FAQ on Learning Hindi language

Most often I am confronted with some questions about learning of Hindi language. So instead of answering / typing to each individual separately, I thought of collating a FAQ. Here it goes… Please remember that this piece of FAQ / article is confined only about learning of Hindi and what knowledge is. I haven't touched other political issues. Need be there, i shall come up with separate one...

Hindi is our national language. Hindi is the most spoken language in India. All Indians should be made to learn Hindi.

First of all Hindi is not a National language of any country. Indian sub-continent has no National language. India has 22 officially recognized languages including Hindi.

A Punjabi / Marathi / Bengali / Kanadiga learn Hindi along with their mother tongue in their home state itself. At the same time, for those who have Hindi has their mother tongue. Do they learn any other Indian language? I as a citizen of Indian republic, have learned few Indian languages. I didn’t learn Hindi. Do I become less Indian.

Government of Indian sub-continent has spent crores and crores of my money all these years to propagate Hindi language. Is this ethical way of running a government. Every Indian (having different mother tongue) is paying taxes. How can a government promote one language alone?

And now you claim that Hindi is most spoken language India.  If anything has to be decided based on numbers, we have more number of crows than peacock in India. Then why do we have peacock as National bird?

Beauty of Indian Subcontinent is it’s diversity. So neither government of India nor it’s citizens should think about imposing one language across Indian sub-continent.

If you get some time, please a watch this video :

If Telugu speaking friend of mine would ask me, "Why does government of Karnataka / Tamil Nadu spend crores and crores of money for the development of Kanada / Tamil language alone? I am a native of Andhra Pradhesh doing business in Karnataka /Tamil Nadu and I am paying tax to Karnataka / TN government?" 

In India, states are carved out based on Language. So, if you want your tax to be  used only for the development of Telugu language, it is better you do your business in Telungana or Seemandhra alone.

In many other states, along with local language, Hindi, English is mandated. People are eager  to learn Sanskrit/ Spanish etc., but DO NOT want to learn Hindi, that’s strange. Science proves that a child can learn 6 languages if taught in younger age, are we losing out just because of political folks?

Well, let me answer your question in reverse order. First of all we should understand a basic thing. Kids mind / brain is not a dumping yard or a storage machine. In many countries kids are enrolled into school only after the age of 6. For instance, in Finland, kids are taught only after the age of 7. And kids from Finland do have great IQ, when compared to other kids from other countries. So, my point is, let us not rob quality time off the kids. Already we are enrolling into school at the very less age of 2.5 or 3. Let them have time to play and time for imagination creativity and to gather knowledge. Because Knowledge is power.

Earlier days there used to be a saying “If you learn a langugae, it is easy to conquer a clan or race”. But these days, with so much of technological advancements, translation / transliteration has become so easy.

Ok now, as usual, on behalf of kids, parents decide to teach them with multiple languages. Don’t they (students & parents) have the right to decide which language to learn. Why are we so judgmental about their selection of language and want them to choose Hindi.? With languages like English / Spanish / French they intend to cover many parts of the world. Why do you want to restrict them within Indian subcontinent alone. And to be precise, North India alone.

Many a times it happens like, you learn so many languages ; so many degrees and at the end of graduation or in mid of your career path, you discover that learning a new language / skill could boost. Wont you learn that language / acquire new skill? So learning a language can be done at any time, but acquiring knowledge and other  basic skills are primary.

And I strongly condemn the usage of the word local language. There is no such thing called local language. We are supposed to call any language as native language. Let us respect all languages.

Why to vehemently refuse Hindi? Did we all not use native languages (Tamil..Bengali etc) even when so fluent in English?

Existence of a language depends on the continuous usage of it in day today life. How is all Indian languages used now? Thanglish / Bengalish.. We write Tamil / Bengali words in English. We still say that we are using those languages.

If you learn in your mother tongue alone, you can’t move out of your state. We have lost much jobs to others just because of not learning Hindi.

For your kind information, most of those who are in military and save us and our mother land from enemies, learn Hindi, only after getting selected to Military. Within no time, they learn Hindi. Those who immigrate to different parts of the world, learn that native language in no time. For instance, all those who go to middle east, don’t know Urudu / Arabic before landing there. They learn it soon.

Even in Indian sub-continent those who become IAS officers, after getting selected, they learn a new Indian language, depending upon the state to which they are assigned.

