The RSS needs to "learn with the times", or else India will.

We hear that the RSS chief K. S. Sudarshan went to Pune and...
lamented the continued domination of English in free India and asked parents to insist on the children's education in mother tongue while promoting Hindi as a link language.

The Macaulay-led imposition of education system during the British India was still in vogue to the detriment of Indian languages, strengthening the misconception that the path of progress lay in pursuit of English, he told a gathering of 'Swayamsevaks' here on Sunday night.

"One can learn English just as any other foreign language. But do not harbour the notion that progress of nations depends only on knowledge of English."

Countries like France, Japan, Italy, Spain and Germany were some of the most advanced in the world without dependence on English, he pointed out.
We'll come to the issue of Hindi later; let's start with English.

Anti-English feelings stem from inability to elevate Indian langauges

It's outright ridiculous that a so-called think-tank still takes refuge in pre-independence arguments about English, as if to advertise the fact that the thinking in the tank has stagnated for at least 60 years now.

The problem with Mr. Sudarshan's message about English is that it still remains anti-English. First of all, it's an irony of fate that the RSS - an organization which was supposedly born with the intention of uniting India under a positive agenda (as opposed to the negative agenda of being anti-English) is today continuing to call English names in order to unite India!

Really, there's no need to rake up anti-English feelings in order to make Indians feel proud about their own language, especially when day-to-day experience tells them that anti-English is really anti-bread. What needs to be shown - if at all the RSS has what it takes to show it - is that Indian languages can overtake English in its ability to provide a good life to Indians.

Both Indians who love their mother-tongues as well as those who don't have a choice are fed up with the long lectures on the beauty of their own languages, the culture embedded therein and stuff like that. Indians need a good material life.

Can Indian languages provide that? Yes, of course. Does the RSS have the stuff to make our languages actually provide a good material life? We don't think so, and one of the reasons why we don't think so is Mr. Sudarshan's hypocritical anti-English message which betrays the RSS's inability to elevate Indian languages to the status of bread-winning ones. Mr. Sudarshan's lament displays that inability, too. It's only the incapable that lament. The capable just work.

Hindi destroys inter-state relationships

In saying that Hindi needs to be used as a link-language in India, Mr. Sudarshan again displays RSS's pet pre-independence anti-English feeling. There's really no other reason why English should not be the chosen link language in India, if at all one were to agree that a single link-language is necessary (Europe is a glaring example against this thinking).

All the RSS-talk of the need to prefer an "Indian language" to be the link language has resulted in dividing India more than integrating, and creating a holier-than-thou feeling in Hindi speakers which has ruined the relationship between Hindis and non-Hindis in India. It has left non-Hindis as second-class citizens in their own states - just like it was in the days of the British whom we now see Mr. Sudarshan hate so much! If it has helped anyone feel like first-class citizens in India, it's the Hindis. None else.

The very move to establish a Hindi presence outside the few Hindi-speaking states of India was a mistake. The problem with the RSS's adherence to the Hindi idea is that it fails to fathom the Idea of India, and ends up degrading the spiritual unity of India to a few symbols which too are unacceptable to most of India. The RSS fails to realize that India's spiritual unity is destroyed by moves which try to impose false this-wordly unities such as a move to promote Hindi.

There's nothing more "Indian" about Hindi than there is about Kannada. There is no reason why Kannadigas should use Hindi as a link language when talking to Marathis (we should use either Kannada or Marathi instead).

The very idea of filling stress-lines between the different linguistic states of India with a third language - Hindi - has destroyed the natural tendency of the people from those states to learn each others' languages and give due respect to each others' languages. Instead, neighbouring states have now nearly started hating each other's language and culture. And the imposition of Hindi hasn't done anything to help that or help develop a "more Indian" outlook. It has only destroyed it further.

One only hopes that the RSS can really demonstrate its learning skills; for otherwise India will - by losing hope in the RSS.


Sri Sai Skanda said...

RSS is surely losely ground and so also the BJP. The success of BJP in Gujarat is solely driven by Narendra Modi and BJP has has very little role to play in his success there. It's almost a regional party riding on Gujarati pride.
Today "Pollster" has made a possible forecast that this time around Indiae could have someone like Mayawati become PM with support from either Congress or BJP as these 2 so called "nationl parties" are fast losing grounds to Regional parties acros the country.BJP would have stood the best chance had it differed from the Congress in its attempts to homogenise the country under the banner of Hindi but as they say the celebrations for BJP are looking like dying out even before they have started.

Wake up RSS/BJP to the current day reality else you will also be a thing of the past.

Anonymous said...

Although International Mother Language Day is now over, you may be interested in the contribution, made by the World Esperanto Association, to UNESCO's campaign for the protection of endangered languages.

The following declaration was made in favour of Esperanto, by UNESCO at its Paris HQ in December 2008.

The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at the United Nations' Geneva HQ in September. or

I hope that you do not mind me passing on this information.

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