Some years ago , I was aghast when I came to know that in our country there is a state where anything thing written in Hindi gets blackened. There was blood on street trying to push the language out of the state. I was still wondering why the angst against this language. I started having doubts about Nationalism of people opposing ‘National’ language. I was not only wrong, I was gravely wrong. I discovered that Hindi is not a National language, its just the Official language of Govt of India
Today, I was reading an article on language extinction published in Times Crest Edition last Saturday. A professor who is on advisory board of Google’s global project to preserve language diversity illustrates a strange thing. He says, at Hyderabad in most of the eateries, the cooks are Oriya. Among themselves, they do not speak Oriya or Telugu . They only use Hindi. They have taught their kids to speak only Hindi because Óriya is not a ‘Prestige language’.
A language embodies a culture, an entire knowledge system comprising ethonbotanical knowledge and ethnomedicines. Once a language disapppears, this entire human knowledge vanishes.
I recently , went to my kids school and saw a Madam. Yes, a real madam who had a relatively fair skin. She had a daughter who is less than 3 year old. The madam proudly was displaying, how she could talk to her in FULL English. I was guessing what that poor kid will grow up to become? We have ABCD (America Born Confused Desi ) but no IBCD ( India born confused Desi ) as a term. She probably will grow up reading what culture or knowledge is there in English but will totally miss out on the pleasures of her mother tongue which her mother has given up because of fashion. Does speaking English since birth give you any major leverage unless you are thinking of a call center as a future career for your kid ? I agree, it used to be when you could wanted a Clerk’s job in British Raj .
Coming back home, I saw that in my own community people are either ashamed of speaking Rajasthani or are so blinded by Bollywood that they don’t speak to their kids in their own language. The kids grow up being totally incapable of speaking their own mother toungue. Worse still are those capable of speaking it and don’t do it out of shallow fashion.
There are 2 languages disappearing from earth every two weeks and its calculated that over 7500 languages will disappear from earth by end of this century. Its been proved from research that only the kids who speak their mother tongue and also a second language spoken locally are the ones who can later pickup foreign language without native accent. Knowing this, will you still murder your mother tongue by adopting Hindi or English ? Will you still be ashamed that you have a mother tongue? Will you be shy of passing your heritage to your next generation ?
For once, I think that a big repudiation of Hindi by southern states was not off the mark. Also the Chinese faith in rigorously promoting Mandarin paid off.