Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hindi is not India’s National Language !

I love history. I love history for the sheer fact that it can be viewed from any angle and my eternal efforts would be to know the true history. I feel true history is nothing but the ‘Neutral History’. Generally the history that we study in schools and colleges is often colored with state propaganda. For example, if Jinnah is a villain in the Indian history, he is a demigod in the Pakistani history. It’s true for every nation. Even in American textbooks it is written as if America is the world.

Now coming back to the subject, 99% of Indians have this misconception that the national language of India is Hindi. Wrong. Fact is, the Indian national language is English. Shocked? But it’s true. Please read ahead.

While India was getting independence, there was a question before the parliament as to which language should be the national language of the Indian union. Indian Muslims spoke Urdu and Hindi was spoken by Hindus in BiMaRU states (Bi; Bihar, Ma: Madhya Pradesh, R:Rajasthan, U: UP).

There was voting done in the parliament to choose a national language. Urdu and Hindi tied with equal number of votes. Then it was decided by the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi that our national language would be Hindustani, a mix of Hindi and Urdu (no idea about the script). Hindustani is the language spoken by the masses and understood easily by one and all. It doesn’t have complex terminologies of Persian Urdu or Sankritized Hindi. The language used in the Hindi films is, Hindustani. In my opinion, Hindustani is the most sweetest language on the earth not just because it’s my mother tongue.

After this, in the mid 1947 hell broke loose. India divided and what followed was the most brutal massacres of all time. Lakhs of people were killed and made homeless. Since handful of Muslims remained in India, then the Indian leaders decided that Hindi, with the Devanagari script alone would be the national language of India.

Our then prime minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru was modern in his views. He was pro English. He made sure that the higher professional education like engineering and medicine remained in English so that Indians would get global recognition(because of this English, the Indian software industry boomed in the late 90s, else Chinese have any day better brains than Indians. Every year in the International Math Olympaids, majority of the gold medals are bagged by the Chinese and Taiwanese)

Now, since most of the south Indians didn’t know Hindi then, (C. Rajgopalchari and Ambedkar supported English) it was decided in 1950 that English would be the national official language for the next fifteen years till which efforts would be made to popularize Hindi across the nation. (this is as mentioned in the article 463 of the constitution) and Hindi was included in the schedule along with 17 other languages as the regional official languages. Now the list is increased to 26 I guess.

Then the government did many things to promote Hindi, like inclusion of the same in the civil services, central government bodies like defence forces, railways and also opened Hindi prachar sabhas in the south.

Things went fine until the Jan 26th of 1965. It was the day when English had completed its 15 years term and as promised, it was the time for Hindi to be declared the national language. Meanwhile Nehru had died the previous year. On 1965 26th Jan, Hindi was declared India’s sole national official language replacing English. Anti-Hindi riots broke out in Tamil Nadu and some parts of north eastern states. Soon the government realized that it’s impractical to impose Hindi as the national language. And within two weeks government reverted back to English. This has continued till this day.

Hence Hindi was made our national language for merely two weeks in 1965, other than that it’s just yet another regional language. But our teachers and textbooks are still an ignorant lot stating that Hindi is our ‘Rashtra Bhasha’. Fact is, Hindi was decided to be made Rashtra Bhasha but was never made. It's little known tfact that the USA doesn't have a national language because they don't want to disrespect the minorities who speak Spanish. If we apply that logic then for the next 1000 years Hindi can not become Indian National Language because of such mind boggling linguistic diversity in the Indian state. However Hindi has grown tremondously off late in South India, thanks to Bollywood. Hope someday, all the Indians would be able to communicate in both English and Hindi.

I again hope that let the ‘Neutral History’ prevail in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Prior to 1920, neither Hindustani nor Hindi was in existence. Hence Urdu is rightly the national language of India(Bharat) as well as undivided Hindustan. The decision to impose Hindi was a reaction to Pakistan's declaration of Urdu as the national language. In fact, only bloody Muhajreens speak Urdu as a mother tongue. No Ansar in Pakistan speaks Urdu as mother tongue at home. In fact, the dominating language of Pakistan is Punjabi. And here Muslim leaders clamour for Urdu for mustering Muslim votes. They are least bothered on the educational backwardness of Muslims. I am an Ansar and proud to be a Bengali(East Pakistani/Bangladeshi origin).