Bengaluru | Jagran News Desk: Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn and Kannada actor Kichcha Sudeepa's exchange of tweets on whether Hindi is our national language or not on Thursday snowballed into a major controversy with several Karnataka leaders slamming Devgn for his assertions that Hindi is our national language and it will remain so.

Slamming Ajay Devgn, former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah criticised his remarks and offered a reality check to him saying that Hindi was never the national language of India and it is every Indian’s responsibility to appreciate the country’s linguistic variety.

"Hindi was never and will never be our National Language. It is the duty of every Indian to respect linguistic diversity of our country. Each language has its own rich history for its people to be proud of," Siddaramaiah wrote, adding, "I am proud to be a Kannadiga".

While Siddaramaiah's comments were not harsh, the real bashing came from Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former CM HD Kumaraswamy who said that Ajay Devgn is not only hyper in nature but also shows his ludicrous behaviour. "Actor @KicchaSudeep saying that Hindi is not a National Language is correct. There is nothing to find fault in his statement. Actor @ajaydevgn is not only hyper in nature but also shows his ludicrous behaviour", Kumaraswamy tweeted.

In another tweet, he called Devgn BJP's mouthpiece blabbering the saffron party's Hindi nationalism agenda. "From the beginning, Hindi-based political parties at the Centre have been making efforts to destroy regional languages. Congress which started surprising regional languages is being continued by the BJP," he tweeted.

"Ajaya Devgan's blabbered as a mouthpiece of BJP's Hindi Nationalism of one nation, one tax, one language and one government," Kumaraswamy said in a subsequent tweet. "Just because a large population speaks Hindi, it doesn't become a national language. Less than nine states, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, have Hindi as 2nd, 3rd language or not even that. This being situation what is the truth in Ajay Devgan's statement? What do you mean by not to dub?" he questioned in another tweet.

"Devgan must realise that Kannada cinema is outgrowing Hindi film industry. Because of encouragement by Kannadigas Hindi cinema has grown. Devgan shouldn't forget that his first movie 'Phool aur Kaante' ran for a year in Bengaluru," he tweeted further.

Even Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai came out in support of Kichcha Sudeepa and said that what he said was correct as states are demarcated on a linguistic basis. "What Kiccha Sudeep said was correct. A regional language is the most important as a state is formed on linguistic bases. Everyone should understand and respect what Sudeep has said", Bommai said. 

How the controversy started?

The controversy began after Kichcha Sudeepa, during an event, stated that "Hindi is no more a national language." Following this, Devgn took to his Twitter handle and expressed his views on Sudeepa's comment. "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," Devgn wrote in Hindi.

Devgn's tweet prompted Sudeep to post a reply explaining that his statement was perhaps taken out of context. Sudeep said he understood what Devgn wrote in Hindi but wondered what his fellow actor would do if his response was in Kannada.

"I did understand the txt you sent in hindi. Tats only coz we all have respected,loved and learnt hindi. No offense sir,,,but was wondering what'd the situation be if my response was typed in kannada.!! Don't we too belong to India sir", Kichcha Sudeep wrote in response.

What does the Constitution say?

For the unversed, India doesn't have a national language, and Hindi and Kannada are among the 22 languages listed in the eighth schedule of the Constitution of the Country. Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri are the 22 languages listed in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan