A routine circular issued by the Home Ministry of the Government of India about the use of Hindi has been made a subject of controversy and contention. Of all the persons, who have taken the lead to kick up the dust is none but the former Chief Minister of Tamilnudu, M. Karunanidhi. See the irony that Mr. Karunanidhi is advocating the cause of English, a language with which he does not have even the nodding acquaintance. A person who neither understands the English language nor can even properly read it, has taken up the cudgels on its behalf. He is not asking for the promotion of Tamil which he knows fairly well, but he is speaking against the so-called hegemony of Hindi.
Not to be left behind by Karunanidhi is the present Chief Minister of Tamilnanu Ms. J. Jayalalitha, who, surprisingly, has very good knowledge of Hindi as she can speak chaste Hindi. One can understand the logic of Ms. Jayalalitha joining the chorus of protest against Hindi because she knows that if she allows the space of protest open then wily Karunanidhi will grab it. What is, however, more surprising is the joining of the anti-Hindi chorus by Mr. P.Chidambaram, the former finance minister of India. Mr. Chidambaram has no political stakes or roots in his home state of Tamilnadu. Last time in the year 2009, he could win the parliamentary election with a very tenuous majority because then Mr. Karunanidhi’s party, DMK, was in alliance with the Congress Party. He is very unpopular leader, although he made all efforts as the finance minister to distribute largesse among the voters of his constituency. Mr. Chidambaram is more known as a political manipulator than a leader. He is also a Senior Advocate, but here too, he is known for managing the cases than arguing the finer points of law.
What could be more shameful for a person that, who has lived for four decades in Hindi speaking area and has occupied the important administrative positions in the country, expresses his inability to speak and properly communicate in the Hindi language? Mr. Chidambaram may continue to take pride in his ignorance of Hindi but people across the country consider it the symbol of his being a moron and dolt person. Anybody of basic understanding and average mind would be able to pick-up any language to communicate with the people if he or she had lived for some time in the area where that language is spoken. The statement of Mr. Chidambaram, therefore, castigating and denouncing the circular of the Home Ministry with regard to Hindi Language is most unfortunate, to say the least. This cannot be expected from a person who has been at the helm of affairs for years together and who knows as to how the government is run. It is, thus, inexcusable mischief of Mr. Chidambaram.
Now let us come to the circular of the Home Ministry with regard to the Hindi language, it can be said that it has been issued in most mechanical manner without any application of mind. This circular was unnecessary and useless. Social media does not have the barriers or boundaries as it travels across the globe. So what was the need for sending an advisory to officials to make use of any particular language? Having said it all, there is no gainsaying that the Hindi has already obtained the status of the lingua franca of the country without any support from the Governments. Karunanidhi, Chidambaram and Jayalalitha notwithstanding the march of Hindi will not be stopped because it enjoys tremendous support of the people. It provides comfort and convenience to the masses of the country. Hindi is the most unobtrusive language and more than 90% people of the country from east to west and north to south understand it. Most of the words that are used in Hindi for communication are common to almost all languages of the country. The script of Hindi is Devnagri, which is used for Nepali and Marathi as well and it is very close to Gujarati, Punjabi, Assamies and Bengali scripts. It is heavily dependent on Sanskrit and so are the other South Indian languages like Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu. The syntax of Hindi and Urdu are common and that is why, it a very difficult to differentiate between simple Urdu and simple Hindi.
The language of Bollywood, which has its appeal throughout the country, is Hindi. Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Hindi films have made a very significant contribution to make it a very popular language. Similarly, the contribution of the Railways and the Military cannot be underestimated in propagation of Hindi. Perhaps Mr. Karunanidhi does not know the fact that a Jawan of Tamilnadu uses Hindi to communicate with another Jawan of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Assam, Bengal, Uttar Preadesh or Madhya Pradesh. A Assami Jawan cannot understand Tamil or a Tamil Jawan would not understand the Assamese or Bengali or Odia or Marathi. Jawans are not expected to be well versed in the English language but they all know enough Hindi to communicate with each other. It is a welcome sign, which should be appreciated and encouraged by all.
To top it all, the development of any language is very closely linked to the employment. The young, educated men and women of Tamilnadu know it well that for better pastures of employment they will have to move out of their state. If they do not know Hindi, a language that is understood in almost all parts of the country, how can they think of getting the bigger markets of jobs? Therefore, the young generation will have to learn the Hindi language, which has become almost indispensable for the sake of employment.
For God’s sake, keep Hindi out of politics. It is understandable in the case of Karunanidhi because he has been surviving and flourishing on the fulcrum of the opposition of Hindi. He has no agenda. He is bereft of ideas. He has no vision as to how to make a country strong and vibrant and that is why, he plays the emotional issue of language. The surprising thing is that why the people of Tamilnadu had fallen prey to his emotional blackmailing in the past? Karunanidhi must also know that much water has flown through Kaveri from 1960 to 2014. His threat of stirring movement against Hindi will now have no appeal in 2014. Today’s youth cannot be misled by the ilks of Karunanidhi. He is a deadwood and a spent force. Ms. Jayalalitha should, instead of lending her support to Karunanidhi, must come down against such fissiparous elements with iron hand.
In the mean time, it is also advisable that the pig-headed officials of the Home Ministry will avoid doing anything which may provide fodder to the lose cannons like; Karunanidhi and Chidambaram.
In the progress of Hindi lies of progress of the country, lies the honor of the country. Hindi is a symbol of the unity, strength and respect of the people of the country. It must be supported by all not resented by anyone.