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A List of Hindi Imposition Activities of the Indian Government in 2016 (Part B: April - June)

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2017 (ID. 2017-04-01)
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Click here for introductory remarks as to how this list is prepared. Skip it if you had already read that introduction. 13 items in this list. 


2016-0421A: Hindi a "Must" to Excel in India

India's Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister said thatchildren should be encouraged to learn Hindi in addition to mother tongue because without Hindi you cannot excel at national level. He made this statement at the Hindi Advisory Committee (Hindi Salahkar Samiti) of the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (One India News; April 21, 2016). 

The Minister also said in that same speech that Hindi is not imposed. If the Indian Government makes it impossible for people to excel at the national level without knowing Hndi, that is tantamount to Hindi imposition. It is like training an elephant to "dance" by starving it until it dances little by little. The elephant is told, "dance if you want to eat". Here non Hindi people are told, "learn Hindi if you want to excel in India"; little by little the Indian government has created such a situation through persistent Hindi imposition at government offices.

By the way, why is there a Hindi Advisory Committee in these ministries? Is using Hindi that important? Who, other than, Hindi people, benefit from it?

2016-0430A: Electoral Web Site in Hindi and English Only

Indian Government set up a web site to help voters www.electoralsearch.in There you can locate polling stations near your house, apply for enrollment in the electoral roll, etc. This site is in Hindi and English only (as of April 2016) Click here and see Photo H-295. So only Hindi people can get the information and register in their mother tongue. Others have to know at least one of two alien languages, Hindi or English. This is outrageous in the so-called largest democracy. It is not democracy it is Hindi crazy.

2016-0500A: Hindi advertisements in Tamil Television Shows in Tamil Nadu

Indian government broadcasts Hindi advertisements in Sun TV's Tamil show in Tamil Nadu.

2016-0502A: Hindi Propagation through University Grants Commission

Indian Government is using every organ of the Indian government to propagate and impose Hindi. University Grants Commission (UGC) has implemented programmes to promote and encourage teaching in Hindi medium in universities that receive UGC assistance. UGC has also sanctioned setting up of Hindi Cells in Central Universities (Business Standard; May 2, 2016). 

University Grants Commission was established to keep the standards of Indian university high. Funds were provided for that purpose. Now some of those monies are used to promote Hindi. Majority of these monies come from non-Hindi taxpayers. Why should their sweat be used to promote somebody else's language?

2016-0502B: Kendriya Hindi Sansthan (KHS)

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Smriti Irani's written reply to a question in parliament contained the following information (Business Standard; May 2, 2016). Kendriya Hindi Sansthan (KHS) under Ministry of HRD runs a number of activities for students and teachers of Non-Hindi States of India and abroad. Under its international Hindi Teaching Program, foreign students are invited to India to learn Hindi. It has also developed courseware for Hindi teaching in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Almost every year, KHS teachers are deputed in foreign countries to teach and promote Hindi. KHS gives Awards for Hindi Scholars from different states of India who have worked for the promotion, propagation and development of Hindi at national and international level.

All this money comes from Indian taxpayers (majority of the taxes are paid by non-Hindi states). India has many languages. What about the development of those languages? The ideal solution is language development funds should be given to each state according to the population ratio and state governments spend the money on state language(s).

2016-0502C: Devanagari Imposition on Konkani

Kendra Sahitya Academy made it mandatory for Konkani submissions for the Sahitya Academy Awards to it be in the Devanagari script (Bangalore Mirror; May 2, 2016). The problem is Konkani literature is written mostly in Kannada script, with some in Malayalam, Roman, Devanagari and Arabic scripts; only a few in Devanagari. Majority of Konkani speakers live in Karnataka (state language is Kannada) with others mostly in Goa and Kerala. Sahitya Academy's order is like imposing Devanagari script (by the way Hindi and Sanskrit use Devanagari script). Karnataka High Court ordered Indian Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) to make a "reasoned order" on this issue.

2016-0507A: Indian Constitution only in English and Hindi. What about Others?

