Debate Still Goes on...
Woman's Era|September 2021
Statement by Hon. Amid Shaw would make wise people only guffaw!
Jyothirllata Girija

It’s learnt that our Home Minister, Amid Shaw, has twittered some time back that Hindi alone has unified India. Any sane person would only fall down laughing at this fallacious statement. Some time back, he announced that India should have only one language being one nation, apparently meaning that Hindi should be that language. India is one nation, no doubt. But how could anyone digest the statement that there should be only one language in a country comprising people speaking umpteen languages?

It was English and English alone that has united India gradually, ever since the advent of the British who started ruling over it that was scattered with numerous small kingdoms. Even a person with elementary knowledge of our freedom struggle will be aware of this. After their exit too, India has progressed to a great extent in science and technology, indisputably, as English could not be replaced with Hindi due to the strong protest by the people of several states – the strongest being that of Tamil Nadu and Bengal.

India have able to achieve international fame in many fields only due to retention of English. No doubt, English is a foreign language. But the BJP people are every now and then bragging about the noblest Hindu philosophy, “Vasudeva Kutumbakam,” which means the “whole world should be considered as a single-family.” These people who talk about this philosophy conveniently ignore the fact that it is only English that has unified not only our country but also the entire world and made it “Vasudeva Kutumbakam” having become the universal lingua franca. Those who’re harping upon Hindi becoming our sole official language should, willy-nilly, swallow this pill howsoever unpalatable it may be.

A RETROGRADE MOTION

Discarding English just because it’s a foreign tongue, is a retrograde motion that would impede India’s progress, besides sending away our intelligentsia abroad seeking greener pastures. Haven’t many highly competent youth left for foreign countries?

These apart, Hindi is not at all the language of the majority but only that of the largest single group, viz. only about 30% of the people, while the rest speak various other languages. Nowadays, the BJP is often indulging in the tactics of eulogizing Mahatma Gandhi, but how could they forget Gandhi’s saying that even the opinions of the majority shouldn’t be thrust on the minority – let alone thrusting that of the minority on the majority? Moreover there are numerous dialects in Hindi. They drag Gandhi for support as he was a champion of Hindi. Let’s recall that Gandhiji had said in his autobiography, (Part V, chapter XIII), “I find it difficult to understand the local dialect of Hindi (of Bihar).”

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