Alleging that political leaders from the south were deprived of opportunities by "Hindi politics and discrimination", JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Monday said it has prevented many South Indians from being the prime minister.
Expressing anguish over CISF officials allegedly asking DMK MP Kanimozhi if "she was an Indian" as she could not speak Hindi, the former Karnataka chief minister accused the ruling class of ignoring the south with "disdain."
In a series of tweets, he also raised concerns over Kannadigas allegedly being denied opportunities from getting jobs as for many government and public sector jobs, one has to write exams either in English or Hindi.
"DMK @arivalayam MP @KanimozhiDMK has been questioned "Are you an Indian? I raise my voice against the insult meted to sister Kanimozhi. Now, it is apt to debate how political leaders from the South were snatched of their opportunities by Hindi politics and discrimination (sic)," Mr Kumaraswamy tweeted.
DMK MP Kanimozhi on Sunday alleged that a CISF official had asked her if "she was an Indian" as she could not speak Hindi, while the paramilitary force ordered an inquiry asserting that it is not its policy to insist upon any particular language.
Stating that Hindi politics has prevented many south Indians from becoming prime minister, and HD Deve Gowda, Karunanidhi and Kamaraj are prominent among them, he said, though his father was successful in breaking this barrier, there were several incidents of him being criticised and ridiculed for his language.
"Hindi politics was successful in making the then PM Deve Gowda deliver his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort in Hindi. PM Deve Gowda finally agreed only because of farmers from Bihar & UP. To this extent Hindi politics works in this country," he said in another tweet.
The former chief minister claimed he has also had similar experiences as he was a Lok Sabha member twice.
"The ruling class ignores the South with disdain. I have seen from close quarters on how Hindi politicians manoeuvre. Most of them don't respect non-Hindi politicians," he added.
Further noting that apart from politics, for many government and public sector jobs, one has to write exams either in English or Hindi and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) is one of them, he claimed there was no place for Kannada in this year's notification.
Mr Kumaraswamy alleged Kannadigas were being denied opportunities for getting jobs and this must stop.
"Centre says Hindi is one of the languages. But it is spending crores of rupees in India and abroad organising programmes to popularise Hindi. This is one of the clandestine programmes. It is possible to fight this only with prompt love and respect for each one's language," he said.
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