Celebrate diversity of our languages as imposition of Hindi would harm India more than anything else.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat at deekshabhoomi
Vidya Bhushan Rawat

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Our Home
Minister has talked about the importance of Hindi as a national language. He
said, it would ‘strengthen’ national unity. These ideas are not knowing which
are emerging from Sangh parivar whose vision of India purely the dominance of
the Aryan Race led by north Indian brahmins or Banias. The thought of diversity
instill fear among them as they want to unify India in everything including
what kind of cloths would you like to wear.

I come from
Hindi heartland but the fact is in my region of Uttarakhand, people speak so
many dialects. I was amazed to see the powerful Garhwali literature. There is
already lot of work on both Garhwali and Kumauni languages. You can not ignore
them being mere dialects. Go to UP and you will find the sweetness of
Bundelkhandi, beauty of Awadhi, the danda mar, khari boli of Meerut and western
Uttar Pradesh, and the vast spectrum of Bhojpuri which crosses both UP and
Bihar at the moment and is being celebrated by the non resident Indians too.

Language in
India is a contentious issue. I have always maintained that we need to admit
the diversity of our culture which include languages, food habits, and living
style. All these develop according to our geographical locations.

Our Constitutional forefathers were visionary and understood this thing. Language of a state is basically straight forward related its identity and culture. We must learn from the mistake that Pakistan did immediately after the independence. The Governor General, Mohammad Ali Jinnah was on a visit to Dhaka and was to address a huge gathering at the campus of Dhaka University. Over three lakh people were waiting to hear him and it was a new state so the Muslim sentiments were high, in the East Bengal. It was March 21st, 1948 in the Dhaka University Campus, Jinnah announced proudly: ”

“Without one state language, no nation can remain tied up solidly together and function’. This was East Pakistan where the question of language was so powerful irrespective of their religion, people would speak Bengali. The ownership over Bengali language by the people. Some of our friends inform us that the huge crowd went berserk and people started throwing chappals and shoes. There was unrest in Dhaka and other parts of East Pakistan. Jinnah died in September 1948 leaving the issue to be settled by the exported leadership of Pakistan which mainly hailed from Western Uttar Pradesh and Urdu speaking. The unrest was never settled but more and more restriction and cultural barrier were created in the name of the ‘national unity’ and the end is that after 24 years, Pakistan had to finally accept the rise of Bangladesh and got divided.

In India too
there have been lots of protests against the imposition of Hindi language on
people particularly in the South. Periyar openly opposed it and his views was
simple. Tamil was a great language and the state of Tamilnadu had taken
tremendous pride in its Tamil Dravidian identity and they would not like to
read Hindi language which can never match the literature and power as of Tamil
and other such languages which are actually older.

Though there
is nothing wrong in learning languages and Hindi has already entered into our
homes through our Television channels, news programs and reality shows. Even
people in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka can speak normal ‘kamchalaau’
Hindi if they need to communicate with people. So, there is no need to do so
raise a controversy. We know Hindi has been promoted and people enjoy curtsies
of the Hindi Diwas. I knew a ‘patrakar’ bhai used to take sarkari project on
Hindi alone and would go to north East, Goa and southern State. The work was
just to organize a meeting, get it published in the newspapers and that was the
end. So, Hindi gave a lot of ‘services’ to such people whose work was to create
chauvinism.

But I want
to say things clearly. It is not that leaders have become worried about Hindi
and don’t know how popular is Amitabh Bachchan’s show Kaun Bangea Carorepati
among the people outside Hindi heartland. The problem is that at the moment
when the Sarkar should do all its efforts in bringing a sense of belonging
among people, rectify the economy as we are heading towards economical recess
and disaster. Unfortunately, the Sarkar is still in election mode. It means
they will continue to raise all these issues on regular basis so that you can
discuss their performance but only discuss their issues. The bhaktas in the
Hindi heartland will be happy as if all their economic issues are resolved.

Anyway,
please don’t get annoyed. These issues will come after every interval, some
time at a faster pace. We can say one thing that India progressed and remained
united because people wanted it and decided to live together. Those who thing
we are united just because we have big military and they can push a danda from
the above are mistaken. It is our duty to strengthen the unity and integrity of
the country and the only way is to accept our huge diversity as our strength
and not rant on imposing a unified agenda which will only harm the country.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

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