A day after actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan termed Hindi as 'a child in diapers' Vice President of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Prasanna Acharya on Friday said every language mentioned in the Constitution needs to be respected.
Speaking to ANI, BJD MP Prasanna Acharya said, "India is a multilingual country and 22 languages are mentioned in the 8th schedule to Constitution. So, in my opinion, all languages should be honoured and be treated equally as the constitution says. We cannot ignore any language because that will question the integrity of the country."
Slamming Kamal Haasan for his comments on Hindi language, Acharya said, "All languages should get equal honour, equal prestige and equal recognition and we should equally try to develop all languages then we can maintain the integrity of the country.
Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) leader Kamal Haasan on Thursday said that Hindi is like a "little child in diapers," being the youngest among the family of languages in India. "Hindi is a little child in diapers. Compared to Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu, Hindi is still a young language," he had said at a function in Chennai.
"It is not with derision that I say this. I say with compassion that we have to take care of the language but it should not be imposed or stuffed down our necks," Haasan added.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Hindi divas on September 14 made a call to culturally unify India with Hindi as its national language. It drew sharp reactions from Opposition parties, particularly those in the South.
Later, Shah, who is also BJP president, issued a clarification stating he had only requested people to learn Hindi as their second language and did not mean imposing it over any regional language.