Bhopal: A large section of Hindi scholars from the city were dismayed at not having been invited to the World Hindi Summit being hosted in Madhya Pradesh.
About 5,000 scholars from across the country and the world are expected to participate in the September 10-12 Vishva Hindi Sammelan.
Though the invitations have been sent to a number of people in India and abroad, many of the litterateurs in Madhya Pradesh are appalled at being ignored for an event to be held in their own country and that too, in their home state.
“It seems the focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government is only on wooing non-resident Indians,” noted writer Ram Prakash Tripathi said.
“Be it education or language, everything is politics-driven. But the organisation of this summit reflects a narrow-minded psyche. Though literature is a vital characteristic of a language, this summit is being kept away from literature itself,” he added.
“Politics has never strengthened any language. It gains strength from literature. No regime has offered power to a language. History shows that whenever a language was interfered into by the government or politics, the language weakened and controversies erupted,” Dhruv Shukla, a veteran writer, remarked.
The absence of invitations to various well-known writers like Rajesh Joshi, Vijay Bahadur, Rajesh Shah, Mehrutrisha Parvez and Ram Prakash Tripathi — all of whom reside in Bhopal’s writers’ colony, Nirala Nagar– shows the sheer disregard for excellence in the Hindi literary world.
New Delhi: The recently-concluded World Hindi Conference in Bhopal was conducted by people with “obvious party affiliations” which left out noted Hindi writers, Hindi media persons and students, says a veteran journalist and noted writer.
Mrinal Pande, who chaired one of the sessions at the event, feels the Narendra Modi-led NDA government had “erred in not inviting Hindi writers who could have contributed much” to the conference. The conference was aimed at “shuddhikaran” (cleansing) of the Hindi language.
“Language is a common property and a party cannot take a broom and sweep it clean. The writers and the specialists operating on the ground — the media and students of media — were kept out by the organisers, she said.
“The whole thing was handled by people with obvious party affiliations, whose writ was ‘Hindi ka shuddhikaran‘. What shuddhikaran will you do? If you do shuddhikaran, nothing will be left (of the language),” Pande told IANS in an interview over the phone.
The former head of Prasar Bharati said the notion of cleansing the language was “absurd”.
She said most of the Hindi “as we know and speak it today is based largely on dialects like Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Brij Bhasha and Haryanvi. Only 20 percent is based on pure Sanskrit.”
The rest, she added, was based on Persian, Portuguese, Arabic, English and other languages that came in with various traders and armies over the centuries.
Pande said that if the government was serious about promoting Hindi and helping its cause, it should stress on creating proper hardware and software that are compatible with the various kinds of spoken Hindi, taking into account the phonetics and nuances of the language as spoken in different regions.
Pande says a single word in Hindi is pronounced differently in different regions of the Hindi-speaking areas, and the government should work towards developing search engines for Hindi users, keeping all the regional variants in mind.
“The linguistic problems, the word sense, disambiguation and phonetics — all this can’t be done by RSS pracharaks who are not academicians. They were there boasting that Hindi is our matribhasha… I have spent a whole lifetime and burnt the candle at both ends to try and do my bit to professionalise the language,” said Pande.
“At the sammelan, most of the emphasis was on selling Hindi as a source of India’s pride, and on sanitising Hindi – playing it off against English, and also monetising the large numbers of Hindi users in the global market,” she added.
As the editor of Hindi daily Hindustan which would bring out 17 editions and many sub-editions, including those in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and western UP, she found that readers of different regions protested whenever they felt imposed by the central office to use a kind of Hindi they did not speak.
On the proposed two counts of looking at Hindi language– as a tool for mass communication and on developing requisite software, Pande said, “They seemed wishy-washy and watered down and dominated by verbiage”.
According to Pande, at the 9th World Hindi Conference in 2012 in Johannesburg, held under the UPA dispensation, a resolution was passed that the government should work towards total standardisation of Hindi and development of dual keyboards, making it mandatory for all computer companies to make such keyboards. It was also decided that the World Wide Web should be made friendly to Hindi.
She said her friends who had attended the Johannesburg event told her that the proposal had been sent to the government of India. “Nobody knows what happened to the proposal,” she added.
She also felt that the Narendra Modi government was laying out the red carpet for foreign IT companies, but it was not clear if it had been ensured that they would do enough to help Hindi and the other regional languages or acquire the same kind of user friendly hardware and software that English and other European languages enjoyed.
She said Modi, who is going to Silicon Valley later this month, should talk “seriously and knowledgeably” to the foreign IT firms about all this.
“This is a serious professional matter, not an emotional one, and for thousands like me who are living and working in Hindi, we need professional tools, we don’t need the use of Hindi to be made into an emotive issue.”
Bhopal: A group of participants from the Communication and Information Technology world gave a call to the 10th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan (World Hindi Conference) here on Saturday to ensure that the Hindi language was written only in the Devnagri script and not in the Roman script.
Citing the technology-based companies’ opinion, Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated that Hindi should be included as an official language in the United Nations by garnering support from member nations, as was done for the International Yoga Day.
Technological-based companies have understood its significance and were thus promoting it, the minister said.
Besides, the minister added, Hindi was not just an administrative language but one that represented the Indian culture and values of life and also served as a link.
Presiding over a parallel session of ‘Hindi in Communication and Information and Technology’, poet Ashok Chakradhar opined that the debate over lipi (script) has been on since ages. The need of the hour is not to curse the English language but to promote the Hindi language, he added.
Chakradhar also spoke on the need of a Hindi software said to promote the Hindi language through computers.
Bhopal: Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for efforts towards a more vibrant use of Hindi, contending it would be among three languages to dominate the digital world.
At the inauguration of the World Hindi Conference here, Modi revealed that he had learnt Hindi in his childhood from UP traders while selling tea. He opined that more and more people were getting inclined to speak in Hindi.
“In the days to come, the significance of Hindi language will increase because language experts believe that by the end of the 21st century, out of 6,000 languages, 90 percent will lose their sheen. If we fail to understand this warning and fail to protect the language, then Hindi will only remain a matter of research,” he said.
Modi stated that the digital field would bring massive changes to the world with everybody using social media like WhatsApp. “Experts believe that in this field, three languages – English, Chinese and Hindi – will dominate the digital field,” Modi said, and added that it is the responsibility of tech experts to develop software to popularize Hindi and other Indian languages.
The three-day conference is being held at the Lal Parade Ground in Makhan Lal Chaturvedi Nagar here.
Modi spoke of the love for Hindi in countries he visited during his foreign trips. He also came to know of the efforts being made to popularize Hindi in those countries.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj remarked that this conference was focused on the progress of the Hindi language, while the previous ones were focused on Hindi literature.
She said the conference, first held in Nagpur in 1975, is being held in India after 32 years.
Stressing the need to preserve Hindi language, she stated that suggestions of experts attending the conference would be taken and a report compiled in the concluding session. The main recommendations should then, be acted upon.
Modi also released a postal stamp to mark the 10th World Hindi Day during the conference.