'We Tried to Impose Hindi as National Language'

In an exclusive interview to The Nation, a Sri Lanka daily, Ravni Thakur, Joint Secretary, Foreign Affairs Committee of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ruling coalition, admits how New Delhi tried to impose Hindi as India's National Language:
In the 1950s, when we tried to impose that Hindi would become the national language, Tamil, Kannada and other language speakers protested. For them, language was very much part of their life. Nehru and his wisdom have given India much and India learnt from this to create a linguistic State. At that point, it was seen as the beginning of the end of Indian unity. In retrospect, we know that, this was a very wise decision and it is this, that was precisely allowing communities the right to their micro identities of language and ethnicities that have allowed India’s macro identity to remain intact. So, while within the country we may say we are Kannada or we are Tamils, at every other level we are proud to say we are Indians.
It's a welcome statement no doubt, but are Kannada and Kannadigas' rights fully safeguarded in India? Is there no Hindi Imposition any more in India? Why do we still hear people talking about Hindi being India's National Language? Why do we still have priority for Hindi in offices of the Govt. of India, banks, etc? Why do we still find people thinking that those who don't speak Hindi are not Indian enough?

Photo courtesy The Nation. For the full article on The Nation, read: “Terrorism cannot be negotiated with”


Anonymous said...

This is like reiterating the fact. The biggest irony is the whole generation is duped and even the great spiritual leaders, philosophers thinkers are all proclaiming that Hindi is their national language.

Even the seers have read in their books the Hindi is their national language. I guess we need to talk to these religious leaders who under the false impression and make they say that Kannada is also the national language.

Anonymous said...

Nowadays, even in the English news channels like NDTV, Times NOW, CNN-IBN, most of the advertisements are in Hindi

Anonymous said...

The need of the hour is a change in the education system. Recently, there was an aticle in kannada news paper stating that atleast history and social science can be taught in Kannada or any other mother tongue and English can be used for science. If this happens, it will be a first step towards bringing the children back to their mother kannada

Subrata Nandi said...

In constituent assembly debate Hindi won by 1 vote to make Hindi as national language that is too by Dr. Rajendra Prasad who was an Hindi speaking from Bihar.So Hindi imposition started and continues. Even in films ,media or a any new technology comes Hindi protagonists in govt. trying to impose Hindi. In maharastra there is no marathi, Bengal maximum cinema halls running Hindi films .So until and unless all India languages are given equal opportunity , non- Hindi languages no longer be exist and that is the threat for Indian Integrity.

clangorous said...

@ Amitava Ghosh,
One Small Correction : Hindi won by 1 vote to become the sole Indian Language as the Official Language (not National Language, no where in constitutions there is a mention of National Language) of Independant India

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