The �Hindi� controversy foretells the larger political narrative for the coming years. Comment

Humans have learned to interact with the outside world with the help of language which developed during the process of natural evolution. Language thus became the mode of communication and knowledge for the species. It became the underlying ability for thought and knowledge. Evidence has suggested that humans started using language around 70,000 years ago in terms of some verbal icons. The complexity of the language continued to develop over time. So, for now, a child before he enters formal schooling, he or she has the competence for language. Schooling further refines the process of abstraction and judgment. Thus, if the formal instruction in school is in the language of the home environment the ease with which the cognitive transactions are done is enhanced. India, in contrast to the rest of the world, mandates that the children should learn three languages if their home language does not have any formal status. As per the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Global Education Monitoring, in 2016 there were around 47 million drop-outs in 10th Standard in the country. Apart from many other reasons, the challenge of language cannot be brushed aside. This can be brought to a close only if the country is able to recognize that education imparted in the mother tongue will ease the learning for children.
However, that does not mean to spread Hindi in non-Hindi states. The government severely lacks data on the linguistic composition of the country. Hindi is only spoken by about 30% population of the country so the government cannot cause any risk of existence to other 70 % people who are versed in their own languages as it will be equal to a phonocide under the banner of nationalism. The latter has emanated from some pseudo-nationalists who often lack patience with the cultural diversity of India which is deeply enshrined in the Constitution.

Published: June 5, 2019 | Modified:June 5, 2019

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