Row erupts over Rajnath Singh’s anti-English remarks
New Delhi: A controversy has broken out over BJP president Rajnath Singh’s reported remarks that ‘English language has caused a great loss to India’.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari hit out at Rajnath who said he was not happy about the way English language was gripping India’s culture.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla also rubbished the BJP chief’s remarks, saying the entire leadership of BJP is narrow-minded.
As per a news channel, Rajnath had said at an event in New Delhi on Thursday, “English language has caused a great lot of loss to India. We have started forgetting our religion and culture these days. There are only 14,000 people left in this country speaking in Sanskrit.”
“Knowledge acquired out of English is not harmful but the Anglicization penetrated into youths in this country is dangerous,” the BJP chief went on to say.
Taking on Rajnath, Congress’ Tewari said the opposition party had itself “outsourced” its vision document to people who only spoke English.
“I sometimes feel like laughing at our friends. On one side their vision document is outsourced to people who don’t speak any language other than English. Is this medievalism or hypocrisy,” the minister said.
Tewari said the debate whether pre-schoolers should be taught English so that they can use the Internet had taken place in other countries also.
“This attempt to create a dispute over language or saying that one language is better or worse that another, doesn’t strengthen the country and is not expected from a responsible political party,” Tewari said.
Minister of State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor was reported as saying, “The fact is that English has been a great advantage for us during our economic expansion in the last 20 years. The fact that we have knowledgeable, educated, English speaking young people, has been a huge asset enhancing the economic growth, trade, outsourcing.”
Congress general secretary Digvijay SIngh tweeted, “Comments are most welcome! Would The Sanskar Dham of Gujarat and RSS kindly respond? (sic)”
The Trinamool Congress, meanwhile, took a swipe at both the BJP and the Congress, with party leader Derek O’Brien tweeting, “One party only speaks the Queens’s English,the other party does not want English.Whattay…(sic)”.