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Indian Government Promotes Hindi Around the World

(Hindi as International Language)

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2012 (ID. 2012-08-01)
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OUTLINE

1. Introduction

2. Example Projects

2.1 Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) 
2.2 Vishwa Hindi Divas Celebrations (World Hindi Day)
2.3 World Hindi Secretariat (WHS)
2.4 Central Institute of Hindi (Kendriya Hindi Sansthan)

3. Concluding Remarks

4. Step Motherly Treatment of Tamil

1. Introduction

Do you know that the Indian government is spending large sums of tax monies for promoting Hindi abroad? These tax monies come from both Hindi and non-Hindi taxpayers. Is there a constitutional basis allowing India to spend tax monies to promote Hindi around the world? Did parliament ever vote authorizing monies to spread Hindi around the world? What benefit do non-Hindi taxpayers get out of Indian Government giving Hindi scholarships in Armenia or Bulgaria? What benefit do non-Hindi taxpayers get out of Indian embassies celebrating Hindi days in foreign capitals? What benefit do non-Hindi taxpayers get out of Indian Government paying for Hindi professors in foreign universities? Hindi taxpayers may get some satisfaction of seeing their mother tongue promoted abroad but what benefit do Bengalis or Malayalis or Telugus get out of it? 

We would have no problem if Hindi states create a fund to promote Hindi in foreign countries but we object to the Indian Government spending non-Hindi taxpayers' monies on spreading the mother tongue of one group of citizens.

Instead of spending Indian government funds to promote the language of just one section of the population, use such funds for projects to benefit all sections of the population. Instead of establishing Hindi departments in foreign universities or offering Hindi scholarships to foreign students or holding Hindi competitions in foreign educational institutions or celebrating Hindi day all around the world, give that money to our state governments to improve schools here in our own villages and towns and cities. Even if one additional Rupee is available to improve our schools that is an investment in our future. What benefit does spending non-Hindi tax monies to promote Hindi in foreign countries bring except some satisfaction, excitement and happiness to Hindi people in India? Are Hindi people citizens of a higher grade?

There are rural schools with not even a single computer. Give the states money to provide computers to schools instead of sending money abroad to propagate Hindi internationally. There are schools with no library. If the Indian government has a few million Rupees to spare, instead of giving scholarships to encourage students around the world to learn Hindi, give that money to states to buy books for schools so our children can develop the habit of reading books.

We provide some examples of how our tax money is used to propagate Hindi internationally. This is not a complete list of such projects funded by the Indian government.

2. Example Projects

2.1 Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) 

Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) of the Government of India established a Hindi Chair in 2010 at the Yerevan State Linguistic University (YSLU) in Armenia; that is, ICCR pays the salary of a Hindi professor at this Armenian university. Indian government has provided similar funding for professor positions and scholarships in a number of other foreign universities as well. ICCR should establish such professor positions for all Indian language or for none of the Indian languages. Why should Hindi get such preferential treatment?

2.2 Vishwa Hindi Divas Celebrations (World Hindi Day)

Many Indian embassies around the world celebrate Vishwa Hindi Divas (World Hindi Day) every year starting from 2006. Is glorifying Hindi the duty of Indian embassies? Not only the embassies but also other departments of the Indian government spend their resources on World Hindi Day in foreign countries. For example, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources often join hands with Indian embassies in celebrating World Hindi Day. Ministry of Education and Human Resources' duty is to educate people and develop human resources within India. Why is it spending its resources abroad to glorify Hindi--the language of a certain region populated by about forty percent of the total Indian population? Is there no educational needs within India and is it so flush with unspent monies to go oversees and promote Hindi? Are people of other languages children of lesser languages?

2.3 World Hindi Secretariat (WHS)

Indian Government established the World Hindi Secretariat (WHS) in Mauritius in 1999 (foundation stone for the building paid for by the Indian Government was laid that year). The main objective of the WHS is to promote Hindi as an international language. Secretaries of the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Human Resource Development and Culture are members of the Executive Board of the World Hindi Secretariat. Don't these secretaries (the top civil service officials of these two ministries) have more important matters than to promote Hindi around the world which "benefits" only Hindi people and not the rest of the population? 

2.4 Central Institute of Hindi (Kendriya Hindi Sansthan)

The Central Institute of Hindi (Kendriya Hindi Sansthan) was established in the 1960s as an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Culture. One of its responsibilities is promotion and propagation of Hindi at the international level. Yet another Indian Government organization is inducted into the international glorification of Hindi. Celebrating its golden jubilee in 2011, it boasted, "For over half a century thousands of people from all over the world have been trained in teaching Hindi in their respective countries, from Fiji to China." If only the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Culture take as much enthusiasm in teaching our children in India their mother tongues, English, mathematics, science and computers, India would have much higher standard of living for all the peoples of India. Instead resources are wasted to satisfy Hindi politicians who are rightfully proud of their language. Our gripe is that use your own money to promote Hindi around the world, don't use our non-Hindi Indians' taxes to glorify your language all over the world.

3. Concluding Remarks

My position is that in a multi-lingual country the central government shall not spend money on any language at all. If Indian government has some extra money available earmarked for language development, give the money to states proportional to the total population of the different language speakers and let them decide how best to spend on developing the languages.

4. Step Motherly Treatment of Tamil

The Star Online news site reported in March 2010 that a Tamil Group in Malaysia, Alternative Action Team, asked the Indian government to put Tamil signs at its High Commission office in Malaysia because approximately three-fourth of those visiting the Indian High Commission are Tamils. Indian government did not act on this request as of this writing (more than two years after the request). Signs continue to be in English and Hindi only.

RELATED ARTICLES

Hindi Propagation in Foreign Countries

ARCHIVED ARTICLES
Index to Archived Articles

SUMMARY: Examples of Indian tax monies spent to propagate Hindi abroad (internationally). Why should non-Hindi citizens pay for it?

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FIS120728 - 2012-a1d

Thanjai Nalangkilli

 

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