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Unity in Diversity

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  • Unity in Diversity

    Home Minister's statement on Hindi Divas has created an unwanted controversy. It is wise to be careful while speaking about emotional issue like Language in multi Cultural, multi Language Country like ours. No one will be ready to accept any one Language to rule over the rest. It is very important to have level playing field in Government jobs, when is based on competition.

    Let me try to discuss the subject without indulging in Politics.

    Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru understood this well and accepted the importance of English to continue along with Hindi, till it is accepted by non-Hindi speaking States.

    Nehruji in his Presidential address to 58th Session of Indian National Congress, cautions in a different context in the following words.
    "Language is both a binding force and a separating one and we have to be very careful in the matter of languages in India, lest in our enthusiasm for unity we might not encourage disruption." Profettic words of a matured leader indeed.

    The present Country called India is "The Union of different States" having 22 (+English) different languages, ruled under a Constitution accepted as a guiding force.

    Hindi as we understand today is yet to mature a lot to be a language of the nation. It is used in more than 15 different dialects spreading over different regions in the so called "Hindi belt". The Hindi spoken and understood in Bihar is not the same in Haryana or Rajasthan. The present form of Hindi adopted by Government is Sanskritised form Khariboli,(also known as Dehlavi) used in western UP around Delhi.

    Prior to British occupation of the Country, Persian (Farsi) was the State Language adopted by Mogals and Muslim rulers where ever they ruled. After the arrival and occupation of British this was gradually changed to English. But they gave the importance for the local language of the masses and retained the same where ever possible. They taught English to the local inhabitants to interact with the Government.

    Learning a language is not a problem for anyone. (I have seen many workers from Tamil Nadu speaking Arabic fluently in Muscat, where I worked for eight years). But we have to weigh the usefulness of the language learnt. English is not new to us. In fact English has unified us. English education has helped our youngsters to compete with other nationals and achieve prominent positions in Science and Technology. It is not wise to throw away such benefits for the sake of "false prestige" in international arena.

    For the first time in the History of our Country, we have a vast unified nation with different Cultures, Languages and Religions called India or Bharat.
    We got this from the foreign rulers at the time of their departure, after prolonged fight and sacrifice.

    Let us follow the dictum coined by Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru and try to see "Unity in diversity".
    He explained this in the following words ( in different context)
    "India is a country with a basic unity, but of great variety in religion, in cultural traditions
    and in ways of living. It is only by mutual forbearance and respect for each other, as the great Asoka thought that we shall build up a strong, stable andc cooperativecommunity in the whole of India."
    Let us remember the words of great poet Bharati.
    வாழிய செந்தமிழ்! வாழ்க நற்றமிழர்!
    வாழிய பாரத மணித்திரு நாடு.