A Language Facing The Modern Era: Serious Concern

Akshay Dutt Tiwari

Wait wait…a noise coming from outside…that window.”[soliloquy]…I opened the window wide and… “Stop Hindi imposition” , “Hindi is not a National language” , a mammoth procession with agitation going with banners in each hand. “Imposition, what a selective word giving fire to their procession”-I thought and smiled. Is it patriotism for nation or a linguistic patriotism? As I observed, this “Stop Hindi imposition” is nothing but a type of behaviourist attack on the lang. with different selfish motives. I asked myself more or less- first,what their purpose or intention behind that procession or rallies? Second,why only regional states[non-hindi] take part in these types of processions? Then after brooding I come to know. Really speaking, they just try to develop specific culture and language,collectively or individually. Slowly and gradually, linguistic conflicts have taken place of linguistic revenge nowadays.

A language is of course a medium of communication, conversation, expression of ideas, thoughts, sentiments, etc…While interacting, I asked many foreigners regarding Indian lang. and their perception about the native lang. of India.Answer I got from them- “Hindi” . I mean,for any foreigner India is a country the lang. most highlighted above all Indian languages is Hindi.

In general, foreigners consider Hindi a native lang. of Indian land [but not actually native for Indians]. For them it’s native because as far as lang. is concerned they see the country as a whole in broader sense but not a country with different states, languages and dialects. For instance, if you ask any individual belonging to other state about the lang. frequently spoken in northern India, their answer would be- Hindi. But you see, other languages and dialects also in practice in those states. Likewise, for any foreigner there’s a common prepossession regarding lang. of any country.

So, when we say ‘raashtra‘ , it connotes country and state both. Now, people who belong to particular state[raashtra] or bhasha[lang.], they don’t consider Hindi a National lang.[raashtra bhasha] or official lang. But this perspective is apparently ok up to certain extent…why?

Like English, Hindi is a mixture[khichari] of many lang. In this way,Hindi is not a ‘raashtra bhasha’ in one sense. But what if it takes a form of rallies and riots and reveals another aspects and intention behind? I mean, if it takes a form of rallies and revenge and creating linguistic conflicts then it signifies that in which sense or perspective they have taken the word- ‘ raashtra’ [state] and ‘bhasha’ [lang.], isn’t it?

This is one of the reasons behind their dirty politics for a particular lang. and also one of the alternate way behind the rallies and processions to promote and get recognition for lang. of a particular state, in a veil. They make various political agendas and propagandas to politicise selective lang.[sounds like selective criticism] a ruling lang. over a particular lang…By doing so, they could disturb the upcoming generations through such thoughts and mentality for a lang. Unfortunate is that a big stripe[majority] play a vital role who consider themselves educated, civilized, and cultured, or a philosopher, a teacher,a lecturer or a professor…They enthusiastically get involved and initiate and influence such rallies and compel others to follow their crowed. Eventually, such rallies take a shape of a big riots…and that’s what we see.

Now, questions are obvious to arise. If they are enthusiastic and interested in rallies, why are they not enhancing their rallies to protect endangered languages?I think it would be great if they do so. If Bangla[bengali], for instance, is one of the most widely spoken lang. in the world, what’s the reason of agitation or the purpose of shouting – “tumi ke, ami ke?” [what/who are you, what/who am I?] and response they get in same tone- “ami bengali, tumi/aapni bengali” [I’m bengali, you are bengali].This is how they are boycotting Hindi [or may be other regional lang.] and this one aspect which can be seen directly. But we shouldn’t ignore the other side of the coin and that is- while doing so, they try to fill in every ‘mind’ a mentality of isolation and people of that region tend to think that they are separate state or region from other states and regions. There’s reason behind. The reason is to show their lang. is unique and high-rank than other lang. and literature. That’s called parochialism.

Linguistic diversity is really a major concern to be taken into account. Shall I say, it‘s disturbing the day to day life of common or general public on the basis of linguistic discrimination. As per my observation, this discrimination on the lingual basis, further, could give birth to the ethnocide mentality in the ‘fresh mind’ which could be responsible for lang. death or shall I say, lang. attrition. As we know, many other countries other than India had/have been facing the linguistic discrimination. The government of a particular state or country get compelled by the public opinion for the division of country or state due to lang. controversies. However, there’s no such thing as lang. controversy but I think it’s an egoistic state of mind which reflects in a particular place and spreaded all over.Negative factors and environment are of course responsible for such state of mind which enforces us to refuse to accept Hindi[or a particular lang.] as Indian lang. even.

Frankly speaking, whether or not, we consider Hindi an official lang. or a National lang., it doesn’t really matter. But, like Satya mev jayate [National emblem], Hindi also represents and symbolizes nation’s integrity and serenity and that’s what matters a lot a lot! Actually, we have been distracted by our past or history, slaves and by many other reasons for years that we are unable to catch or perceive in a right way the nationality or patriotism for the nation, isn’t it?