Madras High Court refused to direct the Indian Government to translate the Indian Constitution in all 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the constitution (The Hindu; May 7. 2016). Indian government translated the constitution into Hindi from English in 1950 but no official translation is available in any other language.

We are not blaming the High Court. The judges are making judgments on the basis of existing laws and constitutional provisions. It is up to politicians to enact laws to translate the constitution. Will it happen? Will Hindi politicians vote for it or keep the Hindi supremacy laws intact?

2016-0525A: Hindi Awards at Reserve Bank of India

Speaking at a meeting on the 50-th anniversary of the Rajbhasha Department at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the RBI governor announced three new awards (cash prizes) of 1.25 lakh Rupees (125000 Rupees) each for original Hindi books on economics, banking and finance (Huffington Post (India); May 25, 2016).

How about prizes for banking related books in other Indian languages? Don't we want those languages to develop into the modern age too? After all, non-Hindi peoples pay taxes to the Indian government too. Why this discrimination?

2016-0527A: Television News on Election Day

According to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, on the day 2016 Tamil Nadu assembly election results were being broadcast, all English news television (TV) channels combined had 2.2 lakh (220000) views while all Tamil news TV channels combined had 1.3 crore (13000000) views (thenewsminute.com; May 27, 2016). It means, Tamil television news had about 59 times as many views as English news. This clearly shows Tamil Nadu audience overwhelmingly prefer to hear the news in Tamil.

There is no mention of the audience for Hindi news on that day in the above noted BARC report because Tamil people do not view Hindi news. Only audience for Hindi news is Hindi people living in Tamil Nadu and may be other out-of-staters who know Hindi but not English. Audience for Hindi news is miniscule in Tamilnadu. Yet Indian government owned Doordharsan insists on broadcasting Hindi news in Chennai regional Doordarshan channel (DD1) in the prime time in additional to its national channel. In 2003, Chennai regional Doordarshan channel replaced Tamil news at 8:30 PM with Hindi news, and broadcast Tamil news later at night when the audience is small. Tamil news was reinstated back to prime time after protests.

2016-0602A: IRCTC Website

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website page for e-ticketing is in Hindi and English only. Near the top of the page there is an option to choose Hindi or English. (as seen on June 2, 2016.)

2016-0617A: Speak Hindi says Indian Government to its Officials in South and Northeast

Indian Government plans to popularize Hindi as the main medium of official communication by asking its officials in the South and the North-East to speak in Hindi (Hindustan Times; June 17, 2016)

2016-0619A: No More Tamil in Postal Money Order Forms (English and Hindi Only)

People could send postal money orders in state languages (for example, Tamil) for decades. Indian government has now terminated that option. Money order forms have to be filled in English or Hindi only. Postal officials said that it was because of the computerization of money orders. (The Hindu - Tamil Edition; June 19, 2016)

We know that more than 2 languages may be programmed into the money order process. Indian government should have waited until 3 languages are possible in computerization or use the state language and English as the options. How many people in Tamil Nadu know Hindi and how many know Tamil? A migrant worker from Hindi states could send money orders in his/her mother tongue in Tamil Nadu but a Tamil whose ancestors lived here over a thousand years cannot use his/her mother tongue. Non-Hindi people should realize that they are less than second class citizens in their homelands.

2016-0627A: Samaanya Kannadiga Stands up against Hindi onslaught in Bengaluru

A major all-India real estate company, Shriram Properties, placed a full page newspaper advertisement on June 26, 2016 in Bengaluru with a Hindi slogan. Samaanya Kannadiga, a pro-Kannada group, took offense to the emphasis on Hindi and wrote to the company. The company wrote back thanking them for "reminding us about our duty towards Karnataka State" and stated, "it is not our intention to hurt anyone’s sentiment". It promised to give ‘weightage’ to Kannada in its upcoming advertisements in digital, print and electronic media. (theNewsim.com; June 27, 2016; this is a multi-language South Indian news portal)

Every non-Hindi state and city should have a language-protection group like Samaanya Kannadiga, to keep the onslaught of Hindi into our states. Businesses usually listen to our complaints because they are here to sell their products and services, and do not want negative publicity or boycotts.

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