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Every Indian should know Hindi: BCCI commentators’ remarks draw flak

The Week 2020-02-14 00:00:00
[File] The proposal to change BCCI's reformed constitution came to light last week | AFP

Two BCCI commentators have stirred up a hornet's nest after saying that every Indian should know Hindi and must speak the language as it is their “mother tongue” during a Ranji Trophy match between Karnataka and Baroda in Bengaluru on Thursday.

In a video clip that has now gone viral, one of the two Board of Control for Cricket in India commentators can be heard saying in Hindi that all Indian must know Hindi as it is their mother tongue and there is no bigger language than this. The second commentator then says that he agreed with the former and often looks at people with anger when they say ‘we are cricketers and we still need to speak Hindi?’. “If you are living in India, then you should speak in Hindi which is the national language.” The commentators were identified as Rajinder Amarnath and Sushil Doshi.

The discussion started after one of them pointed out that Sunil Gavaskar does commentary in Hindi and described a dot ball as a “bindi ball”.

The clip was posted on social media with the demand that people stop imposing Hindi as the national language of India.

“Did this lunatic commentator just say “Every Indian should know Hindi”? What on earth do you think you're? @BCCI ? ? Stop imposing Hindi and disseminating wrong messages. Kindly atone. Every Indian need not know Hindi #StopHindiImposition (sic),” said one Twitter user.

Many social media users on Twitter also called out the commentators for giving out such wrong information and imposing the language on those who do not speak it. 

There have been heated debates in the past over Hindi imposition on states, especially in South India, in which several languages are spoken. Hindi is widely spoken in the country, however, it is not identified as a national language or mother tongue in many states.

One of the commenator, Rajinder Amarnath, is said to have apologised for his comments.