New Delhi: Government on Friday hit back at the opposition parties saying the controversy over promotion of Hindi on social media platform was "wrong and unwarranted" and the circular for giving prominence to the language was issued by the previous UPA dispensation.
It also made it clear that the new government has no intention to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states and wants promotion of all Indian languages in equal footing.
At a hurriedly called press conference, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the circular to give prominence to use of Hindi in social media was issued by the previous regime on March 10, this year, "much before the Narendra Modi government assumed charge".
"It was a circular meant for Hindi-speaking states. The government is clear not to impose Hindi on non-Hindi-speaking states. A wrong and unwarranted controversy is being generated as there was no directive to impose Hindi," he said.
The normal and routine circular was only reissued on May 27, he said, adding "an attempt is being made to divide the country and create a sense of insecurity.
The comments from the Minister came after parties in Tamil Nadu, including AIADMK and DMK, and CPI(M) opposed it strongly and Congress advised caution on the issue.
The Home Ministry issued a statement saying its Official Languages department had issued a circular on March 10, 2014 stating that in keeping with the existing policy of the government regarding use of Hindi, government of India`s communication in `A` category states -- that is Hindi-speaking states--must give equal importance to use of Hindi in its social media platforms.
The instructions reiterated that both English and Hindi must be used on official Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc by the government of India.
"It is clarified that these instructions of the Department of Official Languages dated March 10, 2014 do not seek to impose communication in Hindi on states which are not Hindi speaking.
"The instructions of Department of Official Languages have only reiterated the existing Government of India`s policy on the use of Hindi in which the use of Hindi is compulsory in Government`s communication only in Hindi-speaking states.
The statement said the same order was re-issued again on May 27 and "therefore, this is neither a new policy nor an attempt to impose the use of Hindi on any non Hindi-speaking state".