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Never Insulted Hindi, Says Raj Thackeray

PTI 17 Jan 2010, 9:29:12 AM IST
Maharashtra Navniram Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday sought to dispel the nation that he was anti-Hindi, saying "I never insulted Hindi, nor am I anti-Hindi, but my only demand is people in Maharashtra must speak Marathi".
Addressing a Rotary Club meetin Pune, Raj Thackeray said: "I speak better Hindi than other leaders in Maharashtra, but in my state one has to speak in Marathi." Raj also opposed the demand for a separate Vidarbha state.
Raj was interviewed by  noted Marathi commentator Suhir Gadgil at the meet. Raj said: "Several cases have been lodged against me for insulting the national language Hindi, but nowhere have I insulted Hindi. Even today I do not consider Hindi the national language, but that does not  mean I am anti-Hindi. I learnt Hindi from childhood. My father knew and wrote Urdu.  I have nothing against Hindi. Every language has its place, and in Maharashtra, it has to be Marathi".