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Mono lok

24 Oct. 2016 10:56 PM IST

There have been indications from the BJP government at the Centre and the RSS that they were all for bringing about significant changes in the country by implementing certain laws or policies to strengthen the notion of one nation, one culture and one people. Whether it be what one cannot eat or wear or which religious practices are considered alien; the predominant ideology that has emerged as championing the cause of one dominant religious community is a cause for concern. It must be added that those who are considered as Hindus because they are neither Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains or Christians etc constitute around 80% of the population but a majority do not accept the ideology as being aggressively propounded. Besides a code on diet, dress, language or beliefs, the effort to rid off constitutional protections given to various minorities through a Uniform Civil Code has spread deep apprehensions among various minorities. The latest(and not the least) has been a very deep rooted plan that has come out in the open, as one among several on the agenda involving a law that makes speaking and writing Hindi compulsory. This was among the latest recommendations made in the new education policy by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliate which has demanded the scrapping of English as a mandatory language and replacing it with Hindi. The RSS affiliate Sikhsha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas has also suggested banning references that insult India or eminent personalities. The Human Resources Development minister Prakash Jadavekar has assured the SSU that the suggestions would be considered when the new education policy is formed. No one in India will deny or oppose the prime importance of Hindi as the language that identifies or symbolises India. It is also one of the official languages with English and the lingua franca of the Hindi belt languages. Article 343 (1) of the Indian constitution has stated that Hindi in Devanagiri script will be the official language of India and also used for official purposes. The same constitution also recognises the existence of 22 languages. This means that the constitution gives the right to its citizens to speak or write in any of the 22 languages that exist in India. However due to various factors, English is being preferred by a majority of people across India. There has been an outcry after the Modi government asked the ministers and officials to use the Hindi language everywhere. All the government offices in India will have a Hindi software installed in their systems. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is all set to promote Hindi as the official language. The importance of Hindi as a national language and also symbolising modern India cannot be undermined. Around 75% of the country reside in villages where people are aware of Hindi mostly. However in not all of them speak or read Hindi since they have their own language. In states like the north east, even though the people of every state have their own language, yet English is the official language. Hindi is being promoted through central institutes or funding whereas English continues to be the medium of instruction in all institutions. The best option would be not to tinker with the language issue but to continue to promote Hindi without making it compulsory; after all India is a secular and democratic nation where every citizen’s fundamental right is guaranteed. 

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