Noida: Don't try to be an Englishman, speak English when there is a need, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday advised students of a private institute here.
Addressing the students, Singh said many people had the misconception that he was against English.
"One should speak English when there is a need. But don't try to be an Englishman. 'English bolne se gyan nahi hota' (One does not acquire knowledge by speaking English only)," the minister said during his more than half-an-hour long speech delivered in Hindi.
He said no one should hate English but every Indian must have a sense of pride towards his or her own language.
"I am not talking about only Hindi but all Indian languages. Khali Angrez nahi bano. Pehle Bharatiya bano. (Don't become just an Englishman. Be an Indian first)," he said.
Singh also expressed dismay over many children of the present generation not wishing their parents "properly" and just communicating with a "hi" or "bye".
"Mata pita key pair choona aur unka ashirwad lena bhi zaroori hota hain. (It is necessary to touch the feet of parents and take their blessings). If a child is blessed by parents, no one can stop him from reaching the greatest heights in life," he said.
The Home Minister asked the students to always pursue positivity in life as negativity is harmful to the society.
"All terrorists are not illiterate. There are many terrorists who are highly educated. But their knowledge is used for negative thinking and negative works. When knowledge is used for negativity, it is bound to be destructive," he said as he addressed students at Jaypee Institute of Information Technology's convocation.
The Home Minister asked the students to take pride in India's rich cultural heritage.
"India today is recognised globally for its contribution to Information Technology. Our government is committed to provide digital governance.
"Digital India programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not only attract investments but also give jobs to nearly 18 lakh Indians," he said.
Singh said India's software engineers have made the country proud with their talent and sheer hard work.
"We need to tap India's full potential in IT sector," he said.