My Column: Need of a National Language

Question of a national language is simmering in India for last 70 years and still fire is raising high and mental pot bubbling to the rim fiercely. We all agree that only Hindi can be a link language between thirty or more spoken languages of different provinces in India. But English has become the link language of the world and this has taken the shine off from the Hindi, even in many Indian’s eyes and mind. Hindi seems to have become a poor cousin of English in its own country. Educational bend of the nation always towards English, which is getting stronger day by day all over our nation.

This has left many dissatisfied. Time has come to change this situation now, if we want to retain dignity in our own eyes and in that of the whole world.

Choosing to educate the students in our own language will promote cultural self-affirmation, and will furthers national unity by defining our own identity; a genuine sense what it truly means to be an Indian. It also promotes the respect of our country in the eyes of others. A successful and self-respecting nation never abandons their own language. There are many successful and powerful example of many countries who took pride in their own language and did not abandon it; like France, Spain, Russia , China and Japan etc. Even in here, Ireland , Scotland and Wales have their own languages but the work , business and spoken language is English only all over the United Kingdom.
Many are afraid of the international implications this bold proclamation of giving priority to their own language will unleash. In a globalized world where international economics and politics are executed in English, devaluing student’s English education may be a step backwards for a nation hoping to increase its presence in the global arena. The decision to turn English into a foreign language may inevitably exacerbate the barrier to entry in international affairs. But one must not forget that to conduct a business or converse they are well equipped in English also, if taught as the second language from the age of ten or 11. First priority must be their own language, which will boost their pride in their own nation and in themselves. Because that was the language they were speaking at home. It will not be an over inflated statement if I say, a language we speak between ourselves, is the blue print of our genes, it describes our inheritance and surroundings; our habits and basic thought process.

A language is our history and geography, It is the language of our tears and joy . Then there is this other language in which we converse with outside world, do our business with them. There have been wars and nations have been created on the mere basis of a different language. Bangla Desh is a clear example of this. If we want peace in our diverse nation, we neither can undermine other’s mother tongue, nor devalue our own. Language is the biggest unifying force in the world ; it spells our feelings , it spells our love and hate to others.

Next Issue of Lekhni is on the values of changing world, how fast should we move with it, should we abandon our time-tested values and habits in a blind imitation of the west, specially now when the entire world is looking towards East in many fields; your thoughts in the form of prose or poetry are invited by the editor. Last day of submission is 25’th October.

See you soon with a new issue of ’ Lekhni’ in the month of November. Meanwhile keep thinking and keep communicating.
Contact email of ‘Lekhni’ is : Shailagrawal@hotmail.com
Shail Agrawal

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