Tamil

"Indian Youth" means "Hindi Youth" to the Indian Government

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2005 (ID. 2005-08-01); Updated 2017-01-01
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On December 17, 2003, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Member of Parliament Mr. P.G. Narayanan raised the issue of continued Hindi imposition by the Indian Government. He said that until then the Combined Defence Service entrance examination was held in English only and a recent government order now allows candidates to write the examination in either English or Hindi. He pointed out that this is discriminatory to non-Hindi candidates because both English and Hindi are alien to them while Hindi is the mother tongue of Hindi speakers. He said that this gives an unfair advantage to Hindi speakers. He urged the Indian Government to hold the examination in all Indian languages so that all candidates can choose to write the examination in their own mother tongue.

Defense Minister Mr. George Fernandes replied that Hindi was added in addition to English on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence in order to attract talented youth from rural areas to enter Defense Service. Read the reason for making Hindi as an examination language again: "in order to attract talented youth from rural areas to enter Defense Service" [The Hindu newspaper: December 18, 2003]. I am at a total loss to understand how making Hindi an examination language would attract "talented rural youth from Tamilnadu or Andhra Pradesh or West Bengal or Nagaland to Defense Service. The only talented rural youth who would benefit are those from Hindi speaking states and possibly those states closer to them where Hindi is widely known. Rural youth from the south or northeast or other non-Hindi regions would in no way benefit from the new Indian Government policy to attract talented rural youth to Defense Service. On the contrary the new policy hurts their chances of employment with the Defense Department.

To the Hindi belt politicians who dominate the parliament because of their large representation there, Indian rural youth means Hindi rural  youth. The non-Hindi rural youth do not matter to them; they do not care if talented rural youth from the south or northeast lose out in the competition for jobs in the defense department. Only the Hindi people count; others are second-class citizens. Laws are passed, decisions are made and orders are issued to benefit the Hindi people, be it in financial grants, jobs, education or television programmes. In every one of these spheres the Indian Government decisions, laws and orders give Hindi people a decided advantage. This is the fact of life.

"We will go to every part of Tamil Nadu and tell the people that Hindi is coming and that it is like a thunder strike on the heads of Tamil and Dravidian people.... If Hindi were to become the official language of India, Hindi-speaking people will govern us. We will be treated like third rate citizens".- Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C. N. Annadurai, Public Meeting at Chennai Marina (Madras Marina), April 29, 1963.

POST-SCRIPT: Hindi is a language of examination (in addition to English) for jobs in Indian Railways, central reserve police, clerical and stenography jobs and armed forces. Statistical data show that this policy has significantly reduced the number of candidates from south and northeast passing these examinations [Reference 1]. Data show that not only candidates from Tamil Nadu where Hindi is not taught in schools but also those from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal where Hindi is taught failed equally bad in these examinations when compared to Hindi belt candidates. It proves that just studying Hindi in school does not put you at equal footing with those whose mother tongue is Hindi.

SUMMARY: Indian Defense Minister's statement explaining why Hindi is introduced as examination language for the combined defence service entrance examination while other languages are ignored.

REFERENCE

1. How India's Official Language Policy is Hurting Non-Hindi Peoples (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2003 (21 KB)

RELATED ARTICLES

1. Indian Government and Hindi Imposition

2. Pharmaceutical Labels in Hindi: "Indian Customers" mean "Hindi Customers" to the Indian Government (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, May 2006 (8 KB) (h)

UPDATE (January 2017)

1)

In 2014, the newly elected Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, started speaking with foreign leadersin Hindi although he is reasonably proficient in English, and in fact, talks to his Tamil Nadu allies Vaiko and Ramadoss in English. We don't care if this prime minister, whose mother tongue is Gujarati, feels comfortable speaking in Hindi but the reasons behind his action is disturbing and "degrading" to non-Hindi peoples (the majority) of India. Professor Purushottam Agarwal, visiting professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, said that Modi's use of Hindi is a sign of "rootedness" of this government [Hindustan Times: June 8, 2014]. This arrogant attitude of some Hindi politicians and elite that India is rooted in Hindi lands (north-central India) alienates non-Hindi regions. If India is rooted in Hindi lands, am I, hailing from Tamil Nadu, an Indian? DNA News (June 4, 2014) reported diplomats saying, "Modi has tried to assert India's national identity". If Hindi is India's national identity, what about Telugus, Bengalis, Malayalis, Tamils, ... ?

2)

Here is another news that indicates what the Indian government thinks of non-Hindi peoples. In response to a requet from a Karnataka politician asking Indian Railways to print computerized tickets in state languages also, Railways Ministry replied that only tickets of the lowest class of carriage are printed in regional language. Others are in Hindi and English. (CNN News18; February 29, 2016). So non-Hindi peoples travel only in the lowest class of carriage?

FIS161227m    2005-a1d

Nalangkilli


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