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Whatever Language We Speak, We Are All Indians, Says PM Modi Amid Language Row In India

Modi’s comments came at a time when his party has drawn flak for their push for Hindi and calling it national language. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Denmark
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Denmark Twitter/MEA India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday struck a conciliatory note when he said that we are all Indians by culture irrespective of the language we speak. 

Modi’s comments came at a time when his party and supporters have drawn flak for their push for Hindi and calling it national language. 

He said, "Whatever be our language, we are all Indians by culture. Our food plate and taste might change but our way of repeated fond greetings does not change. We stand together in nation-building and in nation's protection."

Modi said this in his address to the Indian community in Denmark, where he as part of his three-nation visit of Europe. 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s pitch for Hindi last month met with widespread criticism, even from ally AIADMK. Critics from several political parties called it “Hindi imposition” and “Hindi imperialism”.

Union minister G Kishen Reddy also called Hindi national language. He said, "Hindi is our national language but in some provinces, it is also our mother tongue, we will support and take it forward. We will take forward the national language, regional languages along with the working language."

Recently South Indian actor Kichcha Sudeepa and Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn sparred on Twitter over language. Sudeepa said that Hindi is no more an official language. To this, Devgn replied in Hindi, “Kiccha Sudeep, my brother, according to you, if Hindi is not our national language then why do you release your native language [mother tongue] films by dubbing them in Hindi? Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language. Jan Gan Man.”

BJP leader and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai supported Sudeep and said that regional language is the most important. 

He told mediapersons, “What Kiccha Sudeep said was correct. A regional language is the most important as a state is formed on linguistic bases." 

(With PTI inputs)

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