Sunday, July 14, 2024

Angrezi-Hindi debate, kon jitega?

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English v/s Hindi is a debate that has been going around for a long time, will it see any end and what result will it yield?

This is a debate that animates discussion in every nook and corner of India.

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From a ordinary rickshaw puller to a highly educated academic, this debate has many takers.

It is the English v/s Hindi debate.

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What are the contours of this contentious debate?

English-A Colonial Language

There is a perception, and absolutely rightly so, that English is a colonial language.

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Why should Indians study a language that represented the colonisers?

This perception againt English, even as I am writing in the same language is important to grasp, it is a language that was the epitome of oppression of our life.

It is a symbol of racist mindset of the English man.

Intellectuals like Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan all campaigned hard to have English abolished.

Hindi-Rashtriya Bhasha?

There is a common belief, albeit a mistaken one that Hindi is the national language of India.

Even if there the mistaken belief is not held by large section of the populace, they still strongly believe that Hindi must be the national language of India as it spoken by a majority of Indians.

More so because it serves as the lingua franca of the country.

Let’s be Honest-English is Necessary

Whether we like it or not, English is necessary. It is not just necessary, without it the administrative and judicial apparatus of the state will grind to a complete halt.

Christophe Jaffrelot, a Professor of Sociology at King’s India Institute, London has estimated that the reason why Southern India fares better than the northern and Eastern counterparts is due to the emphasis on English education.

The highest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in English Medium schools is the highest in Tamil Nadu with 43.3%, followed by Kerala and Karnataka.

Also, without English, how can we expect the people of the Northeastern part of the country to interact.

Why not in Hindi may arise the question.

Well, there is an entrenched belief, just like in South India that Hindi is being imposed on them and that English is their sure shot chance of making it big in every domain of life.

Regional Language is also Important

It is important to understand that Hindi is only spoken by just over 40% of the Indian populace.

So there is no way that Hindi must be made the national language of India.

Just like Hindi, other regional languages are important like Bengali, Marathi, Ahomiya, Rajasthani etc.

Maintaining a harmonious balance is the need of the hour.

Both English and the regional languages must be accorded respect.

But effort must be made to develop Hindi as a lingua franca without officially imposing it, while English is used only for educational and administrative purposes.

The last thing that India needs is another language war.

Therefore the obvious question remains-Will the English v/s Hindi continue?

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