DNA Exclusive: Why is Independent India still dependent on English?

DNA Exclusive: Why is Independent India still dependent on English?

New Delhi: Every year, January 10 is celebrated as Vishwa Hindi Diwas (World Hindi Day) to promote the beauty and simplicity of the Hindi language across the globe and while it has been over 75 years since India attained freedom from the shackles of the British rule, it seems like that the Indian society could not detach itself from the mental bondage of their English language.

Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Monday weighed in on how today in Indian society being an English speaker makes you a well-informed and respected individual while the ones who dare to converse in Hindi are being frowned and judged upon. Noting that English as a language deserves due respect, he said that Indians must not forget their mother tongue and pass it on to the next generation as an invaluable treasure.

The best example of our deep-rooted English mentality is our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous Independence speech ‘A Tryst with Destiny’, which he even while celebrating the end of a tyrannical British era delivered in the English language.

India’s obsession with the English language can also be seen in our constitution that despite being the foundation of a Hindi nation is majorly written in the foreign language.

If that’s not enough, the biggest example of this English slavery is the division of our education system into ‘Hindi medium and English medium, where parents feel proud and accomplished when their kids learn at an English school while children with a Hindi background are often shamed and judged.

What makes this massive popularity enjoyed by the English language among Indians all the more tragic is the fact that over 120 crore people in the world speak Hindi, which means every sixth human on the planet understands Hindi. And still, Hindi has become a topic of shame among Indians.

However, what we fail to fathom is the greatness of our language. Many do not know but in 2017, the Oxford English Dictionary comprised at least 600 Hindi terms, which were widely accepted and used among the western diaspora.

In fact, Hindi is the world’s third most popular language, after English and Mandarin and yet, most Indians today either feel ashamed or do not want to accept the value of the Hindi language.

According to a study conducted by Australian National University, today every 20 out of 100 languages in the world are on the verge of extinction due to the growing popularity of foreign languages.

In the end, we must understand that a language is not just a medium of communication but is an integral and inseparable part of a society’s culture. Any language is like a library, which stores all kinds of information in itself, our language stores information about our existence and culture in it. Thus, if our language ceases to exist then our future generation will struggle to understand and be a part of our community.

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