Hindustan mein har Hindustani ko Hindi aana chahiye. Yeh humari mathru bhasha hai. Isse badi bhasha humare liye nahi hai,” (Every Indian in India must know Hindi. It is our mother tongue, there is no bigger language than that for us), declared former First Class cricketer and commentator Rajinder Amarnath on Wednesday.
He made the remark during commentary in the ongoing Ranji Trophy match between Karnataka and Baroda here, live on Star’s Hotstar. Adding to the conversation, veteran commentator Sushil Doshi said in Hindi, “I look at people with anger when they say: ‘We are cricketers but we still speak Hindi.’ You live in India and obviously speak the language of India. What is there to be proud of ?” These comments created an uproar on social media, when a user, Ramachandra M, put out the clipping.
Such comments are always like skating on thin ice in a country where the debate on Hindi being the unofficial national language is forever in the public domain. With social media users raging at the comments and broadcasters taking note of it, Amarnath, who is Mohinder Amarnath‘s brother, was the first to apologise on air. Just before tea, he said, “The intention was never to enforce a language. All languages of the country are a part of the country. Everybody loves to speak their language. My intention was not to hurt anyone.”
Did this lunatic commentator just say “Every Indian should know Hindi” ? What on earth do you think you’re @BCCI… https://t.co/PuRRG10UgH
— Ramachandra.M/ ರಾಮಚಂದ್ರ.ಎಮ್ (@nanuramu) 1581578290000
The duo spoke to the media at the end of day’s play and Amarnath initially retorted, “Is there denying that Hindi is not the mother tongue of the country? Then what is it?” He later admitted the use of language during his commentary was misplaced. “I meant to say that every Indian ‘could’ know Hindi rather than ‘should’,” he said.
Doshi, tied himself up in knots by comparing the use of English in England to Hindi in India and the need to know and respect Hindi. Talking about respecting languages, Doshi himself had misplaced information when he repeatedly referred to Telugu as the language of Karnataka instead of Kannada.
There is no national language for India, most of the states in India has their own language!! #stopHindiImposition https://t.co/Sa9VPh0rvi
— Kavin Parameswaran (@Kavin_13111991) 1581586069000
The episode could have been avoided had the two commentators not steered away from the topic they were discussing, which was Sunil Gavaskar‘s commentary in Hindi and his description of a dot ball as ‘bindi ball’.
Duos from Karnataka..KL Rahul and Manish Pandey,Their conversation in Kannada while running between the Wicket ‘ಬೇ… https://t.co/WfpI4cdVR1
— Santhosh B N ಮೀಕು (@SanthoshkumarBN) 1581478527000