Today is called Hindi Day because on 14th September 1949, Hindi was accepted as the Raajbhasha (official language) of India. Every year the Hindi Day is celebrated in the govt. institutions. Some institutions celebrate Hindi Week or Hindi Fortnight or Hindi Month also. Competitions are arranged, prizes are distributed, speeches are given, the works. However since none of these activities contribute to betterment of Hindi, myself being a big Hindi lover, is writing this blog. I hope, there are Hindi lovers on this forum who will find this post as worthy of reading.
Being a Hindi lover, I watch (and review) Hindi movies, read (and review) Hindi books and I myself also write. I have written several articles, four plays and one full-fledged novel in Hindi. Two of my Hindi plays have been adapted for stage by a theatre group in BARC (consisting of BARC employees at Tarapur, Distt. Thane, Maharashtra) and my Hindi novel has been published as e-book. Further, being a music lover, I listen to Hindi songs and Ghazals too (Hindi and Urdu are just like twin sisters). I have served in two public sector organizations one of which is my present employer. Naturally I have participated in and contributed to Hindi related activities in them (though profession wise I am a Finance and Accounts man). But the thing which stings me is that everything done in this regard is more or less a periodical ritual and our declared national language is by no means benefitted by it.
Now why should Hindi be promoted at all and why should we call it our national language ? Though India is a multi-lingual country (unlike Russia, Japan, France, Spain, Portugal, England and the like which are uni-lingual countries), we, being a nation-state, have to have a language to represent our nation. Since Hindi is spoken by more than 40% of the Indian population (exact percentage I don’t know) and a sizeable part of the non-Hindi speaking people also understand Hindi, it can only be given the status of the language which can represent the country before the world. Having been resided in different parts of India, I can assert on the basis of my experience that Hindi is the only language which can be used as the language of communication among the people of this great country speaking different regional languages. It is the only language which is understood right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Rann of Kutch to Mizorum. Any two people from different regions of India need not mandatorily use English for mutual communication, they can successfully use (and in fact it happens) Hindi for that purpose. Thus Hindi becomes the tying thread uniting the multilingual regions into a common nation. That’s why, in my view, Hindi deserves the status of the national language of India.
However, as far as the official work is concerned, the propagators of Hindi in the govt. corridors have themselves proved to be its biggest perpetrators. I have seen the Hindi versions of the official documents (originally in English). The Hindi words chosen to translate their English counterparts are so recherche and uncommon that to understand the essence of those Hindi documents, one may need the help of an interpreter. This is what should be termed a disservice to this great language under the camouflage of service.
While preparing for the Hindi exam for PSU employees, I came across the word – ‘bus’ in one chapter for which my view was that ‘bus’ should be written in Hindi as ‘bus’ only. The learned teacher proposed – Lok Vaahan as the Hindi translation of ‘bus’ alongwith the clarification that as a commonly used word -‘bus’ can be written as ‘bus’ also. However I felt (with complete respect for the knowledge as well as the sincerity and dedication of the learned teacher) that using such uncommon words for common things is the phenomena which makes Hindi a laughing stock in the eyes of the non-Hindi speaking people and provides an opportunity to its detractors to pull it down. Officially, it is already considered a necessary evil (even in the Hindi speaking regions). I send bilingual letters and notes to various people but it is not a secret for me that they read only the English version and whenever there is a dispute, it has already been made very clear that the English version will only be considered as authentic. It is an indirect humiliation of Hindi and the flag-bearers of Hindi do not realize that partially they are also responsible for it.
Now-a-days not only we have Hindi books on all kinds of subjects but also Hindi softwares allowing us to work in Hindi. Hindi is prospering because the market of Hindi speaking and understanding people is vast. However it is losing its standard form. People in real life as well as in reel life (Bollywood movies) speak Hinglish now which is a strange Khichadi (hodgepodge) of Hindi and English. Even in Hindi books, the language has been polluted in the same fashion. What’s the solution then ? The solution is that Hindi should be kept pure but wherever the words of other languages can be conveniently used, they should be given a place like the drops in the ocean or salt in a savoury. The assimilating and accommodating quality of Hindi has to be tapped to the full without distorting its basic form. English has done it and got popularized throughout the world cutting across the national boundaries. Hindi is also a very strong and rich language, capable of doing the same. Only the people involved should mean to do it actually.
Ex-president of India – Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma had very rightly asserted that the Hindi of common use only should be the Hindi of official use. Until and unless the relevant people take his words to their hearts and act accordingly, Hindi cannot prosper as the language of India on international forums. By understanding and implementing this idea only will the Hindi promoters be able put it on the high pedestal it deserves. Let us not allow the great language of our great country to be an object of mockery. The first pre-requisite for any good thing to materialize is honest and sincere intention behind it. Hence this is the first thing that Hindi needs today.
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