Tamil Tribune

A List of Hindi Imposition Activities of the Indian Government in 2016 (Part A: January - March)

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 2016 (ID. 2016-09-01)
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ABBREVIATIONS

ATM - Automatic Teller Machine

FIR - First Information Report

KDRUA - Kanyakumari District Railway Users’ Association

MLA - Member of Legislative Assembly

PMO - Prime Minister's Office (India)

SBI - State Bank of India

UK - United Kingdom


Click here for introductory remarks as to how this list is prepared. Skip it if you had already read that introduction. 15 items in this list.


2016-0000A: Ujjwala What?

Hindi advertisement boards about Indian Government's Ujjwala scheme are placed in Mandya, Karnataka (2016).  Click here to see the advertisement (see Photo H-296) Where is Kannada, the state language of Karnataka? This writer does not know what Ujjwala means but the Indian government is spending 8000 crore Rupees on Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. How do I benefit from it? Is it just for the benefit of those who know Hindi?

2016-0000B: Employment with State Bank of India (SBI)

Examinations for employment with State Bank of India (SBI) in 2016 continue to be in English and Hindi only. This gives an undue advantage to Hindi region students/applicants and yet non-Hindi peoples and politicians are putting up with this discrimination. May be we, the non-Hindi peoples, deserve it.

A byproduct of this language policy is that some of the employees serving at SBI offices in non-Hindi states do not know the state language and bank customers are at a disadvantage unable to communicate with bank officials.

2016-0000C: IDBI Bank Uses Hindi and also Violates the Constitution

IDBI Bank offices in Karnataka added Hindi signs on some boards (there is no state language Kannada added) in 2016. The numerals are not in the international numerals but in devanagiri numeral. This is unconstitutional because constitution was clear that official language is Hindi in Devanagiri script with international numerals. Photo H-310

2016-0000D: Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

Indian Government's Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) has invited applications for the Rashtriya Puraskaara 2016; Applications are in English and Hindi only.

Even Non-Hindi people with disabilities are getting the short end of the stick with Hindi-centric Indian government.

2016-0110A: Funding for Hindi on the Web

Indian Government introduced web tools like audio-typing aid and is working on making available Hindi classic literature digitally (Economic Times; January 10, 2016). We would have no objection if the Hindi states fund such Hindi development projects. But the Indian government is using taxes collected from Hindi and non-Hindi peoples to develop Hindi. How is it different from the former British rulers taking the taxes from its South Asian colonies for the benefit of British people?

2016-0114A: Indian Prime Minister extended Pongal Greetings in English and Tamil

Indian Prime Minister extended Pongal Greetings in English and Tamil on the Internet media service Twitter (Pongal is the harvest festival in Tamil Nadu). (Daily News and Analysis (DNAIndia.com); January 14, 2016). We do appreciate the prime mister issuing Pongal greetings in Tamil but it would be even more helpful if people of Tamil Nadu could go to an Indian Government owned bank or its Life Insurance Corporation offices in Tamil Nadu and fill out forms or use ATM machines in Tamil also. That is a long term unfulfilled request of the Tamil people. Also, while an international website Twitter allows you to communicate in Tamil and many other languages, you can provide feedback or comments at most Indian government websites only in English or Hindi. Don't be fooled by the Prime Minister issuing a twitter comment in Tamil; it is a token gesture that benefits no one. We need use of Tamil in government websites that benefit people.

2016-0118A: Hindi People Should Learn the State Language of their Residence

Prime Minister of United Kingdom (UK) said that migrants coming to the UK on a five-year spousal visa with poor or no English skills will have to take a test after two and a half years to show they are making efforts to improve their English. Those who fail to speak English may be deported from UK. He said that Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities as the heart of the language barrier. He added that “At the moment, someone can move here with very basic English and there’s no requirement to improve it over time. We will change that.” (Indian Express; January 18, 2016)

These spouses (mostly wives) usually do not work outside the home and have little interaction with general public. Yet they are required to learn English or leave UK. This is a good policy so that these spouses are integrated into society. Here in India, Hindi migrants come to non-Hindi states to work and do not learn the state language. They are annoyed or angry if local people do not talk to them in their mother tongue Hindi. This has become especially a problem in major cities like Mumbai (Bombay), Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Chennai (Madras). State governments should pass laws requiring that employment in both government offices and private businesses must have fluency inn the state language and enforce it strictly.

2016-0123A: Hindi in Department of Electronics and Information Technology

Indian government Department of Electronics and Information Technology is preparing a translation tool that will support 5000000 (five lakh) English words and their Hindi translations. (Economic Times; January 23, 2016). How much non-Hindi taxpayers' money is spent on this project? Will the Indian government allocate the same amount of money or proportional to the ratio of each language population for the development of non-Hindi languages?