Lossing of job because of ignorance of Hindi is just a lame excuse to hide our incompetency.

All those who have migrated (temporarily /permanently) to Southern states haven’t done it due to Hindi language. They were able to move not because language proficiency but because of their skill set (let us forget about Railways). Same way, many people from southern India have migrated to North due to good opportunity in many Industry. They were able to do so because of their skil set and most of them haven’t learned Hindi before.

And since we learn Englsih / Other foreign language at school, there should not be a problem of mobility acorss globe. Need be there, we can learn new language at that time. Let us not confine ourselves to North India alone.

Any sensible human being will learn Marathi or Bengali when they migrate to Maharastra / Bengal. If the same guy knows, Hindi, he will not care to learn Marathi / Bengali.

I don’t know why TN is hell bent on doing everything in Tamil. I go crazy when I see people name their kids with Tamil names ignoring Hindi / Sanskrit letters or names.

Will you go crazy if a English guy gives English name to his kid? It is just natural. But it is blown out of proportion.

But the question is, Do Tamils have self-pride on their own language. Answer is a definite “NO”. And that is the reason for sorry state of affairs. They name their kids with alien names. They school their kids in alien medium. And they do everything in different language. And you still feel that they are hell bent on doing everything in Tamil.

In Maharstra or Gujarat, even if you have more customers speaking in different native languages (off course Indian language) the merchants will speak in their mother tongue or Hindi never in other languges. But come to TN markets if a regular customer speaks an alien language, the merchants will start conversing in that language.

In Tamil Nadu, Signages are in Tamil and not in Hindi.

May be you have not traveled across India. In Gujarat or Maharastra, the boards in bus are in native language. Even the bus route numbers are in Gujarati or Marathi. But in Tamil Nadu, in all national highways, Hindi and English have their place. Even in street signages, English is available for the sake of outsiders. Why should the street signages be in Hindi? Waste of money ; effort and time.

In France, even if people know English, they will converse in French. It is a symbol of self-pride. Do Tamils do such things? In Karnataka, you can fill out bank forms / slips in Kanada language. It is called as self-pride. I salute them. This is the right way. Customer care or helpline number for regional office of Income Tax department is available in Bengaluru. If you dial that number for help, you can select different languages like English ; Kanda ; Hindi. But dial any central government office in Tamil Nadu, you won't have the option of native language (ie, Tamil) only Hindi and English is available.

My mother tongue is not Tamil, I can’t read or write my own mother tongue. But I can read and write Tamil. I am one of the topper in Tamil. I can recite grammar better than many. So my point is, when I can learn Tamil, why can’t Tamils learn Hindi?

Well, I don’t know what is your mother tongue. I am glad to know that you have learned Tamil and become an expert in it.  But I am equally saddened to know that you were not able to learn your mother tongue.

Before going any further, let me ask you one question. Did you learn Tamil, living from your own place of birth / state, ignoring your mother tongue? Or is it like, you or your parents or your fore fathers have migrated to Tamil Nadu in the past and you learned Tamil by the virtue of living in Tamil Nadu.

For your kind information, all those who migrate to a new region, learn the native language of that area. It is a common practice to make yourself comfortable in new land. Classic example is mandatory IELTS / TOFEL exams. In my opinion, this should not deter one from learning his / her mother tongue. Like the way you learned Tamil after migrating to Tamil Nadu, Many Tamils who migrate to Hindi lands or any other state or country, learn Hindi or any other native language (aka Marathi ; German, etc).

In Tamil Nadu, apart from Tamil medium schools, there are Telugu ; Kanada ; Malayalam ; English and Hindi Medium schools. English medium schools out number Tamil medium schools. There are many Tamils who learn in Hindi medium schools. So my point is, “students” both natives and immigrants have equal opportunity to learn their mother tongue. They can learn any language. In my opinion, Everyone should use the opportunity and learn positively in their own mother tongue in Tamil Nadu. 

Tamils can learn Hindi but we Tamils have decided not to learn Hindi. Because learning a language is one's own preference. Nobody can force.

I am a professor working in Tamil Nadu. My mother tongue is not Tamil. But my students expect me to explain concepts in Tamil.

