The Pakistanis are a worried lot. This time it’s the infusion by stealth of `our’ shudh Hindi into `their’ paak Urdu. Our Kareena Kapoor is `sundar’ (she isn’t, but go along with me here), while their Veena Malik is `khoobsurat’ (again, she isn’t but...). Check out this clip from a light hearted talk show they have called Hasb-e-Haal, where even the otherwise hilarious Azizi laments this `cultural invasion’. As if to get even, they are now pressing for the airing of Pak channels in India (a long overdue step, to be dealt with in a later post).
I am with the Pakistanis here. In fact, I have for long lamented the infusion of shudh Hindi into saral Hindi. Ask any villager in any part of India why he wishes to educate his kid, and he will tell you “Padh likh ke daaktar ya injiniyar ban jaye”. Apparently, everybody and his aunt know what an injinayar is except the Govt of India, who insists that the correct term for engineer is `abhiyanta’! I once went looking for the office of the Executive Engineer in DESU’s Mayapuri office in Delhi. I passed it three times, till someone pointed out the board - `Adhishasi Abhiyanta’ – this to someone who even the linemen and peons of DESU call `X-EN’ – ok, AXE-EN since it’s Delhi..
Vinod Khanna once remarked that the Hindi News Bulletins over All India Radio were not really `Hindi mein samachar’ but `Samachar mein Hindi’! The one reason why Hindi can never truly become our national language is that it is so far removed from spoken Hindustani as to render it a non starter. If I, as a learned person can’t follow the Hindi being used officially, what of the educationally challenged? If at all Hindi or Hindustani has made any headway south of the Vindhyas, we have only Bollywood to thank, and not any government initiative.
Languages need to be inclusive in case they are to grow and flourish. English liberally opens its doors to words like chai (tea), charpoy, bandobust and so on – why can’t Hindi call an engineer an injiniyar? In the Army, we had a day in the week called the `Hindi Day’ where all official work was to be carried out in Hindi – my Head Clerk was a Keralaite, so you can imagine how THAT went...
With the number of languages and dialects in India in the hundreds, the already acute problem is further exacerbated by idiots making it an emotional issue. If our country can be India in English, Bharat in Hindi and Hindustan in Urdu, why can’t we have Bombay in English, Bambai in Hindi and Mumbai in Marathi??
All regional languages need to be junked as a first step – but that opens up a new line of thought – woh kissa phir kabhi!!