After stoking controversy over his remarks on Hindi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said he never asked for imposition of Hindi anywhere in the country but advocated its use as the second language.
Shah said he has been repeatedly pitching for strengthening regional languages.
"I too come from a non-Hindi speaking state. I come from Gujarat where Gujarati is the language, not Hindi. One has to listen to my speech carefully. If someone wants to do politics, it is their choice," he said at an event organised by Hindi daily 'Hindustan' in Ranchi.
He was referring to his speech on the occasion of Hindi Divas on Saturday where he made a pitch for a common language for India, drawing strong reaction from southern parties which vowed to oppose any attempt to "impose" Hindi.
The home minister said to end the confusion, people should listen to his speech carefully where he repeatedly said that Indian languages should be strengthened and people should realise the necessity of the Indian languages.
"A child can perform, a child's proper mental growth is possible only when the child studies in mother tongue. Mother tongue does not mean Hindi. It is the language of a particular state, like Gujarati in my state. But there should be one language in the country, if someone wants to learn another language, it should be Hindi.
"I have just made a request. I have failed to understand what is wrong in that," he said.