There was an image from somewhere in Karnataka where Hindi was struck on a distance marker, with only Hindi visible. A snide comment by a South Indian(lets call him SI) to a comment criticizing it, made by a Hindi Mother Tongue(lets call him HM) led to the usual acerbic cultural divide which is starkly visible when these two groups clash with each other over Hindi as a national language.
Well, there are a few important things to learn from this –
1. The concept of Amit propagated on internet – a certain specific kind of North Indian cluelessness, a form of ignorant arrogance wrapped in exuberant overconfidence and dipped liberally in the ketchup of intolerance. This is clearly visible in the discussion. The HM is outraged at the fact that someone exists in India without learning his mother tongue. After all, it’s his mother tongue, the most populous in the country and that itself is an indication for it’s universal acceptance. He doesn’t want to understand the other side’s case.
2. The confusion between lingua franca and national language. Hindi, to some extent, is serving the purpose of lingua franca for India – a pidgin of Hindi, the local language and English, but it works. It is grammatically horrendous with non-existent vocabulary, but it works. Now, come to a native language. It requires native proficiency in reading and writing. I seriously doubt any one of those with a South Indian language as mother tongue can write Hindi correctly. For example, in Telugu, feminine gender is always used for the inanimate. But, in Hindi, it depends. In Telugu, the vehicle goes(bandi veltondi) in feminine, but is clueless whether the vehicle is masculine or feminine in Hindi(is it gaadi jaa raha hai or gaadi jaa rahi hai?).
3. 70 long years is given to make Hindi acceptable to the country. What was done? Instead, we have seen the Hindi belt being derided as BIMARU and it has got the worst HDI indicators in India. Tamil Nadu’s Per Capita is 3 times that of Bihar and UP’s number of children per family is double that of South India. Is this the sort of language, and by default, culture, which is going to be imposed with no preparation, whatsoever? The argument clearly follows the standard line – Hindi is the main language, so, it should be the national language. Even though I respect others, they should co-exist with Hindi. I don’t care about preparation, I don’t care about resources, but I want it to be the national language NOW.
4. In the Hindi Belt’s eyes, South presents it’s case as that of extreme paranoia and an irrational fear of their language and their opportunities being sidelined but South views Hindi Belt’s arguments as Hegemonistic Chauvinism with a bulveristic streak.
The verdict is clear. Hindi is yet to mature to become a national language – there is no native proficiency for those who have a different mother tongue. 70 long years were given to Hindi to prove itself but the state we are in today is exactly the state we were in 1950. The roughness with which this is projected, this has rubbed potential allies very badly and it’s going to be a next-to-impossible exercise to make the country switch over to Hindi. Rather than that, probably, promoting Sanskrit even at this later date is going to yield better dividends.
HM: National Highways are used by all Indians. Hindu is the most widely spoken and understood langauge of India. Deal with it
SI: It’s just another local language, spoken by a bit more people. Pray tell me, how many outside the Hindi belt know Hindi? It doesn’t have widespread acceptance like Sanskrit, English and to some extent, Urdu. You can survive with Sanskrit everywhere, not Hindi.
HM: bit more people? haha! More than half of Indian speak Hindi. More than 3/4th understand Hindi.
SI: Nope. Hindi has 40% as native speakers. Even after these many years, I am yet to see someone comfortable with Hindi outside the belt. And a minority is a minority – be it Hindi with 40% or Sentinelese with 0.0001%. Well, if you add Urdu and Bhojpuri, than more than 50%. None in Telangana understand Hindi – it’s Urdu. But, the point of a national language is, you can run the show anywhere in India. With Hindi, you can’t, with English, you can.
HM: Less than 5% of Indian understand English. Hindi in its modern Hindustani form is the most widely understand langauge. Even you know it.
I love and accept all Indian languages. The important role of Hindi in India is self evident.
SI: The tree presented another problem. By splitting Bhojpuri and Hindi, you have already laid a path for further fragmentation of Hindi.
HM: True. But many more Indians understand Hindi. How do you expect the PM to communicate with the nation? Talk in 28 languages?
SI: Well, the many more we are seeing are a skewed number who leave the comfort of their states. People just don’t need Hindi in their states. The biggest thing is, no one assuaged the Tamil fears. Native proficiency in Hindi for some will make us B-grade citizens in India.
HM: That can be your view. The only Indian language @RashtrapatiBhvn address the nation is Hindi for a reason. The purpose of language is to communicate. I do not care anymore. We need a langauge to communicate & Hindi with English fulfil it.
SI: Well, that’s because the official notification still says encourage Hindi but in South, it’s a nuisance doubling the size of manuals. That is the concept of a national language, right? The issue is, even after being given 70 years, Hindi didn’t mature enough.
HM: Hindi has matured, developed and expanded by including words from other language forms. All our languages are national languages. We must speak & promote our native languages. Even learn English. Its just that Hindi remain the strongest medium of communication.
SI: Examples, please? Any commonly used words not from Urdu or Sanskrit or English? How many research papers? How many books of note?
