Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Should Hindi Be a National Language?

This post is based on Neha’s reply to my comment on her Blog.Please read her blog post for further Gyan.

@ ZB, why not? why one language cannot be the official language of a country? English - looking at our literacy rate in India, English is not spoken or understood by vast majority..thanks to British people, none of our languages could prosper..they used English as the official language; thus it continued..but we do have our own identity..the major problem is that we are still looking at the smaller picture..tell me, will you ever be able to take the insult of not being spoken with or guided the directions in your own country because you do not know the local language? Don't you think if one language was made official at the time of formation of Constitution; we could all have at least communicated with one-another?

I feel Hindi is not our Identity. Hindi is a modern language which has derived from Khari Boli, Persian and Sanskrit languages. It evolved during the Mughal and British era. Bhojpuri, Gujrati, Rajesthani, Haryanavi etc are much older and purer than Hindi.Devanagari Script was adopted to Standardize the language. Earlier Sanskrit had no script. In south India Sanskrit was written in Tamil.

Forcing down a Language doesn’t make it popular. In Kerala, Hindi is taught from the school level, but people hardly speak the language. If Hindi would have been made our National Language in 1965, it would bring much shame to the language 50 years down the line. It would be shameful for a National Language when half of the population don’t understand a word of it.

Believe me, if I know just Hindi( and not English) and travel the country I would face bigger problems in communicating, Where as English is much more understood by majority. In places like South India or Eastern states, there would be atleast few people who would speak English, if not the majority, but I doubt if it’s the case with Hindi.

Hindi doesn’t mean anything to me in South India.In Kerala for example, all communications are in either Malayalam or English. Hindi plays absolutely no role and its not because its not been taught there in schools.Where as Malayalam is spoken because it’s the identity of the people. Or tamil is in Tamilnadu. So is the case in Eastern States.

Being a lawyer, do you still believe that just because its made a National language of the country as per the constitution, it would be widely spoken by all Indians? Its not Practical and the makers of the constitution understood it much more than anyone else. That’s why it was never adopted.

why only Hindi - then just read the facts mentioned below..

India has two two linguistic families. The Indo-Aryan languages, 11 in number, derived from Sanskrit are spoken by nearly 75% of whom Hindi is spoken by 42% of people..The Dravidian languages spoken by 24% people prevail in Southern India of whom Telugu is spoken by largest group.

In a country with over a billion population, a mere percentage means a lot. 24 % is a lot of people, that’s over 250 million people. Learning Hindi doesn’t really help people securing a Job, does it? On the other hand, if one learns English, Spanish or French its considered an advantage.

Why is a Language which is neither an identity, or technical advantage, forced down upon people as national language?

by making Hindi an official language of the Union, who is saying that other languages will no longer be the official languages?

If you do not want to speak a language; it is alright..but does that mean you will pretend that you do not know the language at all and trouble the helpless?

we all love freedom; but declaring one language as the OFFICIAL LANGUAGE does not take away your freedom from you..the meaning of declaring this language as official does not mean you have to compulsorily converse in that language or learn strictly in that language in school…

Hindi is already an official language along with many regional languages of the country. The question is if it should be made a National Language, for which I oppose. I oppose because it doesn’t truly represent India. It represents only about 50 % of the country.

South India is drastically different from Hindi speaking part of the country. Tamil or local language is its identity. Same is the case in Bengal, Assam or Manipur.

Speaking in a language depends on the comfort level. In my case, I speak in Malayalam to majority of malayalees. I speak in Hindi with my Northee friends.
However, I speak in English with few of my malayalee friends, not because I want to show off or I feel Malayalam doesn’t have enough vocabulary. Its just that to a particular person I can only speak in a particular language. To my cousin sister Sandhya, I can only speak in English though both can speak Malayalam fluently. Hasn’t that ever happened to you?

However, I do feel Hindi should be taught in schools and Karunanidhi style opposition to any language shouldn’t be encouraged.

I feel we shouldn’t have a National language and Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali…ETC should be equally encouraged, as much as Hindi should be.

 Jai Hind and Happy Rupublic day to all.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Please help, is something wrong with me?!

Friends told me it’s a GREAT movie. And Raju Hirani is one of my favorite directors. And I went to watch the movie thinking Mr. Hirani can never go wrong. And I thought Lage raho munna bhai was one of the finest movies in bollywood. and I was wrong.

I hated the movie. And It was super bore. And Not a single scene caught my attention. And I felt I had seen it all.   Except perhaps the child delivery scene. I almost had tears in my eyes thinking how my wife would have felt through and gone through the pain and torment. And not because of the movie.

Each and every scene reminded me of some other scene from some other movie. And Some English, some Malayalam, some recent hits like DIL CHAHTA HAIN etc.And  The jokes were rather stale and tried and tested several times. And I had a strange sense of déjà vu watching the movie. But Aamir Khan looked good for his part and if not for Aamir the movie would have been much worse.

From the first scene where Madhavan diverts a flight and runs through the airport and finally manages to get into a stopped car meant for someone else, it hit my senses in a strange negative way.

Perhaps I expected a lot from Hirani. And I remember watching Lage raho and silently howling. What a plot. And What a screenplay. And What freshness. And I had never seen anything like it.And When the BGM played vande mataram I had my eyes flowing like flooded Brahmaputra, literally if not symbolically.

But may be I am wrong. And May be I am getting too old for silly gags, the box office proves otherwise. And I am the only one in my office and odd one amongst around 20 people I know who has not liked it. Whats wrong with me? Do i need to consult a psychologist and takeup counseling?Please help ! :(