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 English: The New Hindi 

Date of Publish - Monday, 9th July 2018

What started, eons back as a medium of conversation among beings has transformed into a weapon of class conflict in the millennial era. Language is today no longer a specific agency to converse, exclusively if the Indian subcontinent is taken into consideration. Language has arguably become a measurable rod to judge the abilities and status of the persona and societal standards of Indians.

The 21st century kids in our country are being trained to eat, speak and walk in English and adopt the much-westernised approach of living standards and this trend is fast outspreading its roots from the so-defined high society to the middle-class families as well. While there can be numerous justifications for the above, like enhancement of English speaking skills from early on or preparing the child to face the (generally) universally understood language or making one’s little one competent enough to be well versed etc, but the underlining truth cannot be overshadowed by the reasoning of the above said or other notions put up by worried parents whose child has to run the world tomorrow. The despairing and pitiable reality is that Hindi has become a second-class language in a nation like India, where paradoxically it is officially the mother tongue of most of the English-speakingIndians!

While the significance of English cannot be belittled however the very elevating of it at the cost of our mother tongue is utterly erroneous. Even in the vicinity of our dear homes and private longings, Hindi is fast evaporating in the shadows with English taking its giant leap. The problem as generally presumed doesn’t lie in the fact that this is the language of the former colonial masters who once ruled and tortured us but the trouble lies with the advent of any language that hampers our own roots with its usage. Any language that is embraced by the citizens of a different geographical boundary calls forcelebration of intermingling of cultures but when it comes at the cost of replacement of our own heritage, it mirrors the jeopardy of our cultural sanctity and the worst being oppression of those who aren’t familiar or well versed with the foreign language and have to face judgement for not acknowledging or embracing it with the similar zest and zeal some others hold. Recently released Hindi film “Hindi Medium” which won several accolades also dealt with the issue of the barriers a language comes with. It successfully and sarcastically mirrored an issue so urgent with aid of a fictionally woven story highlighting the hollow societal values with live proudly in.

What we need to understand is that even if English is fast becoming the need of the era, or at least the base of our education system and therefore a prerequisite for further recruitments and hence an integral base of our lives, however the importance of the heritage handed to us by our ancestors should be dealt with the utmost respect it deserves for we are not only the guardians but also the accountable bearers of it.

Author :
Radhika Kohli


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