Millennium Post

Tongue twister

Prime minister Narendra Modi has decided to address the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly in Hindi. Mr Modi becomes only the second Indian PM to address the UNGA in Hindi. The first was his BJP predecessor, former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

This move is not unprecedented and Mr Modi, who for long has advocated the use of Hindi for common parlance and for official purposes has indicated a paradigm shift in the manner Indian politicians approach global leaders and politics. Hegemony of the Anglican language is on wane, as predominantly all the BJP leaders prefer to communicate in Hindi.

The kind of linguistic diversity that India possesses is hard to find by in any part of the world. Critics may naturally question this move and would not lag behind to point out that this is a purported move by the saffron party to polarise the Indian mindset with a rhetoric largely loaded with Hindi nationalism.

But considering that India has more than 60 per cent Hindi speaking population shouldn’t it be their right to also listen to the Indian PM deliver the highly important address? Agreed that India has had a colonial past and that the British introduced English in the country’s mainstream to maintain a steady flow of educated clerks, fluent in their mother tongues and this acquired language too, but shouldn’t that hangover be history now? How many people have heard Shinzo Abe talk in any other language than Japanese or Xi Jingping opting for the globally understood English in place of his native Chinese? The British may have made us English literate but they also unknowingly made us hypocrites of the first order.

We can criticise everything which we can see around us and this trend must change. We should support Mr Modi in his endeavour to bring about a change in how we look at Hindi.
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