Kannada actor Kichcha Sudeep, whose retort to Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn in an online conversation last month reignited the debate over a drive for Hindi dominance, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's views on the matter on Friday.
"I didn't mean to start any riot or any kind of debate. It just so happened without an agenda. It was an opinion I voiced. It was an honour and a privilege to see the certain lines come out of the Prime Minister's mouth," he said in an interview with NDTV.
"Everyone who regards and respects their language, it's an astounding thing to witness him talk this manner," Sudeep added.
"All languages are cordially invited. I'm not only speaking about Kannada; I'm talking about everyone's mother language being appreciated today as a result of the Prime Minister's few words, which is where I was coming from that day. We see Narendra Modi as more than simply a politician; we see him as a leader "he said.
Sudeep's conversation with Devgn last month, in which he said that "Hindi was, is, and will always be our home tongue and national language," much to the displeasure of supporters of India's linguistic variety, sparked a new round of debate about the primacy of languages in the country.
"I wasn't attempting to fight anyone. When it comes to certain topics, I have the right to express my thoughts "he clarified his remarks on Friday, dismissing suggestions that the pro-Hindi sentiment stemmed from insecurity in the Hindi film industry.
PM Modi had earlier in the day commented on the controversy, saying that the BJP sees a reflection of Indian culture in every Indian language and believes that every Indian language is worthy of reverence.
"Giving priority to local languages in the National Education Policy manifests our commitment to all regional languages. The BJP considers Indian languages the soul of Bharatiyata and the link to a better future for the country "he said.
"I want to mention this especially because attempts have been made in the recent past to create new controversies based on language. We have to constantly alert the people of the country about this” added the Prime Minister.