New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday rejected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president and Home Minister Amit Shah’s ‘one nation one language’ call.

“All official languages in our country are equal. However, as far as Karnataka is concerned, Kannada is the principal language. We will never compromise its importance and are committed to promote Kannada and our state’s culture”, tweeted Yediyurappa–  one of the tallest leaders of BJP in south India.

On the ocassion of Hindi Diwas on September 14, Shah in a tweet had said that a common language would become “the mark of India’s global identity”.

The Home Minister had stressed that India needs a national language so it has a place amid the foreign languages. He emphasised that the Hindi language has that stronghold and capability in our nation and hence it was envisioned as the ‘Raj Bhasha’ by the freedom fighters.

Earlier in the day, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan had opposed the idea of one nation, one language. “No Shah, Sultan or Samrat can suddenly break that promise. We respect all languages but our mother language will always be Tamil. Jallikattu was just a protest. The battle for our language will be exponentially bigger than that,” Haasan said in a video message.

“Most of the Nation happily sings their National Anthem in Bengali with pride and will continue to do so. The reason is the poet who wrote the National Anthem gave due respect to all languages and culture within the Anthem. And hence, it became our Anthem,” he added.

Prior to Haasan, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hit out at Shah for his call for one nation and one language, terming his statement as “a war cry” against the mother tongues of non-Hindi speakers. “No Indian should feel alienated because of language”, Vijayan had said.

“India’s strength is its ability to embrace diversity. Sangh Parivar must relinquish divisive policies. They must realize that people can see through the ploy, that this is an attempt to divert attention from the real problems. The claim that Hindi unifies our country is absurd. That language is not the mother tongue of a majority of Indians. The move to inflict Hindi upon them amounts to enslaving them. Union Minister’s statement is a war cry against the mother tongues of non-Hindi speaking people,” the Kerala CM had tweeted.