Critics mind may criticize when I use this phrase- “Ram ji ki chidiya Ram ji ka khet, kha lo chidiya bhar bhar pet” [in this Indian land, no restrictions for ‘birds’ to get their ‘stomach full’]…Even in today’s context this phrase is reasonable, wrapped with the concept of togetherness. Where that culture gone which says- “Atithi devo bhava” [the guest is equivalent to God] ??? India is known for this culture and I think it’s difficult to protect our heritage by ignoring the very base of our culture and even impossible to protect our heritage or culture from the wave of linguism. India is known for its spirituality, various religions, different regional cultures and so for the different languages as well…and that’s called diversity.

Now, what if the diversity creating the whole lingual controversy? Again it’s our fault…It’s not diversity which creates the controversies but in fact it’s our mentality which is responsible for creating such conflicts and controversies and keep dividing us in different ways and also on linguistic basis. No lang. is superior than the other. We should learn from the universe[space] as it’s really a great example. Inspite of diversities, nothing is going unnatural above, isn’t it? Planets and meteorites are moving in own way and axis, planets revolve round the sun, we see in morning, sun in the east and evening, in the west…It’s all natural. So, languages of the world or a country are also natural, we read, write, speak or learn to convey our thoughts and ideas. Even for a moment, if we think of this big world of advancement, the conflicts and discrimination based on lang. is just poppycock. Consciously we are still in sleeping modeit’s time to wake up now. I mean, this is the point where patriotism must come in us to protect and save our country from linguistic discrimination.

Change is obvious for evolution, growth, and development, no doubt. But linguism can make the people of country and state self-centered in such a way that growth and development will highly be affected. In organisational level, it affects the overall organisational behavior and functions. It creates the ambiguity for employers and employees relationship and their working environment, which further creats hinderrences to achieve and accomplish a determined target of an organisation on time. In this way,emplyees from other states, when they shift or migrate for work to any other state, they don’t get congenial environment or they find themselves incapable to cope up from the dominance of regional linguism.

Last but not the least, when minor issues[individual level] become the mentality[majority] then it’s hard to cope up with, isn’t it? So, the government must take a right step for maintaining the deference and decorum of languages and the nation, and also an appropriate action against those rallies, processions and such goons who are exaggerating the ‘fire’ by taking political advantage, otherwise that can become the thin end of the wedge in coming future. Thank God English continues to serve as the lang. of prestige today, accepted and spoken world wide. They can’t draw a veil over this lang. because it could cause trouble or embarresment.

Aah come on, let’s shut the window now…” [soliloquy]..

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48 thoughts on “A Language Facing The Modern Era: Serious Concern

  1. Very interesting article and read. This makes sense to me my sister-in-law is from China and she says that she speaks a completely different language from the surrounding areas around her. At first I thought she meant dialect but she said no it’s a different language you would never understand me in the South or in Hong Kong. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with your sentiments. I always felt that there should be one universal language denoting India because we have 100 different languages and 1600 dialects in India. Since I am from the Southern part of India, I don’t know Hindi but I have no objection if it’s chosen as the national language. I have never understood why people make such a brouhaha about this topic. As you say, it’s also politically motivated. The key is to educate people on why we need a national language and encourage more people from other states to learn Hindi.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You have discussed and made many relevant points regarding language within which are dialects and the diversity of people that lie therein. Anything that connects people to one another and is yet another platform on which to air their differences makes for interesting conversation. I have studied sociological precepts for many years now and as I am, myself, a very ethnically diverse individual, I am drawn to the reasons that propel people forward to engage in those things unique unto themselves in some negative way without realizing the positive that lies within and to which actually is ground on which to base something positive. For all diversity and dialects contained within any society should be those things to be held onto and cherished and still enable one to find the common ground that is not political but that ties us together in all things universal. I have enjoyed your read.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Most important topic is chosen by you.this linguistic diversity is main speciality of Indian language.mostly we use in Hindi language with many different foreign and diferrent states’s words.i think-why many people protest the using Hindi language.it is only language which is able to understanding in all states of India.are you agree?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Language is fun. If you travel in the USA you’ll find different word usage. In China, each province has a different language with Mandarian being the cohesive language. I think it’s what sets us apart as individuals.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have been to India lot’s of times, but I had no idea that there were that many different languages at play:
    Dialects, yes, but all together different languages within the very same country – no way!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The evolution of language is inevitable. Even in my lifetime, simple words like cool and sweet have taken on new meanings.Google BECAME a word. I think this is in part because people like to play with words, like to be creative and have fun with how they say things, and sometimes a clever way of saying something catches on. It is also because language can be used to distinguish one set of people from another — if you’re in the IN group, you know what such-and-such means (e.g. I didn’t know what randos meant, and now I do!). All that’s okay, but when people start demanding that other people use certain words (i.e. compelled speech vs. free speech) that’s when I lose patience.
    Thanks for the interesting look at language evolution in India 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. eponine3,i liked your opinion but let me clear one thing…there’s a fine difference…as far as word, meaning and sense is concerned,it’s not because of lang. but it’s only because of semantics(cognitive mind), we distinguish one set of people from another…language and semantics are not the same…semantics is concerned with our thought power, the way we think or percept but lang. is just the medium of presentation…for eg. when you say- ‘bank’, it means- financial institution,building, river bank, blood bank…isn’t it? So, you see, different meanings and senses making the actual difference,but not the language…whether you choose english(bank) or french(banque) or any lang., it’s up to you but how we percept the matter that’s matter…hope you’ll agree.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Most of the largest countries have this language issue even in mainland China also many dialects. USA have issues and even in UK, Spain or Portugal. Philippines is a very Big mess in its regional dialects too.

