Thursday, the controversy over Hindi being a national language has once again grabbed national news.

Mr Devgn questioned why movies in south Indian languages are dubbed in Hindi, while Mr Sudeep pointed out that Hindi is not our native language.

The exchange triggered a social media controversy, which included lawmakers. Mr Devgn had “blabbered as a BJP spokesperson,” according to a section of Karnataka leaders.

However, the opposition to Hindi is not limited to the film industry. Following Home Minister Amit Shah’s effort to disseminate Hindi last month, numerous southern leaders warned that imposing Hindi would backfire.

M K Stalin of Tamil Nadu, Pinarayi Vijayan of Kerala, and K T Rama Rao of Telangana were among the leaders who came out against Mr Shah’s remarks, emphasising that India’s strength lies in its diversity.

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