Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hindi Divas and Kannada Conscience

सभी हिन्दी बोलने वाले साथियों को "राष्ट्रीय हिन्दी दिवस" की बधाई | इस हिन्दी दिवस जो है, भारत के किसी और श्रीमन्त, पुराने और वैज्ञनिक भाषाओं को भी नही मिला हुवा एक पुरस्कार है!  इस के लिये आप सभी को फिर एक बार बधाई | हम लोग 'सौत' के हैं (जो भी भारत का एक हिस्सा है लेकिन जिस का मातृभाषा हिन्दी नहीं है), हमारे हिन्दी गलत हो सकती है; अगर गलत है तो माफ कीजियेगा (क्यों कि "कन्नड् गोत्तिल्ला" जैसे अनाडीपन हमारे लिये नामुमकिन है - of course with due respects to all those friends who are linguistically sensible and really courteous to others)

(Hearty congratulations to all those Hindi speaking friends on the day of "National Hindi Day".  This is a special honor that even the richer, older and more scientific languages did never get.  Congratulations once again for that.  We are the people from 'South' (which is also a part of India, but our Mother tongue is not Hindi), so it is possible that our Hindi could be wrong.  If it is, we beg your pardon (because we can't be as rude as saying "Kannad Gothilla" - of course with due respects to all those friends who are linguistically sensible and really courteous to others)

Having said that, I don't see why the whole India should be celebrating "Hindi Divas", while none in India is celebrating Kannada Divas, Tamil Divas, Oriya Divas, Kashmiri Divas.  Don't tell me "Hindi is our National Language".  This is one singular lie that has been consistently perpetrated by the politicians of North and their party followers from South for decades.  There is a saying - "a lie told hundred times becomes accepted as the truth"; but, the truth remains, that it is a lie.  To start with, can we have a look at the official website of the Indian Government that lists out all the National elements?  Here it is:


The website lists out the National Flag, National Anthem, National Song, State Emblem, National Bird, National Animal, National Flower - it goes on even to list out National Tree, National Calendar and Currency Symbol but no National Language!

Now let's see what our Constitution has to say about the "National Language" - Nothing!!! Yes, absolutely nothing.  Article 343-347 of The Constitution read with The Official Languages Act 1963 and the Official Languages Rules 1976 just say that Hindi is the Official Language (note, Official Language, not National Language) of the Union, that too limited to be used in the communication between the Union and the Hindi speaking states.  With all other states the official language continues to be English (of course, along with Hindi)!  And the article 348 specifically provides that all the Court proceedings and legislation must be in English!  Not just that - Article 344(3) clearly stipulates that Parliamentary committee on official language "shall have due regard to the...  just  claims  and  the  interests  of persons belonging to the non-Hindi speaking areas in regard to the public services"

And interestingly, in 2010 there was a PIL (Sureshbhai vs Union) before the High Court of Gujarat seeking directions to make it mandatory to print the goods details in Hindi since Hindi was the National Language of India.  The Court struck the petition down saying "there is nothing on the record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country"

So much for the claim of Hindi, The National Language.  On the other hand, the Schedule VIII of The Constitution lists out 22 official languages, of which Kannada and Hindi (and even Maithili) are the parts on equal terms.  Can somebody tell, from where this idea of Hindi being a National Language comes from?

Anyway, let's forget this official business.  True to my Indian spirit, I read (at least translations in some cases), listen to, relish and respect Sri Tulsidas, Surdas, Meera, Kabeer, Nanak, Chaitanya, Jayadeva, Ramdas, Dnyaneshwar as much as I do Sri Ramadasa (Bhadrachala), Annamayya, Tyagaraja, Tiruvalluvar, Kambar, and Swathi Tirunal.  They are as respectable for me as our own Dasas and Sharanas.  I can even quote a few of them heartily.  I feel the emotional vibrations and a sense of belonging when I visit the places connected with their memories.  Kailashnath, Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Vishwanath of North are as mine as the Dwarakanath in the West and Jagannath in the East and Rameshwar in the South.  We live to celebrate India in its true spirit - "aa sethu himachala paryanta (from the "Great Bridge" till the Himachala)".  While Rajkumar is our heart-throb, we don't like less of Big B or Rajanikanth.  Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Mukhesh, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi still haunt many of our hearts with their lasting melodies.  Do we have a reciprocation?  No, this is not a 'return of favors' - Do you feel the same about the rest of India (Do you even recognize that India stretches even beyond your 'Hindi Land')? The idea of nationalism can not survive without mutual respect, equality and a sense of belonging.  It can not survive with two sets of citizens namely Hindi and Non-Hindi

Hindi is neither National nor any extra-special that Kannada is not.  Instead of expecting us to learn Hindi just in order to obey your "Bhayya, Ek Masala Dosa dena, Ek eedli aur vada dena" etc, why don't you try to learn Kannada to happily coexist with us.  I am sure we can't expect you to learn Kannada and speak with us when we come to live with you in your place.

Click here for the Kannada version of the above article

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