How can one not take the names of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Nirala, Ayodhya Singh Upadhyaya in the same breath as Keats, Eliot or Emily Dickinson?
How is it that anything Hindi is looked down upon in our own country?
How is it that people like me write and speak better English than Hindi?
How is it that most of us grow up reading English translation of our own epics?
How is it that the two Indian ladies I met in London started laughing when I mentioned that thankfully we are over the worst phase of Americanization and at least we have begun to respect our own language a little more?
How is it that my dear friend says and believes that he will prefer a brand called Peter England over Vimal? (Vimal sounds so downmarket, he adds.)
How is it possible that most of us will offer blank faces if a poem by Nirala is recited to us?
And yet it is true. More than guilty we are perhaps the stupidest nation on earth not to respect our own literature and our own language.
Stupid because we are missing out on some of the most amazing writing that has ever been done on this planet.
Stupid because we equate one language with progress and another with decadence.
Ye hamne kya kar daala?
How did we let Macaulay succeed in his plans?
(Apparently the fact that Macaulay ever said it (click on the poster) is debatable. But here is the text of his education minute. Read points no 31-35, if not the entire text. A classic case of the phirangi attitude towards India which continues till today. Unfortunately.)