Joining the heated “national language” debate between Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn and Kannada actor Kichha Sudeep, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai sided with the latter and supported his stance that Hindi is not the national language of India. 

Saying that “our states were formed because of languages,” Bommai told reporters: “Regional languages are important and the respective states follow their regional language that what Sudeep said and he is right. Everyone should respect this.”

Citing the recent success of South Indian films all around the country, Kannada star Kichha Sudeep had said that Hindi is “no longer a national language.”

“You said that a pan India film was made in Kannada. I’d like to make a small correction. Hindi is no more a national language. They (Bollywood) are doing pan-India films today. They are struggling (to find success) by dubbing in Telugu and Tamil, but it’s not happening. Today, we are making films that are going everywhere,” he said at a ‘KGF 2’ event.

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Striking back on Twitter, Devgn then questioned why the South Indian film industry translates and dubs their films in the Hindi language. 

“My brother, if according to you Hindi is not our national language then why do you release your movies in your mother tongue by dubbing them in Hindi? Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language. Jan Gan Man.”

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Sudeep then responded- “And sir, I did understand the text you sent in Hindi. That’s only because we all have respected, loved and learnt Hindi. No offense sir, but was wondering what’d the situation be if my response was typed in Kannada!! Don’t we too belong to India, sir.”

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah also expressed his support for Sudeep. 

“Hindi was never & will never be our National Language. It is the duty of every Indian to respect linguistic diversity of our Country. Each language has its own rich history for its people to be proud of. I am proud to be a Kannadiga!!” he wrote on Twitter.