Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut on Friday said actor Ajay Devgn is not wrong in saying that Hindi is our national language, but everyone has the right to take pride in their language and culture.
Ranaut also said denying Hindi as the national language is denying the Constitution.
The actor was responding to Devgn’s comments that “Hindi was, is and will always be our national language”, a remark that he made to counter South star Kichcha Sudeep’s comments that Hindi was no longer the national language.
When asked about the Twitter argument between Devgn and Sudeep that sparked a major controversy, the usually combative Ranaut tried to balance her response.
Speaking at the trailer launch of her film 'Dhaakad', The 35-year-old actor said while she stands by the Bollywood star’s comments, she believes Sanskrit should be the national language of India as it is one of the oldest languages.
"Hindi is our national language. So, when Ajay Devgn ji said that Hindi is the national language of India, he was not wrong. If this is the only sense you make of what I mean to say, then that is your mistake. If someone tells me that Kannada is older than Hindi, and so is Tamil, then they are also not wrong."
“I would say Sanskrit should be our national language, languages like Hindi, Germany, English, French, they have all stemmed from Sanskrit. Why don't we have Sanskrit as the National language? Why is it not mandatory in schools, I don't know that," Ranaut told reporters here."
India doesn’t have a national language, and Hindi and Kannada are among the 22 languages listed in the eighth schedule of the Constitution. Both Hindi and English are official languages.
Ranaut said denying Hindi as the national language was denying the central government and the Constitution.
"When you deny Hindi (as the national language), you are denying the Constitution. You don't consider Delhi as the centre, whatever is done in the Constitution, whatever acts are passed, (they) are done in Delhi and they do it in Hindi," she added.
No matter how dark the colonial history is, fortunately or unfortunately English has become that link when it should be Hindi, Ranaut pointed out.
"Today within the country we are using English as the link to communicate. Should that be the link, or should Hindi or Sanskrit be that link, or Tamil? We have to take that call. So, keeping all these things in mind, a decisive call should be taken. As of now, Hindi is the national language according to the Constitution," she claimed.
Ranaut said there is no direct answer to the language debate as India is a country of diversity, multiple languages and cultures.
"Everybody has the birth right to take pride in their language and their culture, like I am a Pahari, and I take pride in it. But to make our country one unit, we need a thread to run through it."
“If we want to respect our Constitution, we know that Hindi was made our national language. We know Tamil is older than Hindi, but Sanskrit is an even older language than that," she said.
Devgn's comments had sparked a debate on Hindi imposition as BJP’s Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and NC’s Omar Abdullah, Congress’ Siddaramaiah and JD-S’ H D Kumaraswamy backed India's linguistic diversity.
[With Inputs From PTI]