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Hindi To Be 'The Lingua Franca'
Omkar Dattatray10/16/2019 10:22:35 PM
Let me start this write up with the Hindi couplet of a great authority which reads as "kab yovan se nikar uthegi yeh hindi ki basha, kab sara jag issey hojayega matwala". A language should unite and not divide People and countries on narrow linguistic lines. But instead languages should become tools of unity however alas language have often become source of discard and division. Language chauvinism should not come in the way of national unity. We have seen countries divided on the basis of languages. Pakistan was divided on the basis of language in 1971 when the then East Pakistanis considered imposition of Urdu language as an assault on their Bengali language and culture. As a result East Pakistan was separated from Pakistan and a new country Bangladesh was formed though with the support of India under the able Prime ministership of Late.Smt. Indira Gandhi. Even the same religion could not keep Pakistan united and it is the language that is the guarantee of one's culture and it can keep nations united if proper care is taken to ensure that different languages are safeguarded. India has hundreds of languages and dialects and it is the responsibility of the government, NGOs, and people at large so that language problem does not lead to unwanted division of the country on the basis of language. Hindi is the language that is spoken by a majority of people in India especially in north India. A country should allow all languages to flourish on its soil, but at the same time one language should be there which could be described as the national language of the country and that honor rightly goes to Hindi. Hindi is the language of the masses and can be called lingua franca-the language of the people. It is the responsibility of all the citizens to help the government in popularization of Hindi. For this purpose debates, discussions, seminars, workshops, Hindi pakwardas, hindi diwas etc. should be held throughout India. But at the same time regional languages and mother tongues should be encouraged and allowed to grow and flourish along with Hindi. Hindi should not be imposed on non-Hindi speaking states or where other regional languages are in use. Forcible imposition of Hindi on non -hindi speaking states is akin to playing with fire and not uniting as this is bound to be opposed and has the potential of breaking the country and not uniting it. Therefore while recognizing the importance of Hindi as the national language, we should allow all the regional and mother tongues to flourish and grow and only then we will be able to preserve the diverse languages and culture otherwise not. Language and religious diversity is the hallmark and distinguishing feature of India rather unity in diversity is the sign of India's inclusive culture. Therefore for maintaining of this cultural and linguistic diversity Hindi, English, and all other regional and mother tongues should be preserved for the unity and integrity of India. Our constitution guarantees cultural and educational rights and the government is duty bound to improve and safeguard all regional languages along with Hindi and English. Hindi is our national and official language as all official work especially in central offices is done in Hindi and English is also used side by side with Hindi till the time Hindi can take full control and develop as the only official language of India. Efforts should be made to make Hindi really a language of people or lingua franca and it is the responsibility of all of us to develop Hindi along with all other regional languages for the unity of India. In early 1960s there were widespread riots in Tamil Nadu against the imposition of Hindi. Seventy people died and there was then the demand of separate Tamil nation on the basis of language. Thank god that DMK captured power in 1967and the demand for separate state evaporated. Recently when new national education policy was framed, its language policy came under severe criticism from DMK in Tamil Nadu and other southern states. Thus, the HRD Ministry was forced to keep it on hold. Three language formula is the panacea for the ills of the language problem. In fact, simpler Hindi in Devnagri script should become the lingua franca of India and all of us should strive for this as it is the language of our culture and philosophy. Let us all strive for this and not ignite unnecessary hue and cry on languages.
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