Happy Hindi Diwas

Sigh! Yes, this post is in English, I know that. Another special day. Yay!

Hindi Diwas was made for the promotion of the Hindi Language in 1953. On this day, CBSE Schools organize Hindi speech contests, government offices across India (including Southern India) tell their staff to use Hindi as much as possible in the official communication, and people try to fake-smile and follow along for a day. Obviously, when something becomes a part of Government Policy, there is a good chance of people not following it.

After living for over a decade in Bengaluru, it is clear that as you move away from Delhi, you move farther away from the need to know Hindi. It is always good to know Hindi in general but English is what gets you forward in India in actuality. Only when I came out of North India, I realized how personal languages are for some people. It is their entire identity. For me, Hindi was just a language but for others, apparently, their mother tongue is their whole persona and they are quite stern about it, thanks to political brainwash. So, basically asking people to use Hindi more has not worked, and will not work.

The only way to promote and keep a language alive is when it becomes Open Source and becomes more dynamic. Hindi for one is really open in its core. It has loan words from so many languages (and it has given too) and they just fit right in without any hassle. But so must be the case with other languages, I am sure. Kannada has blended English into it easily, at least in Bengaluru. Tamil has plenty of Sanskrit words for sure. In fact, all the Indian languages are very much accomodating in themselves, people aren’t. The only way to promote a language, in my opinion, is to create more literature in it. It is well known that Hindi Movies (and in fact all Indian movies) are seen across the globe. You might have seen Afghani folks singing songs of Khuda Gawah in some documentary. Same way, good literature, and movies will know no bound and travel worldwide. You would have seen how Korean music and songs are now getting popularity.

I genuinely feel strongly about the need for the language to be dynamic. Here’s a small example:

If you can read and understand each and every word of the above, superb. If you cannot, we are in the same boat. My point here is that within 100 years, some of the words from above would have got totally lost. Some would have got replaced. That’s what makes a language dynamic. You may keep crying over the language being ‘lost’ but I see it as evolving. This is the case with every language. Again, if you want to keep something alive, make people curious about it through your writing. In songs written by Gulzar, you hear some Urdu words you have no clue about. But it does instigate curiosity in people to find out about them and learn more. Take pride in whatever you speak, create literature it in, and promote it, and don’t think that yours is better. Anyways, it will change soon to something else.

And why is this post is not in Hindi? Because I don’t want to use Hindi just for a day.


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