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Rajnath`s view on English politically-timed: Tharoor

Last Updated: Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 22:32

New Delhi: Suggesting that BJP chief Rajnath Singh`s criticism of use of English could mean returning to a "Hindi, Hindu and Hindutva" line, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor today said the language is an asset for India.

"Well, I get the impression that it must be (a politically-timed statement). May be, BJP is returning to its Hindi, Hindu, Hindutva kind of logic which I don`t think a majority of this country is interested in having.

"I think we want a country where you can speak Hindi happily at home and English at workplace or speak both at workplace and home and be equally comfortable in your skin as Indian," Tharoor said when asked if he thought Singh`s comments on English were politically-timed.

"English has been an asset for India. It is perhaps the only worthwhile thing we gained from the colonial experience. And in a country that is as vast and diverse as ours, it is very good to have a language like English to link us together, to link all parts of the country together where no part feels disadvantaged," Tharoor said.

He said a lot of India`s growth in the last 20 years had been because of its ability to participate in international networks through internet, business process outsourcing, handling call centres and high quality research as young people who have mastered English in order to be able to function internationally are present.
"Why would anyone want to throw away this asset? he said. Tharoor said everything from Jawaharlal Nehru`s `Discovery of India` to today`s novelists writing in English, has strengthened the culture of India and its perception and image around the globe.
"No one says if you learn English you must forget your own language. Many people learn English only as their second language," he said.


First Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 22:31
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