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Smart tech revives Hindi language


New Delhi: There was once a time when the Hindi language lay in tatters in its very own birthplace. With no hope of revival, Hindi was slowly marching towards an untimely death. But with the advent of technology, the game changed and Hindi got its due revival.

There are obvious reasons behind the decline of “Hindi” language in India. The most important factor behind the decline is the inception of English as the medium of instruction in most educational institutions across the country. Besides curbing the growth of Hindi, which is reportedly spoken by almost 500 million (422 million by 2001 census data), the medium of English has corroded the base of Hindi.  With the downtrend, the ability to write the language in its script, Devnagari, is gradually getting eclipsed.

Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi speakers are also opposed to making Hindi a pan-Indian language. This too has added woes for Hindi as the politicisation has checked the promotion of Hindi in India.

Despite Bollywood using Hindi as the mainstay for communication, there is a dearth of people who can write the language in its native Devnagari format. Usage of Romanised Hindi is eroding the base of the language. The influx of western culture has also dealt a ghastly blow to the language. People speaking in Hindi are considered un-smart and inferior to those speaking in English. Even schools in remote villages of Bihar no longer promote Hindi as they find it easier to woo people with ‘English Medium’ tag. However, in these schools, there is not a single teacher who speaks or knows English properly, let alone teach kids.

Another factor that attributed to the gradual downfall of Hindi is the drop in circulation of Hindi magazines. With the declining readership, Hindi magazines like Nandan, Champak, Suman Saurabh, Grih Shobha and Manorama are losing their importance and fading away.

However, technology proved to be the saviour in this regard, drawing Hindi out from the clutches of getting eroded. Cellphones allowing messages to be typed in Hindi has greatly facilitated in rejuvenating the language. With smartphones coming into the fray, the game changed altogether with Hindi getting promoted in social networking sites.

Writing of blogs in Hindi became easier and common. This meant that Hindi news channels could opt for Hindi news sites to put their content in Devnagari. People started blogs in Hindi and the language got promoted on its own. Composing blogs, Facebook posts, tweets, and comments in Devnagari with the ease of smartphones and Web 2.0 literally revived the language.

Technology majors like Google, Apple, Microsoft and others facilitated the path for Hindi by recognizing it as the main language of India. It looks all promising as of now, but some sad facts remain. Publication of new Hindi books continues to lose face. Hindi books that sell a thousand copies, in a nation of 500 million speakers, become bestsellers. Literary magazines sales are seeing a sharp decline. News magazines like India Today are just surviving and appear to have seen their glorious days a while ago.

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Is English Language Dividing People in India?

English Language in India is a status quo as it provides a sense of superiority in people over the non-speakers and has also segregated the society into upper and lower class

English Language
Learning English Language. Pixabay
  • English medium schools are preferred over the government schools in India
  • Despite the mother language of India is Hindi, it is looked down upon whereas English spoken in India is deemed as a status quo
  • People who speak the English language in India are assumed to belong to the superior class over the others who don’t

July 5, 2017: Indians have always been class conscious which they feel comes from their language and the credit goes to our past rulers – “The British”. This is where the obsession with the English language comes from. In India, especially Northern India, a person’s smartness and the background is judged not by his skills or behaviour but by his fluency in the English language. This class division on the basis of language is more commonly adopted by females for whom speaking in English provides a superiority complex to their personality.

However, English proficiency helps a person in many ways, for example, getting a job in an MNC is possible only if you are really good with this language, it helps the drivers and shopkeepers to converse with foreigners in English and it helps Indians who travel abroad. For this reason, people prefer to send their children to private English language schools rather than government schools where English is regarded as the students’ first language followed by Hindi, their second language. It is a fact that in most of the private schools, it is compulsory for students to study Hindi language only till 8th grade whereas it is the 12th grade for the English language.

For a child to learn good English, it is essential to send him/her to a good school and getting admission in a good school is no less than a rat race. A very good support of my statement above is the movie “Hindi-Medium” in which the director was successful in showing what the parents go through in getting their child admitted in a good English-medium school. It was shown that the parents are well aware of the fact that their child can find it difficult to adjust to the society if he/she is unable to speak proper English. In another movie called English Vinglish, the characters have displayed that the child gets embarrassed to take her mother for parent teaching meeting as she is unable to converse in English.

Also Read: World’s oldest Languages: 10 spoken in world today 

It is unfortunate that the people who speak their native language get uncomfortable in social gatherings and parties where the majority of the people are communicating in English. We Indians are of the mindset that if someone speaks in English, they must be very well educated and from a decent family background whereas the same opinion does not withstand for someone who converses in the Hindi language. We should not forget that language was created by humans for providing ease at communication and not for the division of the society.

– by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter: @Hkaur1025