Recently, Kannada actor Kiccha Sudeep attended an event where he talked about his film KGF Chapter 2. Among other things, he said that "Hindi is no more a national language". His point was that while Hindi cinema enjoyed overwhelming attention from the people of India, it is no longer the case.
Now, actor Ajay Devgn took serious offense to this and tweeted:
.@KicchaSudeep मेरे भाई,— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) April 27, 2022
आपके अनुसार अगर हिंदी हमारी राष्ट्रीय भाषा नहीं है तो आप अपनी मातृभाषा की फ़िल्मों को हिंदी में डब करके क्यूँ रिलीज़ करते हैं?
हिंदी हमारी मातृभाषा और राष्ट्रीय भाषा थी, है और हमेशा रहेगी।
जन गण मन ।
This is not only problematic but also factually incorrect. Hindi is not the "national language" of India. It is an "official language", chosen by the Parliament for its day-to-day functioning, along with English.
So, the concept of "rashtriya bhaasha" can be dropped at this moment. Anyway, the other point is that Ajay's question here is not founded on logic. He asks Sudeep why are South Indian movies dubbed in Hindi if it is not our national language? To take it to a wider audience? The comment does not even make sense.
Sudeep was very mannered in his response and said that first of all, he said things in a very different context, and secondly, what would happen if he wrote his response in Kannada (since Ajay had written his tweet in Hindi).
And sir @ajaydevgn ,,— Kichcha Sudeepa (@KicchaSudeep) April 27, 2022
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.
To this, Ajay thanked him for clearing the misunderstanding in a long message that ended with an expectation that everyone respect "our language".
Twitter was soon flooded with opinions on the whole debate and here are some of the reactions from people in the film industry and those from politics.
1. The former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, said that "Hindi was never & will never be our national language".
Hindi was never & will never be our National Language.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) April 27, 2022
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.
I am proud to be a Kannadiga!! https://t.co/SmT2gsfkgO
2. Meanwhile, the current CM of the state, Basavaraj Bommai, said, "A regional language is the most important as a state is formed on linguistic bases":
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: K'taka CM Basavaraj Bommai on Ajay Devgn-Kiccha Sudeep argument over Hindi national language (ANI) pic.twitter.com/EiTW6AiF00— TOI Bengaluru (@TOIBengaluru) April 28, 2022
3. Another former CM, HD Kumaraswamy, also supported Kiccha Sudeep, and reminded Ajay of his debut movie Phool Aur Kaante which ran in Bengaluru for a year.
4. From the film industry, Sonu Sood reacted to the debate with this quote given to The Indian Express.
I don’t think Hindi can be called just the national language. India has one language, which is entertainment. It doesn’t really matter which industry you belong to. If you entertain people, they will love you, honour you and accept you.
5. Ram Gopal Varma gave his own twist to the whole debate and said that Ajay was doing this because "north stars are insecure and jealous of the south stars".
The base undeniable ground truth @KicchaSudeep sir ,is that the north stars are insecure and jealous of the south stars because a Kannada dubbing film #KGF2 had a 50 crore opening day and we all are going to see the coming opening days of Hindi films— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) April 27, 2022
6. Meanwhile, actor Gulshan Devaiah, without taking names, made his stand very clear on the issue.
I tweet in English— Gulshan Devaiah (@gulshandevaiah) April 27, 2022
I work in Hindi
I was born in Karnataka
I live in Maharashtra
My native tongue is Kodava Takk
I can speak 5 languages
I am from Bharat aka Hindustan aka India 🇮🇳
Don’t know about you all but I feel awesome about this diversity in my life.
7. Actor and the former member of Lok Sabha, Ramya, called out Ajay Devgn for his "baffling ignorance".
No- Hindi is not our national language. @ajaydevgn Your ignorance is baffling. And it’s great that films like KGF Pushpa and RRR have done so well in the Hindi belt- art has no language barrier.— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) April 27, 2022
Please enjoy our films as much as we enjoy yours- #stopHindiImposition https://t.co/60F6AyFeW3
Every few months, someone claims Hindi is our national language. Funny, because constitutionally, we do not have a "national language".