Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday claimed that those who are opposing Hindi as the ''rashtra bhasha'' (national language) do not love the country.
He, however, made it clear that he was not against English or was not trying to impose Hindi.
"The people who are opposing Hindi as the national language are those who have no love for the country.... I am supporting Hindi as the national language as most of the people of our country speak Hindi," the chief minister said.
Had the Britishers not ruled India for 200 years, there would have been no use of English in official works in the country, he said.
According to the Official Languages Act, 1963, Hindi and English are the official languages for the Union government and Parliament.
A total of 22 languages of the country are recognised under the Eight Schedule of the Constitution.
Supporting Union Home Minister Amit Shah's assertion on Saturday that Hindi as a language can unite the whole country, Mr Deb said, "Due to loyalty to the colonial rule, English became a status symbol for many people."
"It is not that only English speaking nations' progress. Had it been the case, countries such as Germany, China, Japan, Russia and Israel would have not developed," the chief minister said.
He also urged government officers to help people in official works, who does not understand English and can speak only regional languages.
"I have seen that if anyone comes for any help in government offices and speak in Bengali or Kokborok, officials take time to help them. But as soon as you request him in English, they do it quickly. This should not be done," the chief minister said.
Inaugurating the "Atal Bihari Vajpayee Regional Cancer Centre", Mr Deb, who also holds the health portfolio, said more super specialty hospitals would be set up soon and Tripura would be a medical hub.
The government has spent Rs 120 crore in setting up the cancer hospital here, he added.
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