The Maharashtra government has issued circular asking central government offices in the state to use Marathi language as a mode of communication along with English and Hindi. Establishments offering banking, post offices, telephone, gas, petroleum, rail and insurance services too has been asked to follow this instruction. The Fadnavis government had come out with the directive of compulsory usage of Marathi as central government offices in the state were not using the language in addition to Hindi and English. Earlier too, the state government had taken various steps to promote the usage of Marathi language. MPs of Maharashtra had demanded classical language status to be accorded to Marathi language. The state government already had sent a proposal supported by legal documents to the centre. Even Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had supported the demand for granting classical language status to Marathi. The state government had already made Marathi language a compulsory subject up to Class VII in all schools affiliated to central and international boards across the state. Thus the state government is following the footsteps of other states like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat that have made local language mandatory for official communication.
Arif Naseem Khan, Congress MLA said, “This rule had existed earlier too and there is nothing new in it. The various departments of the state government are already using Marathi language as a mode of communication for official purposes. This is old wine in new bottle. This is a politically motivated decision.”
Geeta Jain, BJP former Mayor from Mira-Bhayander said, “I support the usage of Marathi language but it should not be compulsorily enforced on residents of other states. People should be offered an opportunity to learn Marathi instead of imposing it on them. Since Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city everybody is not well versed with Marathi language.”
Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party corporator said, “Mumbai is a cosmopolitan and international city. If, tomorrow someone from Japan arrives in the city and gets employment, will the Maharashtra government ask him to communicate in Marathi? Such decisions or steps do nothing but take the state backward and it doesn’t augur well for international cities like Mumbai. Migrants not only from India but from all over the world come to the metropolis for earning their livelihood. In politics such meaningless steps are taken only to please the people. Samajwadi party will surely protest against the government’s decision but I feel they are not working for the betterment of the state.”
Neil Somaiya, BJP corporator said, “There is nothing wrong with directive issued by Maharashtra government about Marathi language. In other states regional language is given topmost priority. Since Devnagari script is used for Marathi language, therefore residents of other states won’t find it difficult to read and understand the language. The signboards of shops must be in installed in Marathi language and English language can be used on the right hand bottom side so that foreigners won’t face any difficulty while visiting the city.”
Rajul Patel, Shiv Sena corporator said, “The Maharashtra government has issued the right circular pertaining to the mandatory usage of Marathi language. In Gujarat no Marathi schools exist. Maharashtrians have to speak Gujarati in Gujarat. Marathi language is easy to understand and it is being taught as a second language in the state.”