    Only problem in India is fighting over supremacy on language over another and fight for the language. Regional Politics make it more complicated as well. Imposing Languages won’t be a remidy. Country like China or India can speak English for communication to rest of the world. Even the English also spoken in the tune of their own local vocal tune base is very common.

    There is no supremacy on languages as long as one can understand and communicate also cooperative to move peacefully. English finally serve as business language world wide and language is the most beautiful connecting tone of the humans.

    Good to read so many friends comments, It’s a est part to exchange thoughts.

    Cheers 🍀 Happy Weekend to you and all WP friends here.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I read your article with great interest and some amusement. The interesting part was in the many variants spoken and how those variants came to be. That I found fascinating. As for amusement, nothing you said was in that category. Perhaps a better word would be bemused. You see, in the United States we often get almost rabid cries of “speak English,” and “If you want to live her, learn English.” Usually those cries (some with profanity) are against people talking to each other in a language foreign to the shouter. The surface problem is, of course, that there is no official language in the United States. There never has been. The deeper problem is that our own citizens do not know what is and what is not the laws of our land. It makes me cry for an education seemingly lost to so many.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on The Foreign Correspondent: A Site of "Revealing Interviews" of a Foreign Correspondent, the Journalist and Writer and commented:
    Hi Akshay

    Thanks for the follow *, as the reason I write is to share.
    * (Though my family and close friends say it would be far more entertaining with a video-camera # in “real life”, rather than in cyberspace!)

    # By the way, do they still make them in today’s ever-faster changing world..or is it all done with mobile phones?

    (get with the times now,”luddite”* c – it should be a smart phone)

    * or so I was often called by my “my techno-geek” friend, Bill (“the gonk”)

    “total non-techno” c (who doesn’t possess a mobile phone, after a rather eventful’ experience some years back, whilst trying to walk, talk and chew gum at the same time)

    Who says men can’t multi-task!

    Kind regards

    craig

    “You will do foolish things…but do them with enthusiasm.”
    – Colette

    PPS

    Best wishes from the First City to see the sun (in summer) …and we’re also the first to see the sunset and the stars (in winter-time)

    “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Reading this, I was struck by similarities to Vlaams, my father’s native tongue, though not mine. Vlaams is considered a variant of Flemish (ie Dutch), but the dialect spoken in West Flanders is so different that television shows produced there may include subtitles so Dutch people can understand it. Then there’s Tussentaal, yet another dialect, which is apparently gaining in popularity despite the predominance of standard Dutch. Even in such a small country as Belgium, these types of linguist issues can arise!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. An interesting post…English is a common denominator here( Thailand) I would say…but like India, many regional languages or dialects are spoken…How many I don’t know myself…A thoughtful and interesting post.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. hmm mdm., thai is the national lang. of thailand…phu thai, shan, song, isan, are different regional lang of same lang. family…but most of the countries,english emerged as a common denominator and it’s necessary too…you see,it’s easy to remove the weeds out from flower pots but it’s difficult sometimes or it takes time to clear the unwanted weeds from a garden of different fruits,isn’t it?in india 23 major languages with different scripts and over 700 dialects…so, the implications or diverse effect we see is nothing but the weeds…however, english(international) and hindi(national)playing great role here(India).

      Like

  13. Gandhi’s original vision for a loose-knit confederation of semi-autonomous ethnic regions. I believe that’s what we’ll see over most of the world, though getting there may be a bit bumpy.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Your initiative is quite praiseworthy, it is another basis of discrimination which if not considered on time might
    have an adverse effect!!
    Thankyou so much for stopping by and finding my poems worth reading!!!!

    Liked by 5 people

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