Tamil Tribune

A List of Hindi Imposition Activities of the Indian Government in 2017 (Part A: January - March)

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, January 2018 (ID. 2018-01-01)
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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. 14 items in this list.


2017-0000A: Employment Interviews in English and Hindi Only at Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL)

"Interview Call Letter for Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) a PSU PE 2017 Recruitment" from Indian government owned Bharat Electronics Limited says "You have the option of answering questions in Hindi during the interview". 

This gives an undue advantage to Hindi people. While Hindi people can answer interview questions in their mother tongue, non-Hindi people have to answer in one of two alien languages--English or Hindi.

2017-0100A: Help for Hindi Business Owners Only

Indian government's Ministry of Commerce and Industry offered a free online course on entrepreneurship as part of "Startup India" Learning Program for those who start and manage new businesses. The course is in English and Hindi only (2017). (click here and see Photo H-319)

What about entrepreneurs from non-Hindi areas? If Hindi entrepreneurs can learn the methods in their mother language, why not non-Hindi entrepreneurs? Is it "Startup India" or "Startup H-india"?

2017-0101A: Another Example of Illegal Hindi Imposition

A Tamil man wrote to Indian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) under the Right To Information (RTI) Act asking for information on the demonetization process implemented by the PM. PMO refused to provide the information because the request was in Tamil (not in Hindi or English). The RTI act states that the request may be made in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the applicant belongs. [Deccan Chronicle; January 1, 2017].

2017-0107A: Mixing Hindi into English

Indian Government Ministry of External Affairs Ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports held a meeting for overseas Tamils in Bangaluru, Karnataka State between January 7 and 9, 2017. 

Announcement says "Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas". What is "Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas"? I understand "Bharatiya"; some people refer to India as Bharat. What about the other two words? How many overseas Indians know Hindi?

20170108A: Hindi Becomes Essential for Kochi, Kerala

In view of the large influx of Hindi migrants into Kochi (Cochin, Kerala), Hindi has become a necessity there, reports The Hindu (January 8, 2017). Instead of outsiders learning the local language, locals are learning the outsiders language; it is because the Hindi imposition policy of the Indian government that makes it easy for Hindi people going to work in other states; they can use post offices, railways and banks in their mother tongue while locals find that their language is systematically removed from Indian government run railway like in railway tickets.

The Indian Express (June 10, 2015) reported that, because of the influx of Hindi migrants into Kerala shops are posting Hindi names for products; those who do not do this would lose business as the Hindi migrants refuse the learn Malayalam. Some police stations have hired Hindi teachers to teach Hindi.

While Kerala police are learning Hindi, Indian Government's Coast Guards posted in Kochi do not learn Malayalam and it has become a problem for Malayali fishermen to fish in their own sea coast.

Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority will publish a textbook "Hamari Malayalam" (Our Malayalam), exclusively to teach migrant laborers Malayalam ((Manorama; August 14, 2017).

This effort is funded by Kerala State government with no funding from Indian government. Kerala government is channeling some of the funds meant for improving literacy of its own people. Indian government, instead of providing funds to this effort, is using large sums of money to teach Hindi in non-Hindi states most of whom do not need it. I suggest that Hindi-belt states from where most of migrants come (in addition to Bengal) establish schools to teach some South Indian languages. Let migrants learn a language and go to that state. State government should make knowledge of local language within 6 months a condition for continued employment.

2017-0110A: India is Incomplete without Hindi?

Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki said, "A nation is "incomplete" without its national language. The identity of India is "incomplete" without Hindi." (India Today; January 120, 2017)

India should have no national language (as it is currently the case with the Indian constitution) or multiple national languages.

2017-0117A: Agriculture Ministry Arrogance

Indian government Agriculture Ministry constituted a Joint Hindi Advisory Committee in the ministry to increase the use of Hindi. Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh told the committee at its very first meeting, "Most of policies, schemes and activities of the ministry relate to farmers and common man, and so it is our duty that we should use Hindi as much as possible." He added, "It will be useful to provide know-how to people in non-Hindi states through their vernacular languages".

The second statement is just a few words in an effort to blunt criticism from non-Hindi politicians. See how the minister puts it. "Our duty that we should use Hindi as much as possible." "It will be useful to provide know-how to people in non-Hindi states through their vernacular languages." Take this challenge. Two years from now, in January 2019, see how much work is done in Hindi and how much in non-Hindi languages. I bet very little, not even 10% of what is done in Hindi would be done in any non-Hindi language. This is India.

2017-0120A: Hindi Academics' Selfish Letter to the Government

One hundred and thirteen Hindi academics and writers sent a letter to the Indian Government asking it not to add "dialects of Hindi", like Bhojpuri and Rajasthani, as separate languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. They say, "Hindi’s prime strength is the large number of its speakers. The only reason Hindi has its status as official language is that it has the highest number of speakers. Recognition of its dialects as separate languages would deprive Hindi of millions of its speakers." (The Hindu; January 20, 2017)

The Hindi-centric attitude of these Hindi academics and writers is appalling. They argue that languages like Bhojpuri and Rajasthani should not be recognized as separate languages because Hindi would lose its claim as official language of India. Why should the millions of Bhojpuri and Rajasthani speakers sacrifice their language identity in order to keep Hindi on the throne?

