Tuesday, August 12, 2008

National Language - Is it not applicable to South States

Writing this post after a 1-year experience in the southern part of India. Good enough time to judge, analyze and say what you have to.
I came to Chennai post getting the offer in the current company I am working with. Was happy to come down South for:
a) Elevation in the role, career, money.
b) Education aspect of my daughter.
c) New venture as I had never been to South before.

Lot of thought process went by to make the decision and finally moved Southwards. Of all the adventurous experiences I have had here in Chennai, what struck and stuck my mind is the usage of our national language.

Hindi, our Official and National language looked like an alien language to most of the people down here. People refrain themselves from all touchbase they can have to Hindi.
As an instance, I have seen people claiming not knowing Hindi at the peak of their voices when it is a normal conversation but when the same conversation turns up to be a discussion which can be harmful or profitable, they tend to understand whatever is getting communicated, even in Hindi.

People who know Hindi feel proud to write this as additional qualification in the CV they present for interviews.

Hindi is a second option language in the schools.

South, being the hub of IT developments and most of the big lying telecom and automobile companies, is looking at a large floating population, many of them not from South. This population, who can be a prospect to development, prefer not to come to South for the reason of challenge they might face in communication.

The administration and communication to the administrative bodies is a bigger challenge.

My car was hit by a speeding vehicle at a signal at the rear side of my car. It was a nightmare explaining the whole incidence to the traffic police constable stationed on duty. The only language he knew was Tamil. I preferred leaving it there and moved on.

India being one country, including the southern state, should have one common language to talk.
Is it that the states in South do not consider themselves part of India?
Is it that the official word does not apply to these states?

It looks like this is the challenge that people might prefer to move anywhere in India but south as barrier in communication is a barrier to anyone's development.


arunhrao@aol.in said...

Is hindi really our national language? This is a question that a lot of the states in India are entitled to ask. Who has decided that hindi is our national language? There is a belief that many in India hold that the decision to call hindi as our national language was taken by the government at the centre which was always in the stranglehold of the ‘Hindi Heartland’.

Taking sides on this debate is not only difficult but also pointless. The debate cannot go on emotional lines. There can be no right or wrong. There can only be a practical answer. The simplest one that strikes me is that we need to decide which is the most widely spoken language in India and help people to learn this language. By this logic the most obvious candidate seems to be hindi.

However, the simplest solutions are not necessarily the easiest. What about people’s pride in their language. What about the fact that this solution will deprive politicians of a very compelling election agenda?

At the end of it we seem to be still going round in circles. I guess that at the end of it business and commerce will decide the solution and force people to learn and communicate in a language which all can understand.

Shobhit said...

identity of an Indian.
represents traditions n culture of India.
"must" be pride n honour for every Indian.
Our national language?????

But is it true? Is hindi really our national language. The answer of this question give the intensity of correctness of first three statements.

The very fact is that Hindi is not our national language!!!!!!!!! (a complete shock because a mojority of indians are in the dilemma of hindi as our national language) but it is official language of India. The above fact come from our own constitution (article 343) but what a shame that India the largest democratic country in world doesn't own a national language.

Now the truth Why Hindi could not become our national language...
"The Constitution of India came into existence on January 26, 1950. It said that Hindi and English would be the "official languages" of the Central government of India till 1965 (for a period of 15 years); subsequently, Hindi was expected to become the sole "national and official language" of India. This applied to Central as well as State governments. Hindi and English became the "official languages" in every department controlled by the Central government. This explains why Hindi is prominent in the Indian Railways, the nationalised banks, etc, which come under the purview of the Central government.
As January 26, 1965 neared, some in the non-Hindi belt, particularly the Tamils, started voicing their apprehensions openly. The idea of making Hindi the sole national language was blasphemous to the students as it involved the simultaneous and complete withdrawal of English, even as a medium for competitive examinations for jobs and education! This meant that the northern region would bag government jobs and dominate the field of education, given the proficiency in Hindi of the people of the region. Since government jobs were the most sought after in the pre-1991 era, the measure was seen as an indirect attempt to deny jobs to the English-educated South Indians. The non-Hindi-speaking people from South India feared that they would be discriminated against in government employment and in other possible ways. Between 1948 and 1961, on an average, every year, close to 24% of Central government officials had been selected from the State of Madras (the present-day Tamil Nadu). Uttar Pradesh came second best, accounting for about 16%.

The 1940s, 1950s and the first half of the 1960s witnessed many anti-Hindi pro-tests in the form of public meetings, marches, hunger strikes and demonstrations before schools and Central government offices; black flag demonstrations greeted Central government ministers. Most of these were organized either by the DK or the DMK and the general public supported them fully. There were hundreds of such protests from Tamil Nadu and thousands were jailed. Several hundreds were injured when police used lathi-charge to disperse the peaceful protesters. Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then PM, even though supportive of the pro-Hindi group, came up with a set of compromises that denied Hindi the "sole national language" status, realising the seriousness of the issue."
In Article 343, there is a clause that for Hindi as a national language each n every state should agree for that but still......

And after 60 years of independence we still don't have a national language.
and I think this task will remain unfinished......
and with that one dream will also remain unfinished...
The dream of...
One India, One People n One Language (Hindi)

PS: The text in " " is not an original work but compiled from net. (As I found this text appropriate to give it here, and it is not to blame anyone)