Everyone has the right to sing in the national language Hindi or any other regional language anywhere in India, said Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today. The Union Minister said this when reporters in a press conference drew his attention to an Assamese singer not being allowed to sing Hindi songs in a Rongali Bihu function here on April 14. Naidu, who was here to preside over the Joint Hindi Advisory Committee meeting on implementation of the national language, said "The local authorities can take action if someone is stopped from singing in the national language." The Minister also clarified that the government "is not imposing Hindi on anyone, but only popularising it." On April 14 after singing in the local language, when popular Assamese and Bollywood singer Zubeen Garg sang a Hindi song from a Bollywood movie, the Bihu function organisers stopped his singing midway. The organisers walked up to the stage and told Zubeen to stop singing Hindi songs stating only songs in Assamese and other ethnic languages of the state will be allowed as Bihu celebrations were for upholding Assamese culture and tradition. Questioning the ban on singing Hindi songs in the Rongali Bihu function, Garg had said "No body can give me diktats on what songs to sing as I am an artist and I have no language barrier.
I will sing whatever I like." Though Garg left the function midway, he sang Hindi songs in the next Bihu function in Guwahati and continued to do so across the state organised by different Bihu committees. Talking to reporters the singer had said the Constitution granted him the right to express himself through art in any language and Assam being a part of India, he could do so here too. The Assamese singing and film fraternity, artistes and people across Assam have come out in support of Zubeen Garg saying the attitude of the Bihu committee that stopped him from singing Hindi songs, went against the fundamental right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Constitution.
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