“There are various elements necessary in the making of a nation such as a common language, a common religion, a common Government and a common culture and social economy, but perhaps the most fundamental and indispensible factor is the possession of a common country, a fixed, definite abode. Even nationality has a material physical basis without which it can hardly manifest and assert itself as a real existence and factor in the political world”. – Radha Kumud Mookerji, Ex-Historian
Those nations are at a loss, where there is no common language, one that is officially declared, mooted and followed religiously. A common language can convey the sensitivity of their inhabitants. On 15th August 1947, British India gave birth to a sovereign nation: India in English and Bharat in Hindi.
What’s there in a name? Are ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ same or different?
By January 26, 1950 it was made official that rich cultural heritage and ethnic diversity of “ancient Bharat” will be re-assimilated and will be re-amalgamated in order to carve out a new modern nation, BHARAT. But nothing really happened… at the age of 59, Bharat is persistently struggling for ‘her’ own identity against India. From British-India to India, privately owned India Inc. is endlessly ruling the roost. Bharat has continually been facing tough challenge to stand on its feet - since its inception. Millions of people of ‘Indian’ origin do not know what ‘Bharat’ is, and why ‘Bharat’ is engraved in their Passports and other documents? What happened in ‘Maharashtra Assembly’ speaks the volume of identity crisis of Bharat. Linguistic war inside Assembly could have been avoided, if we would have given our country one name: either India or Bharat.
Will any country without “a language of national repute in real terms” ever become a forceful country to reckon with?
A few months ago, there was a panel discussion on CNN-IBN online why “the foreign policy of China is ruthlessly aggressive”. In other words, why our nation’s foreign policy is mercifully meek? Panel failed to address the core problem, it was the language. Mandarin, the language of China is a ‘font’ of aggression and the ‘typescript’ of national pride. Our nation does not have a language that can embrace her entire populace and stimulate the feeling for the place we live in and work for, neither the officially declared Hindi and nor the languages of 8th schedule in our constitution. It is practically impossible to snub aggression in ‘scrounged’ idioms, what ‘India’ is doing for the past several years.
Officially declared language, Hindi went on dialysis on the night of August 14, 1947 when first Prime Minister of Independent India Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru delivered his first ‘independence speech’ in and outside the Parliament in the language of his convenience. ‘Nehruvian’ school of language continues to dominate both inside and outside of Parliament amongst different political and social affiliates. India became the officiating country to the world; her representatives never spoke in the officially declared nation’s language at any world forum. It is ironical to note that many cities and states across our country adopted names in their respective languages in order to assert their regional smugness. Calcutta, Bombay, Madras and Bangalore embraced regional self-importance in the form of Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru, respectively. No one asserted emphatically ever on behalf of Bharat. Bombay, the financial capital of India became Mumbai, but Mumbai remained financial capital of India. Imperative to regional leadership and own weaknesses of Bharat, not only Mumbai is slowly slithering, but the entire small rural-urban centers across the nation. That is why there is no national pride associated in the battle of name change. ‘India’ gained many technologists and scientists, but there was none in favor of ‘Bharat’. Hence, our national (educational) identity is lost in translation.
India is more accommodative.
Music is magic, and Indian (mainly Hindi) Cinema has shown us a new national hope. In 2009, nearly two-third lyrics of Hindi songs have English inputs for the betterment of our rural folk-tongue. According to a survey on upper middle and rich Indians conducted by The Nielsen (published in CNN-IBN online edition) found that top 10 affluent cities of India prefer English language for newspapers but watched television more in regional languages. “Nine in 10 affluent individuals watch television and nearly three-fourth read English dailies”, the survey further added.
Can English as a language be our exclusive identity of one-nation theory - India?
Reflective confusion has always prevailed over Indian Institute of Technology vs ‘Bhartiya Prodyogiki Sansthan’. And, between Prodyogiki and Technology, there were/are many dumb abnegators. It was my late realization in early 1990s that why parents are working overtime on feeding ‘Technology’ to their children over ‘Prodyogiki’ as a mode of communication? Trends set in motion for the sake of acquiring prestige, power and jobs, or whatever the forms it may have today. A sudden realization by the Government was for a ‘unique identification number’ for all in order to serenade one’s national identity. Therefore, Agency was ‘just’ given a new name in Hindi language, “Bhartiya Vishishth Pahchaan Pradhikaran” and in English “Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)”. It was noticed that UIDAI made its presence felt everywhere on the recent visit of its Director, Mr. Nandan Nilekani in Patna. There was no banner depicting “Bhartiya Vishishth Pahchaan Pradhikaran”. Poor ‘Bharat’ is enduring stress of continual ‘Indianization’ of her own heartland.
Policy making places are no exception. A couple of months ago, during a parliamentary Question hour in English between Maneka Gandhi and Jairam Ramesh, Mulyam Singh Yadav wondered whether he was in an Indian or an English parliament. What language one should use in the Parliament, the so-called national language Hindi or the language of convenience. Maneka Gandhi chose language of convenience, ENGLISH. Later BJP spokesperson Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudi cleared the BJP view and gave verdict in favor of the language of convenience. At the same time, he showed ‘enormous kindnesses” towards Hindi. Constitutionally declared the so-called national language has all the privileges and civil liberties till the ‘language of convenience’ blows its horn boldly in coming years. Mr. Jairam Ramesh too asked for forgiveness.
A language is like a flower, and needs enough water for its nourishment, and hence, the Hindi. I personally believe that Hindi as a national language has failed at all fronts to such an extent that it will certainly never become a language of convenience in 21st century. Hindi has further failed to get acquainted with millions of individuals as ‘Indian identity’, so why it has been crowned with national title with so much disgrace in their own country and parliament? Insult can be tolerable, injury can be beyond repair. Hindi should be given due respect in the 8th schedule of constitution before it loses everything in the name of national language in coming years. Language signifies our identity. Why should we carry such a fake identity, which divides people and creates a class system based on linguistic diatribe?
Hindi is losing its foot hold in the Hindi heartland, where the life of economically upward mobile people wakes up with “good morning” and slumbers with “good night”. Those who are fighting for Hindi inside Parliament/Assembly ironically take pride in their second generation who are fluent enough in the characters of “good morning” to “good night”. Not only amongst rich and affluent, over the years English has emerged stronger, has grown bigger, and in fact they are finding acceptability amongst rural tongue - INGLISS. These days, speaking ‘Ingliss’ is providing citizens of Bharat a full satisfaction of earning prestige as well as upper hand in sharing the cake of globalization with rest of Indians including nearness to bureaucracy and military.
Hindi has no right to occupy the national language seat in an ethnically divided multi-lingual country. Time has come to declare INGLISS as a language of national identity and neo-nationalism. Time has come to shed the ‘double standard’ in our lives. Bihar has always been the torch bearer of the revolution of its kind. Bringing English (Ingliss, an Indian English) as a compulsory subject in Class X board is a major shift in the policy of Government of Bihar. Many “Bhartiya” from Bihar putrefied in their linguistic struggles on the streets of ‘India’ in finding their dreams. Let the Government of Bihar initiate the process of endowing the official status to INGLISS as the primary language for all Biharis.
A country whose President, Prime Minister and Council of Ministers refrain from speaking “officially declared national language” while pledging for their respective offices, remain restrained in taking tough stand against the marginalization of national language by extremist forces; a country whose parliamentarians are mortified by the language Hindi, calling it a disease, is an embarrassment to the words, national and nationalism. It is an absolute double standard with respect to ‘Bharat’.Let us declare “Ingliss or English” the language of National Identity of India.