Monday, September 29, 2008

Proud to be an Indian?

I don’t understand why Indians whose mother tongue isn’t Hindi take pride in not being able to speak the language.

Hindi is our national language after all, and irrespective of one’s mother tongue, one must know how to speak the language, I feel. There is no pride in not being able to speak your national language. It’s another thing that you prefer to communicate with your family & friends in your mother tongue. That is natural and absolutely fine, but running down Hindi as a language you do not need to know because it is not your mother tongue, isn’t.

Then there is another species of people (from Hindi speaking backgrounds) who cannot speak Hindi correctly or without a Western accent, in spite of having grown up in India! Errrrr…just which planet do they think they have come from??

You are very unlikely to find a European who prefers to speak in English rather than his national language, unless in a business environment. In fact, most Europeans aren't even conversant with English, and that is not because there are no avenues for them to learn English, but because they take pride in their language. Why are Indians the only people in the world with such a dearth of self-esteem. What complex are we suffering from??

Again, I think it’s fine if one prefers to communicate in English more frequently but why are such people ashamed to speak in Hindi? Or admit that they are as comfortable with Hindi as they are with English? Why do they deliberately speak Hindi with grammatical errors and mispronounciations? Why do they fumble for words that are otherwise commonly used, pretending they do not know them?

Speaking in Hindi does not make one “down-market”. It’s not “cool” to not know Hindi, it’s downright shameful. No wonder our country is a victim of a lack of nationalism.

1 comment:

The knife said...

well, I am sure they have quite a different pov down South. Though Bollywood has managed to bridge the gap quite a bit. Wonder how it works in places like belgium or canada which are multi lingual. Re why Englis compared to Europe, I guess that's our entry card into the burra sahib's den