Dear Professor, there are thousands of students from Tamil Nadu who study in various universities in different parts of the world. There, they don’t expect their professors to explain concepts in Tamil. In fact many such students learn native language of that land. For instance those who go to Germany for studies, they learn German language to make themselves comfortable in that country.

Since Tamil students are studying from their own mother land they expect their professors to explain in their language. What’s wrong in it? It is very natural and this is prevalent in all parts of the world. A French student would like his / her professor to teach concepts in French. In fact if you were to work as a professor in France, you would have the obligation of learning French before joining that university and you would readily accept that and learn that language. Why this hypocrisy my dear professor friend? Neither you nor your students are to be blamed. If you start blaming students, what are you going to teach them? Hatred?

Offcourse I do agree with you that the students should not use this as a lame excuse and stop doing their duty. Since they have joined studies in English medium they are supposed to give their best. No compromise. And for ages, this is done.

When the concepts of Engineering are in English it has to be taught in that Language.

Do you think that Engineering concepts are available in English language alone? If that is the case, how was Great Tanjai Periya Kovil (Gloabaly known as Brihadeshwara Temple) built? Which English language taught Chola King the nuances of architectures and civil Engineering? How was the great Kallanai dam (also known as the Grand Anicutbuilt? Which language taught Civil & Hydro Engineering. How did The Great Chola King invade many other countries and made his mark in history. Which language taught him naval Engineering?

Recently in TN, Engineering studies are taught in Tamil medium. Other states should follow this and teach students in their mother tongue. I do agree that reference books are not available in plenty in native languages. It is something that government should work on with academicians and subject / domain experts.

This will ensure that we regain the lost glory. This will ensure that we think in our own way ; imagine own way ; innovate own way.

BTW, do they teach Engineering in English language in China / Korea / France / Italy. Our ignorance shall not propel us to project others in bad light.

In europe, for instance, In Italy, students complete their studies in their mother tounge (Italian) and if they were to work in a different country / an MNC which needs English proficiency, they do a crash course in Engslish langaue to hone their profiency.

I am a student studying in Tamil Nadu. My mother tongue is not Tamil. I expect my professors to explain concepts in Hindi. But they are teaching only in English language. Why can’t they teach in Hindi.

Neither you nor your teachers are to be blamed. Your expectation is natural and your apprehension would be valid only if you are studying in a college / university from your own state. When you move to different state or country for studies, you are supposed to be prepared to face these circumstances. All your fellow Tamil students who don’t know Hindi / native language of that state are facing this situation in different states in Indian sub-continent. They learn Hindi / native language of that state to get accousted to that place. You are more than welcome to do the same where ever you go. If you are going a college / university in Kerala / Telungana, be prepared to learn Malayalam / Telugu. I am sure that you will readily learn German along with your Tamil / Kanada friends, if you were to learn In a German University.

I am coming from North. I work in southern states. Even in office, in casual chat, many people tend to use local language / slangs. They don’t have the courtesy of using Hindi or Englsih slang.

Dear compatriot, This is wrong, when an outsider is there, even if it is a casual chat, it is better to avoid using native language. This should be common across Indian sub-continent. But in practicality it doesn’t happen.

In southern India, people take extra care to make fellow compatriots comfortable as far as usage of language is concerned. But the prevailing situation in North or above South is so rude and cruel like, “He has to learn Hindi. It is his fault”. Be truthful to yourself and answer, did any one force you to learn native language in Southern states even if you are staying for ages or generations? Don’t you use words like “Mathlab”…”ki”…. “areh yaar”…”paaghal ho thu” even in official meetings? I think “Thu” is used in certain areas and in certain areas, it is considered as a word with less respect and it is not acceptable in many parts.

Do we find any relief to come out of this deadlock?

Mr. Tarun Vijay an MP from BJP party has taken a sensible way to manage this situation. He is spearheading the idea of teaching native languages acorss Noth Indian schools. If all Indians start to learn at least two native languages, this problem can be solved. (I do agree that poitical motives are there. But let us forget about it now)

Now that I have answered to many of your questions, shall I ask you a question? Just for the sake of your mobility, are you forcing all others to learn Hindi? Are you that lazy not to learn any other Indian language and you want everyone to learn your language (Hindi).

If you have more questions to ask, please let me know. I shall try to reply in 24 hours.

1 comment:

  1. If time permits please read this recent article.