June 20, 2011

Hindi Or English ?

Hindi is our mother tongue, we know that but ever noticed what common language we all speak..? The answer is surprisingly English!
Yes it is..!!
Okay you don't believe me..Fine..But you will..after you finish reading this post!!

          India is a multilingual country with some 347 languages respectively.India is not so a big piece of land yet it's southern part is totally different from it's northern part and the same goes for it's eastern part and western part in terms of customs, religion followed, way of living and language spoken.Travel to any part of India and you will come to know the unity of the culturally diversified nation by the warm hosting spirit in every resident of the country but the sight of our mother tongue being neglected by it's people only leaves a gloomy impression on one's mind, at-least me! Ever thought what's the common language that you can communicate with throughout the nation? Ever noticed that it was English that made you communicate with a common man on the road or the cashier of a supermarket in the part of the nation other than where you belong to!

         A few days back I was traveling to Kolkata,the first business capital of the Britisher's in India, a city still intact with the scent of the culture and sophistication that Britisher's brought with them, when they first landed at Calicut. Bengali is the local language of the place, no wonder, but the language with which I was able to communicate with the locals in the streets and the market was..English and not Hindi !They all knew Hindi but not better than English.!! Surprised?? Don't be!! Because there is much more for you to know about the common language being spoken in India.

     Hindi is taught at the primary level in the schools along with the additional foreign language ,taken as mandatory language to be studied by every Indian,Ever thought why we are taught English and why not any other Indian language? Of course Sanskrit might be coming to your mind right now but still that too is taught till class eight ! or class tenth to be precise if you opt it for Hindi! Okay English is popular and spoken in most of the foreign countries but does that mean that we should keep our mother tongue at par? The article is not about scolding people for the usage of English but it's about why not use Hindi as the common language to communicate in the part of the world where it is respected as the national language!

       The article is not about abandoning the usage of English, it's about using Hindi equally with English. In the present society we all judge others by how fluently one can speak English, by the excellent vocabulary he/she possess and how able that person is when it comes to writing, but ever thought why Hindi is never considered from the same point of view? Why is it not that the high elite class considers speaking Hindi a respected act rather than a taboo in their official and social gatherings. Why is that one has to be a good speaker in English no matter how much knowledge he holds for his mother tongue! Why is that one's perfection in English leads to judging one's family status,knowledge and sometimes even you own status! I guess it's high time that we, the youth of the nation should pay attention in bringing back the lost glory, pride and respect of our mother tongue,Hindi, because as said by some political leader( forgive me for not remembering the name I am really bad at politics) "The power of the nation lies in the hands of the youth ".We can always have a command over any other language we feel like learning but at the cost of losing the knowledge of our mother tongue because that would be unfair, not only to the language, we were born to be proud of, but also to one's pride and dignity !

       It doesn't matter what's correct, What matters is what's right ! and I guess the right thing in the present scenario is to leave no stone unturned to return Hindi it's lost pride!

Link to original post : http://smitasdesk.blogspot.com/2010/02/hindi-or-english.html


  1. as a matter of fact, hindi is not a national language. It is one of the official languages along with english . As per our constitution , we dont have the concept of national language. The notion that hindi is our national language is a matter of opinion.

    all we have is classical languages, Sanskrit, Telugu, tamil, kannada ......and also malayalam i think

    And yes i do support ur view on mother tongues/vernaculars .

  2. Maybe writing this post in Hindi would have been better. :D

    Jokes apart, I know many people shun those who converse more in Hindi as being 'gavaar'. This has to change. We don't consider the french 'gavaar' when they converse in french. Why should Indians be any different?

  3. I for one, have always been disappointed when i hear english being spoken at houses, as i feel that is where the base for mother tongue to be passed on is. Mother tongue, whatever may it be, needs to be 'the' language, except in some cases of cross lingual relations, spoken at homes. That is the true meaning of a mother tongue - the language spoken at home passed on by mother to her child generation to generation. I have resolved to speak no other language at my home other than my mother tongue. Each person should be more proud of their mother tongue, learn it and speak it. Else one day ( though its already happening) you will be irritated by the strange tongue corrupted with the englishised slangs where the next generations will lose their ability of flexibility of tongue usually associated with the beautiful languages of Our Country.

    Thank you Smita, for a wonderful post. Wish this changes a few peoples thoughts atleast.

  4. well it depends right...we cant really talk in hindi at offices...cant imagining me interacting with our clients in hindi...but you have highlighted a good pt through this post..its a great insight...keep writing Smith

  5. Well Hindi was never really accepted as the national language. The south was always insistent on having English as the language used for communicating. The southern part finds it difficult to converse because they basically speak the languages derived from dravidian language while the western and nothern part speak aryan language.. what if the south insists that all speak "dravidian language" for communicating? won't be right, would it? so as a solution we use English which is the only language no one can dispute over..
    Preserving the mother tongue is also important but that applies for all languages not just Hindi or Sanskrit.. It would be better if parents teach their child their mother language first and let the school teach English but I also know that the moment the child begins to speak the parents would go, "Come here".. "Show you eyes" and all that to make their child conversant in English and be ahead of the class! competition and status is what the parent bestows on the child at a young age!

  6. Agreeing to all the points made by the fellow comm-enters, the only point I wanted to raise here was, being an Indian, at first then being distributed state-wise, one should know and learn Hindi then go for other language, which can be any, including English. It's okay with English being the common language amongst us but the negligence of Hindi shouldn't be there too :)

  7. i am all for promoting our 'mother tongues' and not let it be crushed by English, which is, after all,a foreign language.
    but i am by no means in favour of 'Hindi' being taught primarily....

    WHY Hindi??

    I think ppl forget the fact that majority of the ppl in India DO NOT HAVE HINDI AS THEIR MOTHER TONGUE.

    Hindi is a POPULAR language... thanks.. to a gr8 extent... to Bollywood.
    NOT the SINGLE LARGEST mother tongue.

    to say that we, as Indians, should speak Hindi as a mark of our being Indians, is itself being non-Indian.... coz who are we to force our language upon any other group of people????
    The enforcement of Hindi on others would be completely against the "Indianism" that we claim to be proud of.

    We must also remember that the "Union of India", as we know of today, came into being only under the British Empire and earlier, twas nothing more than a bunch of Princely States. On what basis do we say that the language prominently spoken in some of the Princely States is superior to the others?

    PLUS.... like maithili told,Hindi, rather khadi boli,incorporating hugely from Persian and Arabic, is 'Aryan' ... the race which is still under controversy as to where they originate from.
    South Indian languages, on the other hand, are 'Dravidian'... entirely and totally Indian.
    wouldnt we make prouder Indians speaking Tamil rather than speaking in Hindi???

    Using English as our common language was a side effect of The Raj.... a side effect which only gave India an edge over many other countries in the world. we cannot deny. Besides, when we use a foreign language rather an international language spoken widely across the world as a common language in India, no section of Indians wud feel that their own language has been demeaned....
    coz well..
    English is foreign to us all.. whether we be Gujarati, Marathi, or Malayali....

    In a country where the pulse is 'Cricket' and NOT the national sport- Hockey; and where IPL is flourishing and ppl applause at the fall of an Indian's wicket at the hands of an Australian or Pakistani or whoever.... if we say that we are opposed to using 'English' as a common language, i can only be amazed.

    Promoting vernaculars is a must but promoting Hindi defies the very purpose of 'Vernacular Promotion'...

    No offences...

    Of course, we can differ in opinions. This was mine.

    P.S- i do not support IPL and my mother tongue is Urdu.


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