2017-0131A: President of India Talks in Hinglish to Parliament

Indian President's address to both houses of parliament in January 2017 contains so many Hindi or Sanskrit words. Here are some : "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, saha na vavatu, saha nau bhunaktu, jan-andolan, garib,dalit, peedit, shoshit, vanchit, kisan, shramikandyuva, Jan Dhan to Jan Suraksha, Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Aawas Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, Unnat Jyoti, Bharatiya Jan Aushadi Pariyojana, Fasal Bima Yojana, Har Khet ko Panio, Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, Har Haath ko Hunar, Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Shram-eva jayate, shramik, Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana, Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana, Divyang jan, Niramaya Swasthya Bima Yojana, Seekho aur kamao, UsttadandNai Manzil, Ashtalakshmi, Digidhan Abhiyaan, Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat, Samvaad, Samanvay, Samvedna, Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas". (President's Secretariat; January 31, 2017)

I know English. I read the full text of the President's speech. I do not know what he is talking about. All Government of India communications should be available in Hindi and English. There is a Hindi version of this speech. Where is the English version? This is not English.

This is not the first time English translations polluted with Hindi/Sanskrit words were provided by Indian government. Someone should file a lawsuit in Supreme Court forcing Indian Government to provide English translations understandable by all who know English, not just Hindi speakers with English knowledge.

2017-0307A: Bengaluru Police Should Learn Hindi - Rekha Sharma

National Commission for Women member Rekha Sharma who was visiting Bengaluru said. "Bengaluru is an Information Technology (IT) hub and it’s not mandatory that everyone needs to know the local language. Bengaluru city police should learn English and Hindi to communicate effectively with women." (The Hindu; March 7, 2017)

People who come to earn a living in Bengaluru, Karnataka must learn the local language Kannada. If Kannadigas go to Hindi land to earn a living, they should learn Hindi. The arrogant Hindi people seem to think, "If I come to your land, you should learn Hindi to talk to me. If you come to my land, you should learn Hindi to talk too me."

2017-0307B: Death of a Tamil Nadu Fisherman

A Tamil fisherman died from Sri Lankan shooting in early March 20917 because Indian Coastguard nearby could not understand a distress phone call from fishermen in Tamil and the fishermen could not speak Hindi or English. According to the fishermen with him, he was alive for an hour after the shooting and could have survived if Indian coastguard arrived upon receiving the distress call and provided medical aid. To see the interview with one of the fishermen: click here (this video was posted there on March 7, 2017).

Those who are paid from our taxes to serve and protect us should learn the local language as a condition for employment. Yet coastguard personnel are required to learn Hindi but no requirement to learn the language of the region where they serve.

2017-0317A: Hindi Speakers Steal Jobs in non-Hindi States?

Some students from Haryana taking the Examination for Recruitment of Postman and Mail Guard got very high scores in Tamil (20 or more out of 25 marks). Tamil Nadu candidates suspected fraud. When one of them called one of the Haryana top scorers, he could not speak Tamil but said in Hindi he knew Tamil. 40 candidates filed a complaint with the district collector. (New Indian Express; March 17, 2017)

There was a major examination scandal in 2016 in Bihar (another northern state) in which unqualified candidates scored high marks. An examination cheating racket was found to be operating in Bihar. Some politicians and education officials were implicated in the scandal. ( Click here for details )

Are those examination frauds entering South Indian states, and hurting the chances of honest local students getting jobs in their own states in Indian government offices?

2017-0317B: Punjabi to be Ousted from Punjab and Sindh Bank Branches

Indian Government issued a circular that all the administrative work at Punjab and Sindh Bank branches should in Hindi instead of Punjabi (Sikh Siyasat News; March 17, 2017)

2017-0331A: Hindi Replaces English in Some National Highways in Tamil Nadu

English was replaced by Hindi in some signs and milestones on some National Highways in Tamil Nadu. Some language activists tarred some milestones. Tamil Nadu political parties DMK, MDMK and PMK threatened to launch agitations. (Hindustan Times; March 31, 2017) DMK - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, MDMK - Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazagam, PMK - Pattali Makkal Katchi)

Following protests English was put back in some milestones (Times of India; April 10, 2917); some milestones still have Hindi, as of the end of April 20917)

National Highways wing of Tamil Nadu State government advised National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to avoid Hindi and revert to English and Tamil in national highways within Tamil Nadu. NHAI said, “In Tamil Nadu, we have been using only the local language and English. Hardly one or two stones in major stretches has milestones in Hindi. Names in three languages are used for large name boards”. (Voice of South India; November 30, 2017)

State government has no authority over NHAI or national highways within the state. That is why Tamil Nadu State government advised NHAI. NHAI has not made any commitment in its statement to remove Hindi signs. So this is not a victory over Hindi imposition or Hindi imperialism.

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