Hindi Cartoons, Television, Bangladesh and India

K. Roy

TAMIL TRIBUNE, July 2013 (ID. 2013-07-01)
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Politicians in Bangladesh complained that television broadcast of a Japanese cartoon program "Doraemon" dubbed into Hindi was adversely affecting children learning their mother tongue Bengali; they advocated that foreign cartoons should be translated into Bengali. Bangladesh government banned the Hindi-dubbed cartoon in February 2013.

I am from the State of West Bengal in India. I very well understand and empathize with the situation. Children, in their early years, should be exposed to television programs in their mother tongue. Once children have achieved sufficient competency in their mother tongue, they may be introduced to foreign language programmes. Even then there should be Bengali programmes available to that age group of children to tone their mother-language skills.

Private television broadcasters in Bangladesh find it cheaper to just broadcast Hindi-dubbed cartoons than have them dubbed into Bengali. They only care about making money and do not care about the impact on Bengali children and the future of their mother tongue. That is why Bangladesh government stepped in and banned the Hindi-dubbed cartoon.

In the Indian State of West Bengal, where I live, the situation is different but the onslaught of Hindi programmes prevails. Here the dynamics is different. The free Indian broadcast television (TV) is in the hands of Indian government  that is dominated by Hindi politicians. Although India is rich with so many wonderful languages, the Hindi politicians who dominate Indian government policy-making push aside other Indian languages and propagate Hindi through television. A former Indian government Minister of Communications and Broadcasting, I. K. Gujral, openly stated, "television will be used to spread Hindi".

Hindi onslaught into Bangladesh television was checkmated by the Bangladesh government. Unfortunately the state governments in India have no say on the Indian broadcast television (Doordarshan); it is totally under the purview of the Indian government. Fortunately my mother tongue Bengali will be protected on television and other social-business-government affairs by the sovereign government of Bangladesh. There are no sovereign governments to protect the Indian languages, except for Hindi that has protection and nourishment from the Indian government. So many great Indian languages like Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, etc. would, in the long run, become secondary, useless languages cast out from business and government affairs. Indian government is actively trying to make them useless secondary languages.

Indian Government's goal in making non-Hindi Indian languages as useless secondary languages is clear from this incidence. A Parliamentary Sub-Committee Meeting was held in Mysore (Karnataka State) on July 5, 2008 to review the “implementation” of Hindi as per the official language policy. There was a large board written in Kannada. It says, "Maneya Vyavahara Kannadadalli, Karyalayada Vyavahara Raajabhasheyalli". It means, "Use Kannada at home, use Rajabhasha in office". They are referring to Hindi as the Rajabhasha of India. 

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Indian broadcast television (Doordarshan) is free while cable-cast and satellite-cast television are available for a fee only. While Hindi dominates the free Doordharshan, privately operated cable and satellite-cast television channels do show large numbers of non-Hindi programs, but for a fee.)


1. Hindi on Chennai Television (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, November 2004 (13 KB) (h)

2. India, Tamil Nadu and Hindi Imposition (Links to a collection of articles)

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