Laudable effort to promote the Hindi language

Laudable effort to promote the Hindi language

I can walk English, I can talk  English, I can run English!’ This is a very famous dialogue by Amitabh Bachchan in the popular Hindi film, Namak Halaal which in a way is becoming all too true with more and more people opting to speak in this foreign language and ignoring their national language –Hindi.

In a bid to promote the national language, the Ministry of Home Affairs, nodal ministry for promoting the national language is coming out with a simplified dictionary for government officials. It will seek to promote the use of Hindi which is fast falling out of favour in official communication. Speaking of Hindi and its infrequent usage, it comes across as downright funny that even the names of Hindi films are written in English! The fact of the matter is that Hindi is losing its essence at a remarkable rate. 

In this age of computer and high technology, wherein more and more people are using internet and social networking sites to connect and communicate, the use of Hindi is gradually fading.

Every youngster wants to be active on Facebook and other social media sites, which primarily use English. This apart it is also important to take into account the changing work environment, which in no insignificant way has contributed to the decline of spoken and written Hindi. People are hired only after their English speaking/writing skills have been vetted. Reports, presentations, daily office communications are all conducted in English nowadays, which only proves that Hindi finds little importance in the scheme of the professional world.

Sanjeev Kumar, Hindi professor at Deshbandhu College, Delhi University (DU), says “According to me other than its daily usage, Hindi is not used in any other form, not even in official work. One of the factors leading to this is the tough translation of English language into Hindi. Pure translation of English into Hindi can’t be spoken as part of daily language. Also, speaking English gives you the ‘global power’. Agar badi baazi marni hai to English bolna zaruri hai. Earlier, class demarcation was also done on the basis of people speaking in English or Hindi. English speaking is part of high class and status, it takes you higher on the power structure and gives you a higher position.”

Also, one hardly sees anyone reading a Hindi newspaper or novel. Everyone refers to English books and waits for the latest English novels to come out, even as Hindi writers face a difficult time warding off bias against the national language.

 Another Hindi professor at Dyal Singh College, DU, Rajeev Kumar Kunwar feels that, “This has to tackled from the school level itself. Earlier, it used to be a three-language concept – Hindi, English and a regional language. But, now it has become Hindi, English and foreign language. All private schools only highlight the fact that they are ‘English mediums’ even if they have less qualified English teachers. And this kind of dictionary can be helpful in saving the language for sure.”

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