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Who has the spine to eradicate English?

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Dr Veda Pratap Vaidik

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a high-level meeting of the BJP office bearers,  referred to many issues the nation was facing.  During his address the prime minister gave special emphasis to the language issue that had created headlines in the recent past.  Drawing attention of the audience to the commotion created in the South on the suggestion to make Hindi the official language, replacing English Modi rightly emphasized the need to give due respects to all regional languages.  However, he missed to mention if any of  the governments  ruled India  in the past 75 years  bothered to properly respect even one single regional language of the country.

All the Prime Ministers of Independent India, from Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Modi, were subservient to the British language; English has been treated as the queen of all languages.  Irrespective of political affiliation all the governments formed hitherto, whether they belonged to the BJP, the Janata Party, Samajwadi Party, the Communist Party or the parties, all are ardent devotees of the colonial language.

Legislations, whether it for the Parliament or state Assembles, are drafted in English. Laws enacted in the legislatures are presented in English. Verdicts and direction of the decisions of the High Courts and the Supreme Court are always in English. The cabinet decisions are drafted in English. Our top bureaucracy remains enslaved to English. Can anyone in India get to a top position in the government without English?

When my classmates from Moscow, London and New York visit India for the first time, they are astonished to see the signboards of our markets in English and also the number of English newspapers in Delhi. They say that in no free country they have seen such blatant cultural slavery.

 English has also dominated the education and medical sectors in India. When I wanted to write my international political dissertation in Hindi, about 55-56 years ago, the Parliament of India was shocked. Eventually I won. I was the first one to get a Ph.D from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University on  a thesis written in Hindi language.  But I wonder   how many like me dared to present their papers in Hindi and got their doctorate?

Similarly, during my interactions many health ministers promised me that they would  implement hindi medium in medical education , but has it happened  till date?  In India swindling and treachery are rampant in Court related proceedings   advocacy and health sectors.  Maharishi Dayanand, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia  all these great souls of India had  repeatedly stressed on the  damaging effects  of over dependence on  English.

Nationalists like Guru Golwalkar, Deendayal Upadhyay,  Atalji,  Mulayam Singh, Rajnarayan and Madhu Limaye had  led this campaign with fire. But unfortunately present day leaders and political parties have turned power mongers interested in piling up pennies. Their understanding on the linguistic issue is appallingly superficial and beyond their comprehension. I have only one suggestion to them – do not eliminate but remove English. If you can remove that British Language from our system, then our Hindi and all other native languages will naturally flourish and get respect.

*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educationalmissions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.

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