Sunday, 5 October 2008

The Hindi Belt

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.)

13 comments:

Anvita Lakhera said...

Oh; gir bhi jo tum gaye kisse gehrai mein,
Tab bhi to itni baat shesh reh jayege
yeh patan nahi, hai ek desh pataal gaya,
pyasi dharti ke liye amritghat lane ko

(Bharat- Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar')

ifeelrandom said...

even our songs are not pure anymore! K R A ZEE ZEE WHY?

Ainara said...

It makes me sad to think that people can be so twisted and dead inside, that they can actually think like that.
People ashamed of their roots are people ashamed of themselves.

Ram Krishna Gopi Yadav said...

ek swarachit kavita hai....

humara haal mele ke us baccha sa hai..
jisne ghar se nikal naya kuch dekha hai....
bhool gaya maan baap ki sikhayi boli batein...
maan baap ko mele main gumte usne khud dekha hai....

galti to hindustaan ki azaadi ke baad hi ho gaya...hindustaan ko chalane waale nehru jee ne hi angrezi main apna pehla speech de diya...
wo Gandhi jee ko bhool gaye...unki batoon ko bhool gaye...unhe sayad laga ki angrezi hi vikas ki bhasha hai... sayad??? sayad aisa unhe laga bhi na ho....shanka hai?????

to point ye hai ki hum bhakte bacche wapas apni desh ki...apni pehchaan khojen....milega...mil raha hai...aur maan baap ko bhi dhoondhe....waps laayen....aur aane waloon bachoon ko khud ka mela dikhayen....


jai hind.

megha punater said...

what a find this blog is,i went through your entire blog and there is only one word amazing.or should i say 'bahut badiya'

deepak said...

Satya vachan.
Sharm aati hai apni sharm par.

Fingers said...

I agree.

Red Soul said...

wow. I soo agree. But that thing is true that the worst part of the americanization is over now. yes I've seen desi's getting more proud of our language and using it, even though in a "cool" manner which shows their draw towards amrican stuff. MTV has "young"istan show. I think media now is gettin educated abt this stuff and they do make use of better hindi than they ever used to before.

John Doe said...

interesting. macaulay never said. however that is besides the point.

John Doe said...

strangely enough many other languages in india seem not to be going through the same thing. i got to spend almost a year in tamil nadu (my first real visit to south india) and i got an opportunity to visit as well as stay in a few of the small towns and cities there. what i found was an unabashed pride in everything tamil. from the dress code - everyone seems to wear the lungi and kurta, to the food to the language and culture. and no, these guys are not regressive - actually quite the opposite.

i was amazed at how they were able to integrate their culture with whatever progress they needed.

i keep on reading about how the literature of various languages in india seem to be thriving - oriya, marathi, malyalam, kannada, bengali...

people across the country are reading and talking in their mother tongues. they are buying with their hard earned money books written in their language.

now why is it not happening in hindi?

i have a few theories about that but i am not very sure.

Munna on the run said...

Thanks for your comments John. Would love to hear your theories.

John Doe said...

well stupid theory actually.

i believe the reasons for the decline of hindi is twofold. any language develops by absorbing ideas from outside. it is its association with other languages, other cultures that infuses it with fresh blood (terrible phrase).

now when hindi as we know it developed, it did so parallel to urdu. since independence, and especially in the last few decades we banished urdu to neighbouring pakistan. it has remained the language of a small minority. so while we study ramdhari singh dinkar at school, we don't do ghalib and mir. urdu by nature was a great vehicle for transferring ideas especially from persian and arabic. moment hindi denied its urdu heritage, it also lost a lot.

now to the next reason. hindi speaking people especially in the cities are losing touch with their folk culture. as we deny brijbhasa, awadhi, maithili and other dialects, we also cut off the roots from hindi.

so there.

the hindi speaking community in the country is also at fault. i have friends whose children can speak only very broken hindi and that too with a foreign accent. that too after living their whole lives in delhi. they are not at fault. their parents speak to them in english.

Munna on the run said...

That is actually a very valid theory. Inclusive vs exclusive. You are right I would think.