Anti Hindi Protest

CAN ‘ONE NATION ONE LANGUAGE’ POLICY UNITE INDIA?

NEW DELHI: Many organisations very often demand that as India is ‘One Nation’, it must have ‘One Law’ and ‘One Language’. Slogans like ‘EK DESH EK QANOON’ , or ‘EK DESH EK BHASHA’ are coined. On the other hand, a counter point is raised, according to which, India is a nation of many diversities. Many thinkers have claimed that unity in diversity is the basis of our national character.

However India has not been able to solve the language problem during the last 70 years of independence. Hindi was selected as the national language of the Nation. Yet there are many states which don’t accept the supremacy of Hindi. Any effort to enforce Hindi results in furious retaliation and opposition, especially from the southern states.

Anti – Hindi movement gathered pace in Bengaluru recently. The usage of Hindi signs at Metro stations sparked protests from pro-Kannada elements. Such anti-Hindi sentiments did surprise some Hindi enthusiasts, as they thought Karnataka to be a comparatively soft state towards Hindi, than Tamil Nadu or Kerala.

Anti-Hindi groups in Karnataka got furious when they noticed Hindi signs prominently used across Metro stations in Bengaluru, the IT capital of India. More surprising was the support, those anti Hindi protesters got from Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah. He announced that Hindi signage of all Metro stations in Karnataka will be dropped. Such is the  level of non-acceptance of the National Language of India in certain states even after 70 years of Independence.

Therefore the question remains there, when it was raised after independence.

Can one language unite India?

The recent Bengaluru anti Hindi movement suggests in negative. Any effort to use Hindi in many states are considered as an attempt to impose Hindi. If the IT capital of India, a literate city like Bengaluru reacts violently against Hindi, this indicates India is not prepared for ‘ONE NATION ONE LANGUAGE’ mode, even today.

So, how can India have one ‘Personal Law’ ? How ‘Common Civil Code’ can be acceptable to this nation of diverse caste, communities, language, traditions, religions?

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