Another major reason is, English or Sanskrit can’t kill other languages. If you call Thethi or Maithili languages, it Hindi killed them.
HM: No one is required to make Hindi as native. I love tamil, telugu, Kannada just as much as I adore Hindi. Our languages are our beauty.
SI: That’s not the fear. If a paper is set in English, everyone can write. If it is set in Hindi, will South pass the test? Something like what happened in Hyderabad – when Urdu was replaced with English and Telangana lost out in jobs to Andhra.
HM: Because Hindi is the language of communication for central govt. It must include more. But as of now Hindi reaches most people. Fact.
SI: Language of commn because full term CMs only from UP. And PV is a Hindi Jnanpeeth & at least half of the Hindi Belt MPs don’t know English. Every govt will have a battery of ministers from UP. If a minister can’t speak anything except Hindi, what will the world do? Promoting Hindi looks more like a matter of convenience, not something in national interest. Anyways, leave it. This is an eternal debate. And if you are free, you can check the causticity in the Constitutional Assembly Debates over National Language. The point my friend, is Hindi is just another local language promoting the interests of a few Indians over the others. It skews opportunity. Stay on the other side of the line, you will understand what exactly is the problem. A Hindi signboard in AP, what % reading can understand?
HM: I have read constitutional debates in detail and refers to Gopalaswamy Iyengar
SI: Refers to Pt Lakshmikanta Maitry. I can dig out many such – Kala Venkat Rao, Naziruddin Ahmed and any such. They haven’t found an answer for 70 years and they won’t for 70
HM: I am not talking about the Hindi literature but Hindi as the dominant medium of communication. Looking at Hindi as foreign is disappointing. Hindi in its modern Hindustani form is a creation of convenience. English is useful but so are many more languages. That is why all SC, major universities etc use English. National exam papers must be in Hindi and all major regional languages too. Urdu is a form of Hindi but its script is understood by very few.
HM: I do not get your point. Whatever be the reason, Hindi is the most widely understood langauge in India. What’s wrong on accepting that?
SI: Nope. In all these years, I am yet to get a valid reason why Hindi shd replace English. If there is no answer from proponents, why blame me?
HM: World will use a teleprompter. What else? Lol. PM of India is a Gujarati, President is Bengali. They both address nation in Hindi. Hindi is not a provincial language. 10 states of India have hindi as official language. Resisting Hindi just for the sake of it, that is self defeating.
SI: That’s exactly I am saying – all 10 are contiguous and there is no substantial population outside them or neighbours. That makes it local.
HM: Crazy! Haryana and Chhattisgarh share border?
SI: Don’t forget PM is a UP MP, not Gujarat. And Prez. Only once, he was an MP. And Prez, can I have his Rajya Sabha states?
HM: How it matters where they are MP from? My only point is the fact that Hindi is widely spoken. Modi’s mother tongue is Gujarati He is not promoting Hindi. He is speaks langauge most Indian can speak. He can’t make an address 20 times!
SI: It matters. Modi is an MP from UP and he can’t become an MP easily unless you speak in native – note the word native. The point is, PMs come only from UP and it is politically correct for the MP becoming PM to promote the mother tongue of his voters to be… What efforts were made to encourage other states to use Hindi? Answer is a big zero. Another thing we are mixing up here – lingua franca and national language. National language needs native proficiency, not lingua franca.
HM: Again, that is your ignorance. All languages are promoted. Govt celebrate the day too. From which langauge does your name come?
SI: I am saying encouraging Hindi,not other languages.Mine is Telugu, god only knows where the word came from. All origins are wishful thinkings
HM: That is not a fact. The 1st speech by KCR was in Telugu, English and Hindi. Urdu itself is persianized standard register of the Hindustani
SI: There was no Hindi. It’s the Deccani variant of Urdu, again, much different from the North Indian Urdu.
HM: Do you think MMS spoke Assame? Do you think Sonia spoke Kannada when she represented Bellary? Seriously! Bias > Facts. Sad..
SI: I used the word “MP easily”. Sonia gave speeches in Kannada, they were written for her, but she gave. MMS was never won an election. Sushma Swaraj learnt Kannada but both of them spoke in Kannada.
HM: Facts can argue with ignorance not bias. good luck
SI: Same here. I need a sane and valid engagement, not hegemonistic bludgeoning. And nothing is going to change either of our’s positions. Adieu. TMy position is ignorance for you, your position is hegemonistic chauvinism for me. Cultural divide. Can’t do much. By mixing up lingua franca with national language, you have declared that just because people can SPEAK in Hindi, they she also read & write.
HM: Next time, check facts before typing(Presenting a Times of Indian screenshot which states KCR spoke in Hindi, Urdu and Telugu). I disengage.
SI: Again from North Indian media? Ever heard the word Amit Media? Beside, TV channel of the same newspaper showed snowmobile in Chennai floods. By the way, I haven’t got my answer yet. What words in Hindi, which are sourced from languages other than Sanskrit/Urdu/Eng? Still waiting.
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