A day after Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin demanded that Tamil be made an official language of the Union “on par with Hindi”, superstar and Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan has become the latest prominent face to react on the language row. The actor-turned-politician said that nobody will lose their language for another, they’ll be curious to know another.
“We never say west Indian films but Bollywood. We lose sense of direction, in sense of community, and it should stay that way. As far as language is concerned, it’s our pride. Nobody will lose their language for another. They’ll be curious to know another,” Haasan said.
The language row was renewed in April after actor Ajay Devgn and Kannada star Kiccha Sudeep engaged in a Twitter spat over Hindi being a national language. The issue has then has drawn many reactions from both political and entertainment world.
While Kangana Ranaut feels south Indian films work better because they are “deeply rooted in their culture”, Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai supported Sudeep’s stand and said that regional languages are important and the respective states follow their regional language. On the other hand, Akshay Kumar “doesn’t like when people make this distinction between north and south cinema.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has been seen vouching for local languages. He had recently said that BJP sees a reflection of Indian culture in every regional language and considers them worth worshipping. “We have given importance to every regional language in NEP,” he said, adding that attempts are being made to spark controversies on the basis of languages.
On Thursday too, PM heaped praise on Tamil Nadu by saying that the Tamil language is eternal and the Tamil culture is global. “From Chennai to Canada, Madurai to Malaysia, Namakkal to New York, Salem to South Africa, the occasion of Pongal and Puthandu (New Year) are marked with greater fervor,” he said.
He further noted that Union minister L Murugan walked the red carpet at the Cannes film festival in traditional Tamil attire, which made Tamilians across the globe very proud. Modi said the government of India is fully committed to further popularise the Tamil language and culture.
PM Modi had last month made a strong pitch for use of local languages in courts, contending that it will increase the confidence of common citizens in the justice system and they will feel more connected to it.
“We need to encourage local languages in courts. This will not only increase the confidence of common citizens in the justice system but they will feel more connected to it,” PM Modi said, addressing the joint conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts.
Hasan, meanwhile, has been seen maintaining a balance on the issue and doesn’t see a point in north vs south cinema debate. A day ago, while promoting his upcoming film Vikram Hitlist in Delhi, he had said, “I am an Indian, what are you? For me, the Taj Mahal is mine and the Madurai temple is yours. Kanyakumari is as much yours as Kashmir is mine.”
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