Home Minister Amit Shah issued an appeal to adopt Hindi as a link language on the occasion of Hindi Divas-2019 and it raised a storm of protest in southern Bharat. Language and content of their statements explicitly established, none of them either listened to his appeal attentively or did not understand at all. May be, they are determined not to understand. They are loaded with their own predilections and predispositions which do not allow them to be pragmatic.
I, too, had a war of words with many of them across the nation in social media as well as a few NRIs. They have only ‘plurality’ to tom tom and the ‘ancient’ accusation of ‘imposition’ of Hindi spurred by now rubbished ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ at the bottom of their mind. I just have to submit to them with maximum humility at my command – Nobody is asking you to throw away your mother tongue.
Nobody is even asking you either to adopt Hindi as your mother tongue if it is not.
One link language for the entire nation is required for communications across the country. Should that be English, barely spoken by 2 to 3 per cent or Hindi, spoken and understood by more than 60 per cent in the country? Is it not humiliating to practise English, a foreign language as nation level link language?
Today even Ph.D holders in southern States cannot write/speak either English or Hindi. They know only their respective ‘Mummy-tongues’ !! How can they converse with rest of the country except being uncomfortably awkward in a mixed gathering ? It is extremely difficult for them to communicate with visitors in southern States, also when they move out of their States.
We sing and dance a lot around universalism of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam variety yet boil down to ‘my State, my language, my culture, my tradition…’only. In the name of ‘Unity in Diversity’, we only harp on ‘diversity’ but not on unity/convergence at all. Even a so learned a Professor R Vaidyanathan of IIMB declared, all regional languages are national languages because they all appear in currency notes. Bengali-intellectuals snobbishly do not even consider Hindi a language at all.
We all must know how painstakingly Jews retrieved their national language Hebrew from ruins and ensured it an exalted status in their country. Our Gujarati speaking Prime Minister is such a great nationalist-statesman that he has elevated Hindi into an international language to compete with English in United Nations while our regional language Tarzans are busy abusing ‘Hindiwallas’ for ‘imposing’ Hindi upon them and not respecting their mother tongues. When did ‘Hindiwallas’ derogate regional languages? Did they ever respect Hindi in past, is a serious question that must agitate them though I do not wish to remind them of Periyar-politics in Tamil Nadu during 1960s, Marathi agitation by Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and Bengal CM Mamata Bannerjee’s rantings. I would like to ask them, is it really possible to impose Hindi or anything in this indisciplined/noisy/rowdy country? If they are sincere enough to confess NO, then I am keen to know from you all, when we all are going to evolve in true sense of the word.
Only if Constituent Assembly had accepted Dr. Ambedkar’s insistence on Sanskrit being adopted as national language, entire friction over language issue would have been avoided. Almost 60 to 90% words in regional languages are Sanskrit in their origin. Names of all States, welfare schemes viz. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana etc., mottos of all Government organisations are in Sanskrit. Even leaders of DMK, vociferous opponents of Sanskrit in Tamil Nadu, have their names in Sanskrit. The government may gradually Sanskritize Hindi for better acceptability before Sanskrit is officially declared as national language as soon as the nation is sufficiently enriched to assimilate the decision comfortably.