Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Clarifying his stance over an alleged comment on the spread of English language in India that went on to kick a row, BJP president Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that he had been quoted out of context on the matter.
Reports had earlier claimed that Rajnath had said, ‘English language has caused a great loss to India’.
The BJP president tweeted, “Reached New York today. Came to know about the controversy over my speech on English language. I have been quoted out of context.”
And in the same vein, added, “I am not against learning or expressing in English language. Watch my speech before you draw any conclusion.”
Rajnath had been quoted at an event in New Delhi on Thursday as saying, "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 had been quoted as saying.
Taking on Rajnath, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari had 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 senior Congress leader had 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)".