Vajpeyi, 73, was speaking at Raipur literary festival in Chhattisgarh.
He said what is not commonly spoken--the fact that Hindi is not Rashtriya Bhasha.
No wonder, some newspapers tried to sensationalise the statement.
Vajpeyi said that Hindi was never India's national language, but it was often termed as a national language.
"Nowhere in constitution, it is written that Hindi is national language", he was quoted in Patrika newspaper. Aajtak reported, "It is a foolish thought that why Hindi is not our national language. After all, why should it be the national language.
If Hindi has to be national language, then why not Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada--languages in which wonderful literature is being penned". [SEE LINKS of the reports HERE & HERE]
"India is not just a country but one of the most ancient and composite civilisations of the world. The beauty of India is in diversity", he was quoted. Dainik Bhaskar carried the story as a lead in the paper.
It quoted him saying that when one language is made the sole national language, it becomes a 'tanashah' [dictator]. LINK
There are many languages in India and all of them should be celebrated."
Vajpeyi is a poet, intellectual and a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award for his poetry. He was also chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi. The Raipur Sahitya Sammelan concluded in Chhattisgarh recently.
INDEED INDIA HAS NO NATIONAL LANGUAGE
What Vajpeyi said may shock many people in the Hindi heartland, but it is true. Hindi is an official language along with English [Rajbhasha, not Rashtriya bhasha], but not national language.
In fact, all the 20-odd languages listed in the eighth schedule have equal status in the country. The Gujarat High Court had also held that there is no national language in India. See another report in The Hindu and a blog post on IBN website.