Conference calls for fight against Hindi imposition

Representatives of regional languages from across the country gathered under a single platform to discuss the  imposition of Hindi and find the ways to break that hegemony.

The two-day conference organised by the Campaign for Language Equality Rights (CLEAR) in association with pro-Kannada group Banavasi Balaga  saw the participation of  speakers from several states.

Garga Chatterjee from Kolkata said the imposition of Hindi and English had led to the  marginalisation of regional languages.

"Punjab National Bank doesn't use Punjabi in the branches located in home state...the safety instructions on Bengaluru-Chennai flights are given in Hindi... applications for passports will not be accepted unless they are in Hindi or English although the  United States accepts visa applications in Bengali were some of the issues raised during the conference," he explained.

Delivering a talk on 'Language Policy in India and its Consequences', Chatterjee said the idea of democracy, which is supposed to recognise the aspirations of the people, had been eroded due to the flawed language policies. "People are forced to conduct their businesses in languages they don't understand. This includes even the judiciary," he added.

Noting that information can be obtained in Tamil in London, he said seven decades of independence had not provided any relief to people of the country.

The two-day event will feature 30 sessions, giving time for speakers from local languages, ranging from Tulu, Beary to Bhojpuri, Sourashtra and Assamese.

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