Fighting For Language

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Bhubaneswar: India is a country full of diversity, multiple cultures, traditions and languages. This is the beauty of the nation that unity prevails in diversity. Whichever examples are taken from the past where any language or culture of some other region being imposed upon the other community or locality has been seen to be failed miserably. Indianness is the source of our unity is understood by all; sometimes political leaders make such statements in languages making the entire country disappointed. One such remark by the honourable home minister has created a similar stir in the recent past. Recently, he had proposed in the Parliamentary Official Language Committee that the states should communicate with each other in the Hindi language rather than the English language. In other terms, the states should make the Hindi language their communicative language rather than English. If this comment was only indicated to the Hindi belts of our country then there would have been no issues, but in India, there are states where people hardly speak or understand Hindi. Especially the Southern parts of the country are not used to the language Hindi. The regional languages are predominant there and the official languages in the states are the local language. In this case, it seems inconceivable to suggest they for making their communicative language Hindi. There had been a great deal of controversy over the language barriers in the south Indian states in the past. Many campaigns had continued against it for years. It has been reported to be violent in the 1960s. So everyone needs to be careful while giving statements on such a sensitive matter as language.

Hindi or Bollywood movies have indeed made the Hindi language popular all over the world. ; but it is limited only to the level of understanding. Most people still struggle to read and write Hindi. Even, many people can speak English more easily than Hindi. The States communicating with the centre in the English language is not abnormal or unrealistic. Moreover, it is doubtful for many that Hindi can be the best alternative to English. Hence, it will create news difficulties by deteriorating the well-organised situation. The home minister had said in his statement that presently almost 70% of the cabinet agendas are prepared in Hindi. With the agreement of eight northeastern states, Hindi has been made compulsory till the 10th standard in schools in their states and 22 thousand Hindi teachers were appointed for this and nine tribal communities are using the Devanagari script to write their dialects. The central government is extremely anxious to promote the Hindi language across the country. It is not the first time that the home minister is emphasising the Hindi language, in 2019 he had spoken about ‘ one country, one language ‘. This slogan demonstrates to facilitate the Hindi language all across the country by imposing this language in the non- Hindi speaking states. This very risk has instigated protests and situations in the southern states.

Various languages and dialects are an important part of our country. So not just Hindi but no language should be imposed on anybody. Our Constitution also has been giving respect to the federal system for these reasons where there is the significance of different types of regional languages. Once upon a time, the All India Congress Committee which was leading the struggle for Independence in the country was considering this linguistic sub-racism complementary to nationalism as helping in sustaining the unity of the country. Another important fact is that many such languages are far more ancient than Hindi. Thus, it is apparent that there will be protests if Hindi is imposed on the non- Hindi speaking states. As it is a sensitive issue, ministers and leaders in power should give statements on this carefully. Besides, that language cannot be imposed on anybody, it is learnt and mastered according to the need. If the Hindi language can be the language of communication in a natural way, there is no objection to it. But it should not be imposed on anyone. Let there be no more fighting and conflict over the language of the country.

-OdishaAge