BJD MP slams Centre’s Hindi-written invitation letter, questions if it was “an attack on other languages”

Following Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s Hindi written invitation letter to BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy, for a government programme on August 11, the minister from Odissa criticised the central government alleging that it is trying to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states. Further questioning if it was an attack by the center on other Indian languages, Satpathy shared the letter on Twitter, saying, “Why are Union Ministers forcing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking Indians? Is this an attack on other languages? -TS.”

In his response to the Union minister’s letter, Satpathy shared his letter of reply, written in Odia, on Twitter, with a text reading, “Replied in Oriya to Hon’ble Union Minister Sri Narendra S Tomar expressing inability to comprehend his Hindi letter. -TS.”

As reported by the Outlook the translated version of the Odia-written response reads, “Shri Narendra Singh Tomar ji, I have received your letter dated 11/08/2017. Thank you for that. But I would like to inform you that I can’t understand anything written in this letter as I don’t understand Hindi language. I would also like to state that our state Odisha falls in the C category so kindly send us a letter in English or Odia. May Lord Jagannath bless you!”

There had been earlier instances where the centre had been targeted for trying to impose Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states. Earlier, Karnataka protested the popularization of Hindi through a protest named ‘Hindibeda’, where activists blackened Hindi signboards in Bengaluru.

However, denying claims that the Centre is trying to impose Hindi on others, State Home Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju, who is also in-charge of the Department of Official Languages, said in the Rajya Sabha, “There is no question of imposition of Hindi over any other language. Hindi is the official language. There is no one language which is national language.”

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