In the heart of our democracy, the parliament, MPs have objected to people using English to reply to questions ‘despite being fluent in’ Hindi.
This is something that really irritates me. Does a person not have the right to speak in any language that he is comfortable in? Surely there are translators in the Lok Sabha. Why create an issue over language? Is it really democratic to behave this way?
Not just this, talking in Hindi is considered ‘patriotic’ and in English or any other Indian Language is considered ‘unpatriotic’ by many. Why? Is our Indianness so narrow that we define it by one single language? If somebody is comfortable speaking in English(or any other language) and the other person has the means to understand it – what is the issue? I understand if the MP was addressing public who understands only Hindi and he happened to speak in English. But in the parliament? So are we free to talk any language – as far as it is Hindi?
To me, this is as bad as the show of chauvinism by some states in rejecting Hindi totally. Why can’t we just accept the differences we have and learn to live with it.. accept that people may speak different tongues, different dialects, follow different religions.. and still remain as Indian as one can be? Why make such a huge issue of language, when we have so many, many more important and pressing issues to be debated upon?
Edited to add : For more information on the languages that can be used in the Lok Sabha – http://220.127.116.11/newls/abstract/official_report_of_proceedings_o.htm
Edited to add : This link, thanks to Indyeah, http://www.indianexpress.com/news/minding-our-languages/300936/0. It makes a lot of things clear..