BJP's unwilling talk of linguistic plurality
It's funny how the BJP's official website - bjp.org - displays the manifesto only in English and Hindi and how the website of the party's prime-ministerial candidate - lkadvani.in - has the manifesto's highlights in "regional languages". We've heard this crap before - that there's something supra-regional about Hindi - and this is what we call Hindi Imposition or Hindification - to which the BJP has again succumbed.
Wait, even lkadvani.in has the highlights only in Hindi, Telugu and Marathi. No Kannada. Is it because Karnataka is already conquered? And why no Tamil? Because Tamil Nadu is inherently not conquerable?
Turning to the manifesto proper, The BJP mentions the word "language" only in the last part of the last section, that too only from the point of view of juttige mallige hoo stuff such as arts-geerts, culture-gilture and everything related only to the past, in a manner which befits a babysitter trying to silence weeping children:
Indian languages are repositories of our rich literature, history, culture, art and scientific achievements. Many of our dialects are important source for knowing our heritage. Samskrit and Tamil have made remarkable contributions in this regard. B.J.P. would promote Indian languages and measures for the development of all Indian languages including Urdu will be taken by providing adequate resources so that they become a powerful vehicle for creating a knowledge society.It's a pity that the BJP does not realize that the "development of all Indian languages" is basically the development of India, and that Indian languages are not fossils of past glory but vehicles of future growth.
And hey, they forgot Kannada and remembered to mention only Tamil - which is no more a repository of "our rich literature, history, culture, art and scientific achievements" than Kannada is. Why did they remember Tamil? Simple: because they were the ones who opposed everything Sanskrit (which opposition we vehemently disapprove).
In any case, the BJP gets credit for mentioning Indian languages for atleast the wrong reasons. Wait till you hear what the Congress has in store.
The congress's dry talk of unity in diversity
Okay, the Congress, in typical Nehru-family style, has the manifesto in English, Hindi, and Urdu. The congress hasn't bothered to have the manifesto's "highlights in regional languages" either - even a couple of Indian languages like the BJP.
Now the manifesto itself repels majority of Indians with the Hindi welcome string written using the latin alphabet - so much for being sensitive to linguistic diversity. While the manifesto appeals to the voter to "Vote for Unity through Diversity: Vote Indian National Congress", it makes no mention of Indian languages whatsoever. Not even for the juttige mallige hoo stuff.
And of course, there's quite a bit of talk of progress without recognizing the need to improve Indian languages - like the talk of going to the moon without a rocket.
So, the manifestos of both parties recognize only a couple of Indian languages (albeit for the wrong reasons). Other languages: go to hell.
It doesn't matter who comes to power - both are blind
In summary, both parties are blind to the idea of India. They have their own imagined Indias in which Indian languages don't play any significant role. By this alone, we declare both parties unsuited to rule India. It doesn't matter who comes to power: both don't understand India. It doesn't matter who comes to power: both don't have the basic education that there is only one thing which can propel India out of its current pitiable state: the upliftment of Indian languages.
Both parties are blind. And India's fate is to be ruled by either the blind or those who blind others -- until reason dawns on us.