- Deccan Chronicle
A silly, needless spat
The Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent statement on using Hindi as the language of communication between states appears to have set off sub-controversies – the latest is the face-off between Kichcha Sudeep, a stalwart of the Kannada film industry, and Ajay Devgn, Bollywood actor, producer and director.
The trigger for the spat was when Sudeep responded to a question from the media on pan-India films at a movie event, saying, “Hindi is no more the national language,” and also talked of how films are reaching out to audiences across the country.
Ajay Devgn immediately reacted, put out a statement typed in Devanagari script, saying, “My brother, if according to you Hindi is not the national language why do you dub your films in Hindi and release it. Hindi is our mother tongue and national language and will always remain so!”
Though Sudeep responded saying his comment was taken out of context and clarified that it wasn’t meant to provoke, hurt or start a debate on the language issue, he did make the point that he was able to read and understand Ajay’s statement in Hindi because “we all have respected, loved and learnt Hindi” and went on to ask, “No offence sir… but was wondering what’d the situation be if my response was typed in Kannada.!!” (sic)
Ajay immediately adopted a conciliatory tone. “You are a friend. thanks for clearing up the misunderstanding,” he said. “I’ve always thought of the film industry as one. We respect all languages and we expect everyone to respect our language as well. Perhaps, something was lost in translation.”(sic)
Sudeep responded saying “Translation & interpretations are perspectives sir. That’s the reason not reacting without knowing the complete matter… matters. :) I don’t blame you sir. Perhaps it would have been a happy moment if I had received a tweet from you for a creative reason,” (sic).
Both actors are wrong
To begin with, Sudeep’s statement is wrong. Hindi and English are only the official languages of India. There is nothing called a national language. To say that Hindi is no more the national language hence is wrong, it never was. Ajay Devgn’s similar statement about Hindi is equally flawed. Also, both these actors have films releasing soon and it is also about playing to the gallery.”
— Ajay Brahmatmaj, Veteran journalist