National Educational Policy and Hullaballoo around Hindi Imposition
| Nitin Chandra, Film Director, Mumbai - 24 Jun 2019

By Nitin Chandra

The recent debate on National educational policy kicked in a lot of hullaballoo around hindi imposition and 3 language policy. But my article is not debating anyof the NEP policies. Amid all this there is one voice and which everyone agrees with is that Hindi as a link language should get that momentum. Fair enough. But for me the matter of contention is how the link of language broke in general middle class, upper middle class Biharis, especially in the upper caste. If you are from UP or Bihar, you would notice that your grandfather and his father was talking in one of the indigenous languages of Bihar, may be it was bhojpuri, maithili, magahi, angika or Bajjika.

But your father is talking to you in a certain kind of creole like formation of Hindi, sounding very incongruous and incoherent with massive input of your mother tongue with all wrong grammar. That is the kind of Hindi Biharis and UP people have been talking for over a century now. When I say UP, I would request to focus on the Eastern Part, even though the central region which is Awadh/Oudh has also lost all the sheen of the languague in which Ramcharitmanas was written. Especially those who are at the age of 20 to 40 would notice that in their homes, father speak to him or her in a certain kind of hindi and with grandfather in the legitimate mother tongue. So why this happened ? What happened to this linguistic link ? Why no body is talking about this intralink within the family instead we seem to be more moved by inter state link, or inter linguistic link. Now when I was growing, I was also the victim or consumer of similar kind of hindi, which goes like this:

१. नीतीन, बाजारे चल जाओ, जल्दी से दू कीलो पियाज लेले आओ | गेष्ट लोग आने वाला है, मीट बनेगा | 
२. नीतीन, देखो ट्रेनवा आया, आज टुवेल्व डाउन लेट काहे कर दिया है | 
३. ऐ तुम लोग काहे नहीं मैदान में खेलता है, सब सीसा तूड़ दीया है | 
४. रोज रोज बस छूटेगा तो टेम्पू का किराया कौन देगा ?
५. बरसाती बहरे खोलो, पूरा घर कादो कादो कर देगा सब |

While reading this written in Devnagri, this hindi induces laughter. Doesnt it ? I have deduced this, not claiming to be a linguistic expert of any level, but picture this, Now, every language has its own inflection, intonation, accentuations. For.e.g. Bangla speaker speak their language in certain modulation, speech pattern, cadence and same goes with a tamil person or Malyalam speaking or Marathi, Gujrati, Bhojpuri, Maithili person. For that matter french, Italian, Chinese and Japanse too. Now try this, ask a common bengali on the street of Midnapur or Kalighat to talk in Hindi. It will sound incoherent and will suggest certain kind of un relatability for the listener, more often it will cause laughter.

Same goes with a tamilian trying to speak hindi or lets say a common Malyalam from Coachin trying to speak punjabi language. So, same goes with a bhojpuri or a magahi speaking person who tries to speak hindi. With heavy mother tongue intonations, we speak hindi and it will not escape the fact that it will sound funny. But whats the difference between me a bhojpuri speaking person and a tamilian, malayali, marathis, gujratis, Odiyas and other non hindi regions, the difference is we the people of Bihar and UP kept on talking in hindi with intonations of our mother tongue for 100 + years, while leaving the mother tongue in the lurch and create a unique incorrect language for communication. No common bihari can speak one sentence of correct hindi, not even after 146 years when hindi was made the official language of courts in the regions of Bihar while Bihar was still the part of Bengal province.

Now we are floundering between languages and our identity is totally diluted. We come out with this kind of all wrong hindi, devastating our own mother tongue. We go out with this hindi to other part of India and then when the locals listen to us they are not able to relate with our language, because obviously it is incoherent and we become but of all the jokes hence the Bihari stereotype. This stereotype grows to the level where Bollywood mainstream film like PK, choses to give this kind of caricatured hindi to an alien protagonist landing in a Non hindi region of Rajasthan. I have personally seen a very alien like behaviour I was subjected to on many occassion when I was studying in Delhi. So, I can relate why My hindi is a language of an alien, whose purpose was to entertain like a humorist and a jokester.

So now you can imagine and infer that if you are devoid of your mother tongue, the world will become a difficult place to live. A populace whose language is nothing but used by bollywood to create jokes, Hence, a community whose language is nothing but a comic relief for millions, how serious its identity would be taken ?

Nitin Chandra is a National award winning director. He directed the film, Deswa (2011)


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