Read it in ET recently as well as many other newspapers about Americans learning Hindi…Majority of the students are now enrolling for Hindi because of different reasons like increasing number of Indian friends and acquaintances, interest in Indian Culture, Bollywood movies, Hindi songs etc…Infact not only Hindi, Americans are showing interest towards other Indian languages too like Bengali, Malayalam etc.
Chalo this is definitely good…now I can see Hindi coming back to India as I am sure that when these Firangis will start speaking Hindi then we the Indians will automatically start considering Hindi to be the “In-thing”. Well, in this era of westernization, one thing which has undergone complete metamorphosis is our language of communication. Rarely one can find today’s Indian literate class communicating in Hindi these days. Forget about communicating on our own, even if people are some where forced to write or speak in Hindi in some forum, they will either very smartly say, “Sorry, I am not very fluent in Hindi” or they will make sure to speak Hindi in such a twisted accent that they can beat even Angrezs in this. And Indian celebrities ka toh kya kehna!!! Most of them can’t speak or atleast try to pose that they can’t speak Hindi at all. Somehow, celebrities esp. from films have got a larger than life kind of effect on most of us and most of us try to do things the way they generally do, so seeing their accent its very much hip these days to either say that “I can’t speak in Hindi” or speak in one of those terribly twisted tongue burr. I happened to see few episodes of this serial known as “Bigg Boss” which is airing on Sony TV these days…I think as per the rule of the game those so called celebrities are supposed to speak in Hindi only and Oh my God, what a drama they do, what an accent!!! Most of them speak Hindi as if they have straightaway landed in that house from America or England. I can understand for people there who are basically from South India and they might not be fluent but what about all others who are either from North or have spent most of their lives in Mumbai??? They speak words with such difficulty & sooo much extra effort!!!
In present age, if you speak in proper Hindi, it’s considered to be so uncool and passé and if you can’t speak proper English in one of those Yankees tones you’re considered to be behenji or bhaiyaji types. Even those who are supposedly speaking in Hindi, for them the new buzzword is Hinglish. I am not saying that speaking in English is wrong. Because of globalization and increasing number of MNCs in India, we definitely need to converse and be fluent in English. Not only our English fluency helps us in professional world rather it helps us a lot on personal front too. Adopting progressive western culture is good, but does this mean that we should be ashamed of our own basic existence and forget our roots completely? Why is it so uncool or archaic to talk in our own language? Infact this situation isn’t true only for Hindi rather its true for most other regional languages too.
But as I told earlier, I think I can see Hindi coming back to us soon…Remember what happened with certain other things for e.g., YOGA. Despite Yoga being of Indian origin and existing in our country for centuries and centuries, we never considered it to be important enough. But suddenly Yoga has become a craze, the hottest lifestyle statement, in vogue kinda thing!!! The highlighted reasons for this fad are many but the most important underlying reason is its sudden acceptance and phenomenal popularity in western countries. When Americans thought its really good, we also thought oh its really good JJJ!!! Who kahte hain na “Ghar Ki Murgi Daal Barabar…”
Let’s hope for some such revolution for our languages too!!!