2016-0123B: Power of the Department of Official Language

Secretary of the Department of Official Language (under the Home Ministry) Girish Shankar directed senior officials, including secretaries in all central ministries (top officer in each ministry), to use simple, spoken Hindi for official correspondence, after a review revealed that most ministries were nowhere close to meeting the target of using the 75% of file notings. Most ministries have shown that 100 per cent of staff can speak and understand Hindi, the use of the language for official correspondence is as low as 12 per cent in some cases. Shankar named some of the ministries where Hindi is not used at least 75% of the communications. He instructed that all central government websites should be in Hindi and English and the default opening of websites should be Hindi. Senior officials of the ministry should communicate in Hindi so that their juniors are also encouraged to do the same; the seniors should not be dependent on those officials who can write in Hindi. Hindi should not remain just a language of translation in government work. Shankar wrote to all ministries, with a copy to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), saying that it is the "constitutional responsibility" of central officials to use Hindi in their daily work. (Economic Times; January 23, 2016)

This action shows the power of Hindi speakers in the Indian government. Note that he not only want letters and memorandums written in Hindi but that notes officers make on margins of reports should be in Hindi. Non-Hindi officers who cannot write in Hindi well write their reports, memorandums, etc., in English and then it is translated to Hindi. It meets the official languages requirement that all central government communications should be in Hindi and English. Yet Mr. Girish Shankar is pressuring officials to write in Hindi and then to translate to English. It goes against the very spirit of two-languages formula (the official policy of the Indian Government). Two-language formula means an official can work in either Hindi or English. His/her writings would be translated to the other language. Shankar is pressuring to write in Hindi. Almost every Prime Minister told that Hindi is not imposed and will not be imposed. Mr. Girish Shankar's actions, in the opinion of this writer, is violatin of the spirit of the two-languages policy and the promises made by prime ministers

2016-0229A: Indian Railways Ministry Insults non-Hindi Peoples (lowest class passengers?)

Karnataka State Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) C.T. Ravi wrote (tweeted) to Indian Railways Minister asking him to print train tickets within Karnataka in the state language Kannada. Train tickets used to be printed in state language and English but in recent years state language is replaced by Hindi. Railways Ministry replied that only tickets of the lowest class of carriage are printed in regional language. Others are in Hindi and English. (CNN News18; February 29, 2016).

Yes, Hindi is the language of the upper class people (the Hindi people or Hindi-knowing people) and the other languages are of the lower class people-the majority non-Hindi people.

2016-0302A: The Mumbai Incidence

Two women residing in Mumbai (Bombay) were upset that the First Information Report (FIR) of their complaint was in Marathi, and not in Hindi or English, and argued with police even after police explained that FIRs should be in state language (Mumbai Express; March 2, 2016).

We support the Maharashtra Police that their reports should be in the state language. It is up to the residents to know the language.

2016-0307A: Disappearing State Languages in Railway Tickets?

Tamil Nadu Kanyakumari District Railway Users’ Association (KDRUA) asked Indian Railways to print details on train tickets in Tamil also; now most tickets are in Hindi and English only. KDRUA said that people who know only Tamil were forced to depend on others to read the details. KDRUA added that those unable to read Hindi or English were often penalized for boarding the wrong trains. (The Hindu; March 7, 2016)

This is an outrage. Hindi speakers come to work in Tamil Nadu from a thousand miles away, do not learn Tamil and still can go to banks, post offices, trains and many other services and do businesses in their mother tongue Hindi but the sons and daughters of the soil have to beg others to tell them what is in the rail tickets they purchased or often penalized for riding wrong trains. By the way, state languages used to be there in rail tickets in the past all the way back under British rule.
Click here to see a rail ticket issued in 1946 under British rule (see Photo H-276)
Click here to see a rail ticket issued in 2012 after "independence" (see Photo 125)
What a sad commentary on the state of affairs.

2016-0323A: Hindi at Passport Offices

Indian Government External Affairs Ministry (Foreign Ministry) asked regional passport offices to use maximum use of Hindi on a daily basis. Regional passport office in Punjab is holding a workshop on Hindi language on March 30, 2016 at which documentaries on the importance of Hindi will be shown and Hindi poetry will be recited. (Hindustan Times; March 23, 2016)

If Indian government offices are there for the benefit of the people, then regional passport offices would be encouraged to use the local language as much as possible and train the employees to communicate with people in the local language. But we live in Hindia (not India). Indian government operates for the benefit of those who know Hindi; non-Hindi people be damned.

 

2016-0323B: Hindi in all Office Files

Indian government asked all its offices to maintain files in both Hindi and English, and said that they should try to give most comments in Hindi. (Hindustan Times; March 23, 2016)

2016-0324A: Hindi-Centric Holiday Schedule of the Indian Government

Like Holi, there are other colour festivals in West Bengal, Assam and Manipur under different names, on different dates (close not the same in some years) and based on different mythological events. For example, the colour festival of Dol Jatra in West Bengal is celebrated on March 23 and Holi on March 24 in 2016. While Holi on March 23 is a compulsory holiday in Indian government, Dol Jatra is only an optional holiday. (Scroll website; March 24, 2016)

Why is Holi that originated in the Hindi-belt region a compulsory holiday all over India (including West Bengal) but Dol Jatra is only a "restricted holiday"? Restricted holiday is an optional holiday that a state government (for example, West Bengal State Government) may choose to declare as holiday in the state but Holi would also be a holiday whether the state government wants it or not). Another example of Hindi imperialism.

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