Continuing from here
, we had comments which i had earlier heard from lots of other friends of mine.
First, Hindi is NOT our only national language, it is just one among the 22 languages, recognized as the national languages of the country. Refer here
Hindi has just been given the official language status, since that is the language with the maximum native speakers in the country. [Hindi is not the Majority language, that is, majority of Indians do not have Hindi as the mother tongue!].
According to the Official language Act
, the country is divided into three regions,
--------------------------f) "Region A" means the States of Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and the Union Territories of Delhi and Andaman and Nicobar Islands;
(g) "Region B" means the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh ;
(h) "Region C" means the States and the Union Territories other than those referred to in clauses (f) and (g);
And the acts says that, for communications with Region C [=third class??]
--------------3) Communications from a Central Government office to State or Union Territory in Region "C" or to any office (not being a Central Government office) or person in such State shall be in English.
Thus there is no association with using Hindi and being Indian, in the laws of the land.
I stand corrected and say, Hindi is as alien to me as '
Spanish or Arabic
Oriya or Urdu' is, or as alien as Tamil is to a native Hindi speaker.
Now, how many of us have heard Hindi Natives saying, “When you talk to somebody in Chennai/Tamilnadu in Hindi, they don’t respond you”. They point is why would somebody come to Chennai and talk to a Autokaarar or a koolikaarar in Hindi?
How does it feel, when is say, 'When you go to delhi/lucknow and talk to a cab guy in Tamil, he does not respond!" ?? Wierd.??
Then,why do i get worked up when people come to me at bangalore/chennai and say 'Hindi is our national language, and you will have to learn it'.
To answer this, we have to go to 1965.
Post independence, the only goal of the students in South[esp Tamils] was to get a central government job. The percentage of Civil servants and in general the percentage of employees in the central govenment offices stand as testimony, though i donot have exact numbers.
All the recruitment exams and interviews were conducted in English. Then out of the blue, came the announcement , 'it is 15 years since the constitution came to force and so, from now on, only Hindi will be the medium replacing english'. This meant,
1. There is an undue advantage for all the native Hindi speakers
2. The people of south had to learn Hindi. Their English skills were not recognized.
It was an indirect message from the North saying "Either learn Hindi and compete with Native Hindi speakers to survive, or just perish".
After a long agitation, the central govenment came down choice was given to either take the exams in Hindi or English.
It was again a decision which put all non-native hindi speakers[a telugu, kannadiga, bengali, tamil...] at disadvantage, but the immediate impact was felt only by the Tamils because the way to earn bread is made lot lot tougher suddenly. [It is like saying from 2006 the engineering entrance exams are to be conducted in Latin]. The decision resulted in the biggest ever language struggle in tamilnadu with lots of students killed by police action, and the resultant political change is history.
But, the students of Tamilnadu intelligently chose to slowly move out of the large scale dependency on Central govenment jobs, got their strong english skills even stronge, started finding newer opportunities rather than learning Hindi and competing on a one sided field.
Then came the banking revolution of 70s which came a good opportunity for South Indians to get a employment without the requirement of Hindi. This was followed by the Middle East boom during late 70s and early 80s.
This is when the Central government services went off the radar of a over whelming number of Tamil students, and were safely in the hands of 'Region A' students. And in a sense, learning Hindi became completely optional for a student in Tamil Nadu, that is the student can have an equally good career without learning a word of Hindi as much as he had by gaining Hindi expertise.
By now, the choice for taking the Civil Services in all the national languages were made available, but it did little to divert the attention back.
And now came the IT boom of 90s and 2Ks where the economy and opportunites in Region-C states increased exponentially. The wheels have turned around in 30-40 years. Majority of the native-hindi speakers now had to migrate south for a career. The knowledge of Hindi as a enabler of a decent career in india became insignificant as compared to what was in 60s.
Now, what is happening!!
I have a native hindi speaker, who has come either to Bangalore/Chennai/Hyderabad, to make a living, and cribbing about the natives not having Hindi proficiency, given the fact that 0% effort is made to learn the local language. Along with this, comes for free, the jingoistic advice 'Hindi is our national language', and you will have to learn it.
Consider this situation,
we were told "Learn Hindi"
"That is the only way you will survive. Learn Hindi and compete in a one sided playing field, or Perish"
We took the threat head on. Worked hard, created opportunities and made those who gave us the option of 'Perish', to come down for a living.
we are told "Learn Hindi"
"Because it is our official language, you will have to respect... blah blah blah..."
What do you think we will do.??, laugh about it and make a post on it in the blog. :)
to be contd....
ps: I would want to make it clear , I do not have anything against Hindi as a language. Also that, I r/w/t/u fluently in Hindi, as much as i do in Kannada, Malayalam, French or Samskritam, also i had put a rough draft of this post much before the comments of the part 1 of the post was made, so this is not written in a direct response to any of the comments.