Last September during the Hindi Diwas Celebrations in a public office, a slogan displayed at the notice board captured my attention. Perhaps it was one of the best adjudged slogans in the Slogan Writing Competition held as a part of the Hindi Fortnight Celebrations . It went like this ….Angrezi Ko Pachhaad Do, Hindi Ko Aakaar Do…. which means ‘Beat English and give shape to Hindi’. It made me feel extremely low as a Hindi-Lover, proud to be born on Sept 14, the Hindi Diwas Day.
“That’s not my Hindi”… was my immediate reaction in the sub conscious. Hindi being one of the most ancient languages of the world has no comparison or competition with any language of the world. So far as giving shape to it is concerned , that too is totally irrelevant as Hindi language is a complete identity in itself and talking of giving shape to it, is just like showing a lamp to the sun.
In my view celebrating Hindi Diwas should be aimed to commemorate the day our Constituent Assembly recognised and adopted Hindi as the official language of the Republic of India in 1949. It should serve as an occasion to spread awareness and importance of Hindi language, increase the spirit of Hindi language development among people and not just limit it to the formality of observing Hindi Diwas, Hindi week or Hindi fortnight.
Going back to the slogan, that motivated me to pen down the article, simply reflects the inferiority complex that has invaded a large strata of the Indian society in speaking Hindi as a primary mode of communication . In fact popularity of Hindi as a language has grown manifold ,whether it is in social media, e-commerce websites or other commercial platforms. Even dubbing of global classic and mainstream movies in Hindi has garnered a potentially huge market. English language has adopted over nine hundred Hindi words over a period of time and these are even listed in the latest editions of Oxford dictionary. Words like avataar, mantra, lathi, yoga , surya- namaskar, bapu, badmaash, & guru are frequently being used worldwide. Vedant , Edu-Next, Unacademy, Awaaz and many other educational Apps are providing their services in Hindi. In addition to it numerous Hindi stories, jokes, news and Music Apps are becoming popular by the day. Hindi video streaming services market is flourishing and expanding at the rate of twenty two percent. The global popularity of Hindi can be judged by the fact that in America alone, more than 150 educational institutions have included Hindi in their academic curriculum. All this is indeed a matter of great pride for us. I personally believe English as a language is no way superior to Hindi whether it is literature, culture, grammar, script or just basic usage. I feel Hindi is the only language based on sounds. Its alphabets including vowels and consonants are pronounced the same way as the word or sentence is written. It is very simple and easy to learn and understand Hindi. In India over 66 percent of population can speak Hindi and more than 75percent people can understand it as well. On the global front the number of Hindi speaking people is increasing day by day.
Hindi defines every social and personal relationship with distinction ; be it maama, chacha, fufa, mausa, daadi daada and just not attribute it to common words like, uncle aunty, or granny for all . The reason behind the inferiority complex, a section of society has developed over the years goes back to the treatment meted out to the language during the British rule. When Sh.Harivansh Rai Bachchan was working in the Ministry of External Affairs, he worked closely with the matters concerning the adoption of Hindi as our official language. In his autobiography he mentioned how the office had an environment of English sophistication. He went on to describe how if anyone closed its eyes, he or she could mistake the office for a cocktail party in Oxford or Cambridge. He further adds, “The sahibs viewed Hindi as nothing more than a language to converse with the servants and and chaprasis”. This continued for many years leading to a social hypocrisy evident even today, not only in metros and mega- cities but also in other fast developing urban areas. Many people hold the view that without English India cannot be an economic super power. I just want to ask them how come China has become so by speaking Mandarin. Are Russia , Japan and France under developed who feel proud of their language and all their official work is done in their own language. In the so called modern Indian society, the social hypocrisy is the biggest threat to the popularity and promotion of Hindi resulting in a big impediment to pass off the mother tongue to the younger generation .
Parents prefer to put their children in an exclusive English medium school, now seen as a symbol of class and exclusivity. As a result the new generation feels ashamed in acknowledging Hindi as a primary communication medium. In several English medium schools, the habit of conversing in English is being inculcated among students through a system of rewards and punishments. Here i would categorically like to state that there is no harm and nothing really bad in learning and speaking English or any other language of the world. However feeling inferior, low or ashamed of using your own mother tongue, is of course a threat, not only to the language, but to our identity, our roots, our culture ,art and literature also. We should never forget that Hindi is as dynamic as our country. The values our nation believes in, are the values our mother tongue teaches us. India is the symbol of unity in diversity and hindi too believes in proceeding ahead and co-exist taking other languages along. It believes in passion and adaptability and not insulting or letting down other languages. As Indian hospitality is world famous and appreciated throughout the world, the same way Hindi has welcomed numerous languages into its fold and are now co existing with it . So there is no question of making comparison or competing with any other language. As a true Indian it is our duty just to use Hindi as our mode of expression , enjoy its richess and above all feel proud about it.
Then no one would need to say again……
THAT IS NOT MY HINDI.