• The language problem

The language problem

The Indian nation is characterized by a variety of cultural tradition and multiplicity of languages. This phenomenon lends charm and color to it and yet politics so contaminates the minds of the pseudo-politicians that they would make issues of non-issues. The fact that they are many languages in India should be a matter of pride rather than that of a problem. It speaks of rich and variegated culture of India. But in India the frustrated politicians would incite people to violence in the name of language.  Such things must end now. We must evolve a national attitude towards things. Since Hindi is spoken by the majority of the people of India, it has natural claim to being adopted as the common link language. Regional languages must be given every encouragement to develop. Their association with a common link language will enrich them rather impoverishing them. Hindi is a language of India, those living in the southern states belong to India, why resistance towards Hindi by some people in these states? Why an anathema towards things Indian? To plead for replacement of Hindi by English blows of unpatriotic stance. A foreign language can’t be and should not be the national language of India. It must only be retained and studied in all sincerity, for it is one of the richest languages of the world and provides Indians a window to the outside world. But for national unity, cultural development and social transformation a common link language for the whole nation is highly essential. 

The reorganization of states on the linguistic basis was a mistake of great extent, but what is done cannot be undone. As citizens a part of the big society we live in, we should not allow our sensibilities to be prostituted by the politicians by agitating on language matters. If there is any criticism we must think constructively for its redressal. Recognition of the claims of languages not so far given any official status, demands for such recognition must not be viewed as an anti-national move. Support of deeper contact between the scholars and intellectuals of different parts of India. Adoption of Hindi of a larger number of vocabularies of the regional languages of India leading at last to the development of language which must partake of the vocabularies of all main languages of India. Good knowledge of Hindi and regional languages should enjoy greater respectability than English and in matters of employment at higher level English should be made to yield place to Hindi and regional languages. Arriving at a broad national consensus on language issue after some minimum period of national debate and faithful and vigorous implementation of the consensus so arrived at.  

Let us all sections and regions of India, reorient our thinking on constructive lines. We must abjure regional chauvinism of any variety, much less language chauvinism. In the new national policy on education there is stress on the need for the expeditious evolution of a link language and the simultaneous development of regional languages. We must have a national language and that cannot be none other than Hindi. 

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