Sometimes, attempts have been made by some unscrupulous and devious minds to destabilise India’s unity. Some people try to create dissensions in the name of religion while others attempt to craft conflicts by making irresponsible comments and observations on our languages and culture.
However, all those attempts have proved futile and the country has stood as strong as before.
The recent exchange between a Kannada actor Kichha Sudeep and a Hindi film star Ajay Devgn on the popularity of their language – Kannada and Hindi, respectively, comes as another shock for all of us as it threatens our beautiful pluralistic society. In fact, it also comes in a series of discussions on national languages that tend to go nowhere because of the complexity and numbers of India.
It appears the reach of regional films in today’s high-tech environment is getting longer, adding weight to the argument that any extensive promotion of Hindi can only be regarded as imposition in the many states in which it’s not the dominant language.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had set off the debate by calling for Hindi as the link language in a throwback to old arguments about the need to find a common language in a veritable Tower of Babel of thousands of languages and dialects. What those who assiduously promote Hindi for their own political ends don’t seem to understand is that far more Indians do not speak Hindi, one of two official languages of India, than those who do.
Outside the northern belt of the NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the language of general communication isn’t Hindi. Almost six decades ago, the imposition of Hindi in schools became such an issue that till today national parties are anathema to the Tamils and they piggyback on Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian majors.
The fact is, language is a sensitive and potentially divisive issue in a complex Indian setting and anyone talking about it in a motivated way to the point of polarising opinions is only stirring the pot.
Historically, English has been a unifying force and in the modern age has also impelled India as a global IT power. While all languages of the nation can aspire to link people of different regions, Hindi cannot claim a sole right to be the sole alternative to English, which by definition is as much an official Indian language as Hindi.
India’s diversity is best served by the principle of equity when it comes to its languages. By repeating ad nauseam their preference for Hindi, some politicians of national parties are only driving a wedge. They must desist from such detestable moves and work towards promoting our very own Vedic principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
A tree appears complete when it blooms with all its branches stretch out in all directions unhindered, leaves swing in the air and flowers add fragrance and flavour to the environment.