Posts Tagged ‘National’



First things first- Hindi is not the national language of India. (Do correct me if you have proof.)

Evidence: Gujarat High Court has observed that though majority of people in India have accepted Hindi as a national language, there was nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country.The observation was made by division bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and justice A.S. Dave  while rejecting a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by one Suresh Kachhadia.The court observed, “Normally, in India, majority of the people have accepted Hindi as a national language and many people speak Hindi and write in Devanagari script but there is nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country.”
“No mandamus can be issued on any manufacturer or others for giving details or particulars of package in Hindi in Devanagari script,” it further said. (Directly Ctrl C + Ctrl V from http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article94695.ece)

Now the only thing once could ask is- “Then what this entire hoopla is all about?”. I have seen many north Indians posing this superficial status of Hindi on their Marathi, South Indian and North Eastern counterparts at workplaces, coffeehouses, meeting and many a time on personal functions. This Chinese whisper is so strong that I also believed in this till my schooling days ended, and no one among my teachers ever cleared this fact to me (Though they never claimed also that Hindi was national language). And I was totally stumped a few days back when my mother asked me if I respect Hindi or not, as it is our national language. Well! I do respect Hindi, and yes, it is not our national language. And when I tried explaining this thing to her, all I got was a frozen face gesture – “Don’t teach me now, I will check it myself!”. I know she never did.

So where it all started from? Partition. (May be!)

The creation of Pakistan was a jolt to not only the Hindostani culture and languages but also to the flexibility of certain sections of society towards liberal views. With the partition of Pakistan (East and West), the right wing propaganda reached to masses. Where there was a clear cut depiction of Urdu as superior language to Hindi in pro-Pakistani leaders, a certain section of our right wing also pitched for Hindi as a superior language. They were so indulged in hating Pakistan that they floated the idea of Hindi over Urdu just to settle scores with those who claimed the opposite in Pakistan. But the fact of the matter is that India was not Pakistan.

Pakistan was created on the basis of a religious sectarian ideology, but India remained secular, We never pushed Muslims and other minorities out, and never claimed ourselves as Hindu nation. Whereas Pakistani state adopted Islam as their religion, Indian state on the other hand didn’t adopt any religion. And this is the basis of freedom of religious beliefs in constitution. Constitution says that Indian state doesn’t have a religion of its own, and hence can’t interfere in matters between one individual and his religious beliefs , the state hence treats everyone from every religion as equals(secularism). So, as per  common logical perspective, Islamic state of Pakistan can opt for Urdu as a national language if they think of Urdu in connection with Islam (however I fail to see any such connection between a language and a religion), but Indian state can’t opt of any such conclusion. Not only this, India had around 500 languages at the time of independence, and we pursued the goal of federal structure (although constitution doesn’t mention it as federal, but union..its a different story) and union of states functionality. So as per principle , you can’t grant special status to a particular state in a union, hence you can’t grant special status to a language prominent to that state. A quick google search can let you know that only around 50-60% people in India actually can speak Hindi, and in them, I believe there would be many who don’t use Hindi in their workplace and don’t have Hindi as their mother tongue. So, now we have some data and arguments, and now we can ask that why should Hindi be our national language? Concept wise, reality wise and from any other wise, it surely doesn’t have the gravity to hold grounds as a national language. As a matter of fact, constitution has adopted Hindi as an official language, but then, it also adopted English as second official language. And different states have their own official languages.

So what this propaganda is all about? i think we are still flowing in the same flow (Partition). A few days back I was watching a TV series on one of the news channels. The host asked one villager- “Who is the prime minister of India?”. Villager-“Indira Gandhi!” Me- “Holy Cow!..its like living in an era of 40 years back.” Now with this level of general awareness, its very easy to give people a dose of very effective Chinese whisper – “Buddy! Hindi is out national language, know it well.” Reply -“Oh..okay! I will.” 

Well, the spread of this rumor could also be attributed to great migration from north India to South – Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Northies not only bought their work culture (office politics and all) but also their linguistic culture. Now since they used to speak in Mythili, Bhojpuri, Haryanavi, Urdu, Rajasthani etc in their respective regions, when they migrated to south, they used hindi to communicate with each other, as their mother tongues were more close to Hindi. And that you can easily figure out when u look at someone from haryana speaking hindi, or Bihar speaking hindi. There is always different versions of Hindi that they speak- mixed with their mother tongue. Many a times people who claim Hindi as national language can’t tell you the complete Hindi Varnamala and tables. How ironic is that? Seems like there are hardly any pure Hindi experts there. So I would suggest its better for them to learn English for communication with their south counterparts than to ask Southies learn Hindi on the basis of a false argument. Plus, learning English has its own advantages – Go and ask China and Korea what they lost because of english apathy in their country. It is also a fact that many a times northies try to hide behind Hindi to cover their ill knowledge of english. For example- You must have seen someone who start a sentence in English and in mid of that switches to Hindi..why? To cover up their poor knowledge of English, when they can’t get words from their Hindi filled minds with the same speed as they were speaking. How do I know? Well!  Because I tried it myself.

On the discussion arrives on whether Hindi should be a national language or not. I personally think that beauty of Hindi lies in the fact that it is the most flexible language of the world, it could be bhojpuri Hindi, it could be Hinglish, it could be Hryanavi Hindi, Punjabi Hindi, urdu mixed Hindi, Marathi Hindi, South Hindi (mix of da and aiyo!). If it becomes  the national language, its pure form will be restored and that will be introduced in every state’s textbooks- As a national language, this is minimum stuff that can happen. And hence, people will be forced to learn Hindi in its most pure forms, and this is where the fault lies, this can hamper the beauty of Hindi’s flexibility. This is evident from the fact that many off-stream Hindi literature books get a serious criticism from orthodox Hindi writers (Sahitya Academy lovers), for not following the pure form of Hindi.

 Also, with the kind of diversity we have (most diverse in world, more than 500 languages), we should abide by the rule of union by respecting the diversity and not favoring particulars. We should learn from our neighbors how linguistic discrimination can cause greater implications- Bangladesh separated from Pakistan on the grounds of improper and unfair representation to Bengali speaking people from rest of Pakistan, which was quite a possibility because of the way Pakistan pursued Urdu as a status symbol  for their existence. This is where Hindi lies. Hindi lies as language learnt by individual efforts , love for language, zeal to connect with others and certainly not as a compulsory national language. As I have seen a Bengali connecting with a Kannada through Hinglish. Bengali: ” Sit here! I will come after 5 mins, fir hum log chalta hai .” Kannada : “Jaldi krna da, i can’t wait for too long.” 






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