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Feeling proud about our languages

Feeling proud about our languages
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Vijay Garg
Language is the medium to communicate and it is in the month of September that we observe the Hindi Diwas and offer our respect for the languages that are part of our culture and history.
Official language means the language in which the governance of the country is carried on. In the constitution that independent India made for itself, Hindi was declared as the official language of the country and in the states this place was given to the languages of the states.
Unfortunately, some states had some doubts or confusion regarding the official language. Don’t know why they thought that the official language Hindi is being imposed on them through the medium.
Actually it was not so. The decision to make Hindi the official language was taken in the Constituent Assembly to give proper place to the language or languages of our country. The interesting thing is that the proposal to make Hindi the official language was moved by non-Hindi speaking representatives in the Constituent Assembly.
However, if there are some confusions in this context, they should have been properly resolved. All the languages of the country including Hindi are the identity of this country. Everyone should get equal respect. That’s why I understand that on 14th September we should celebrate Hindi Diwas.
It should be celebrated not in the form but as the Indian Language Day. We can protect our identity only by respecting our languages. It is not a matter of pride, it is a matter of misfortune, that speaking English or studying in English medium is considered a matter of pride in the year of independence.
There should be no opposition to studying English. English is a rich language, work can be easy through English in many countries of the world. This may also be necessary in the context of some subjects. But it never means that the burden of learning English should be placed on the head of every child in India.
The truth is that English is being imposed in our country, not Hindi. It should be opposed. English is the language of the British, not a world language. 75 percent of the world’s people do not speak English. Only 1.5 billion people are English-speaking, of which only 400 million have English as their first language.
Countries like China, Japan, Russia, Germany have acquired knowledge in their own languages. The people of Britain’s neighbouring country France still take insults in speaking English. However, with language also comes the question of mentality. We are not able to overcome the feeling of slavery of English, that’s why we want to speak fluent English and are happy to study through English medium!
This sick mentality has to be overcome. In the times we live in, English language does not bring us pride or something that we should feel elevated about. The country felt proud when Atal Bihari Vajpayee delivered his speech in Hindi for the first time at the United Nations.
But the real pride will be when we are proud to speak in our own language in our country. Today, our leaders, while speaking Hindi or any other Indian language, consider it a matter of pride to put a splash of English in it.
In fact, this is an example of a feeling of inferiority. It is not wrong to speak (or even read) English where necessary, but it should always be remembered that taking pride in speaking English or studying in English means hanging the medal of slavery around your neck.
It is the result of sick mentality. It is important to overcome this mindset. Calling the highway a duty path will not make a difference. Doing your duty towards these languages will make a difference. To perform this duty means to feel proud of our languages. When will we experience this pride?
(The author is a retired Principal and an Educational Columnist)


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