Sunday, February 21, 2016
International Mother Language Day
Heard it was International Mother Language Day today. I am not very fond of this kind of days that are celebrated every second day on calendar. But isn’t it good if that can result in something good?! That way, we shall welcome and celebrate this day. All over the world, most of the countries are language-based. So that makes those languages safe. India is perhaps the only big country, which has so many languages and so plural. I am not sure if we really understand the importance of plurality of a nation for it to remain one nation forever. For some reason, we Indians don’t understand that the right to learn, speak and be able to work in one’s own mother language is one of the top most fundamental rights. Most educated Indians think it’s narrow-mindedness to ask for education and job in mother language. India perhaps is the only nation on this planet that has such a colonial mentality even after so many decades of self-rule. On the other hand, these elitists think that we would become a superpower on the day when everyone in this country speaks, learns and works in English. Which superpower in the world is speaking someone else’s language and calling itself a superpower?! It is only the slaves that have to learn the master’s language and not the other way around ever! It is such an irony that even this basic thing is incomprehensible to our English-educated elite. Is it just colonial hangover? Hangover should subside over time. This is increasing by the day. What is it then? Even the cultural police who talk about ancient India’s heritage and things that have to be revived for India’s resurgence conveniently ignore language from their list for some reason. Something fishy here! Aren't we hypocrites if we just speak about one thing and ignore the other that has more heritage value? Some of those even go to the next level and say “One nation! One language!!” I can’t understand this broad-mindedness with my limited intelligence. Be it English or something else, the moment we lose our fundamental right to speak, learn and do business in our mother language, we qualify to be just slaves. I don’t know when we the citizens of this superpower nation will understand this politics. This doesn’t mean we should become fanatics or think only our language is the best in the world and all other languages are inferior to ours or anything of that sort. Jingoism in any form anywhere will only kill its practitioners. It’s not even love for one’s language that I am talking about. It’s about being aware of one’s own rights and thinking in those lines.
Also, we can never become as strong as English themselves in English. It’s not our language and we can never become themselves. We should understand this first. It may be possible for a portion of the population that has generally been good in learning other languages and mastering them. But for the entire nation, if that’s what we want to suggest, we are destined to fail. The whole nation can never get that broadminded to become American or British or whatever. When that happens that won’t be called broad-mindedness either.