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Protests! Protests! Protests!

compilation from various open sources

The world is seeing what I term it as ‘volcanic release of captive desires post lockdown’. People are on streets all around the world for some or other reasons. Some have local issues, some have national issues, some even holding the flag of international injustice, some are protesting against racism, some against government and so on. Everyone has a reason to step out and breathe open. Why not? The deadly corona virus had held people captive for many months.

Just I was reading in news that ,”Several hundred people turned out to protests in downtown L.A. in response to a Louisville grand jury’s decision not to hold any police officers criminally liable for the killing of Breonna Taylor’’. The other news read as, “Few days back as tens of thousands of people have gathered for a series of pro-democracy protests in Thailand in recent weeks, their ranks have been dominated by an emerging political force: young women. While the demonstrations are aimed at urging Thailand’s old guard to embrace new ideas, they have also addressed concerns that often don’t make it to the national stage. Many of them are specific to women, including abortion, taxes on menstrual products and school rules that force girls to conform to an outdated version of femininity”.

Appears fine but then is it not teasing the omnipresent corona virus? The world is not yet free from the claws of this deadly virus. Every day the death toll is increasing. As of now there are more than 32.6 million cases registered worldwide with around one million deaths! And it is well established fact that this virus spreads due to contacts and nearness. Then what is so hurry in staging the protests for various issues? People are dying anyway?

In India also one news read as, “Hundreds of farmers, labourers and members of Dalit organisations Monday took part in a demonstration at Bengaluru’s Anand Rao Circle against the new farm Bills passed by the Centre and land legislations proposed by the Karnataka government”. Another international news inform that, “Egyptians took to the streets across the country after weekly Friday prayers, demanding the departure of President Adel-Fattah al-Sisi. Several Egyptian social media activists shared footage of demonstrations in Cairo, Al-Jiza and Luxor responding to calls by self-exiled Egyptian businessman Mohamed Ali to protest al-Sisi’s rule’. One bigger news talked about a bigger magnitude stating,‘Tens of thousands attended rallies in Minsk and other cities across Belarus on September 20 as calls for an end to the rule of dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka continued”.

Yes, these are all big issues to be raised but are we ourselves not in the state of panic right now? The grip of corona virus is loosened but not lost. It can anytime swallow thousands of people more without even taking a gasp. The funny part comes in the news where it is told that, “Police have made 32 arrests during a demonstration in central London against corona virus restrictions and mass vaccinations. More than a thousand people are estimated to have joined the rally in Trafalgar Square, among them 5G conspiracy theorists, corona virus sceptics and “anti-vaxxers”’.’Funny! Isn’t it? People want government to let them free doing everything that the virus likes to survive and mutate on.

The environmentalists are not behind. The weather, the environment had a nice recuperating time during the corona restrictions in place. In India people were surprised to see monuments and places far enough through their naked eyes because of the clarity the air that came due to the lockdown. But now news read as, “More than 2,000 people have held a climate demonstration in the Swiss capital Bern, just days after police broke up a climate protest by activists in front the Swiss parliament building”, joined by the news, “Thousands of young student activists from across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Japan, South Korea and India, on Friday held protests to demand action to stop the climate crisis as part of a worldwide Global Action Day”.

Are we so eager to take on to the streets? Were we too much bored amid lockdown protocols? Is there someone behind the scene triggering those panic buttons to agitate peace keeping minds to increase the entropy for corona to survive and spread its wings? Then from where the need for such mass protests arrive? If we feel ourselves as the decision makers for these protests then are we done or there are still issues other than corona virus left in this world to raise and stage protests on?

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In the name of national integration, don’t insult Hindi!

source: open compilation

It would not be inappropriate to say that the September month of the Indian calendar compels the Indian constitution to discharge a stinking smell from its part 17, in general and article 351 in particular. Come, 14 September and that unpleasant fight and the war of words between the central government and the anti-Hindi protesters begin. The reason why I am not quoting article 343 which prescribes the official language of the union as Hindi in Devanagari script is because of the self-satisfying efforts of the local politicians in placing ‘their’ language to the official language bracket thus doing away with the loneliness that the sole language would have faced as the official language of the union. The bone of contention is the article Article 351 of the Indian constitution which states that, “It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so…”. Now, there comes the problem.

We boast of being a country with as many as 780 languages but why has that speciality become an impediment for us? Papua New Guinea, which is one sixth of the size of our country, has 839 languages but they are projected as an asset to the country. Our population is 166 times than this beautiful heterogeneous country and we fight in the name of languages. The lines are all parallel but efforts towards making a line longer appears to be imparting a sense of insecurity among the self proclaimed custodians of other lines.

So, the big question is, “Why should article 351 remain in the Indian constitution when there is so much stink around it?” Why even a non-Hindi person at the centre should be forced to grant his consent for the implementation or promotion of Hindi with adamant self declared non-Hindi people from different states opposing it point blank? This presents a clear case of conflict between personal and official interests that primarily are situation dependent.

Why this should be? The language, in no way so fragile to demand support from the union or the constitution to prosper. Nor are the people feeling any need for any support to communicate or to write in Hindi. Then why is the language abused every time, especially on 14 September? Is the ‘gang-rape’ of this beautiful language on every such occasion, not avoidable? Why should the language bear the brunt of the doings (right or wrong) of the custodians or the architects of the constitution? This is not acceptable. Do away with the articles or the clauses that give an opportunity to the language chauvinists to raise their fingers.

It is pertinent to note that Acharya Vinoba Bhave had said, “I respect all the languages of this world but I cannot tolerate insult of Hindi in my country:. It was our father of the nation, who called for Hindi to be given the status of the country’s national language. He had said that all talks of a ‘swarajya’ would be meaningless unless Hindi was provided national language status while giving adequate importance to regional languages. It was C Rajagopalachari who said that, “I equally strongly recommend the inclusion of it in the school curriculum everywhere”. The architect of our constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar also said that it is the bounden duty of all Indians to own up Hindi as their official language. Subhash Bose and Sardar Patel went up to the extent of demanding that Hindi should be used throughout India without any exceptions and the states should also resort to the use of Hindi language because it would promote integration. It is very disappointing that even the so-called followers of these great personalities differ by large from their viewpoints.

Currently in the name of ‘Hindi Imposition’ it has become a fashion to start the hate trends on social media. It is a different story altogether that those trends in no way help reach the anti-Hindi voices to the concerned but generate a lot of pain in the hearts of Hindi speaking (read as loving) people. Why all this fuss? Scrap the stinking article 351. It will stop the need of ‘Hindi cell’ in the organisations that have officers fighting on daily basis to discharge their duties. The finance also may stop questioning the spending on Hindi citing funds crunch. The need for the fabrication of inflated records of Hindi implementation will not be there. Departments will not struggle to nominated people for training in Hindi. There will not be any fear of inspection by local or the parliamentary committee. The Hindi sign boards may not be blackened. The spending on Hindi Diwas and Fortnight etc. will be reduced.

Life will be easy, transactions shall be smooth. If a Bengali and Tamil speaking person meet in UK, they can speak in English. If they meet in Spain, still they can speak in English, why Hindi? When a Chinese Premier comes to our country, our PM can speak in English or Gujarati. If a person from Orissa visits Kanyakumari, he can speak to the tea vendor in English. If a person from Tamil Nadu goes to Hardwar for visit, he can try communicating to the locals in English. What big deal? Speak or not to speak is an individual’s decision, but please don’t make an official mockery of Hindi language in the name of national integrity.

So next time when one feels the need of those nasty means of insulting Hindi, please put the names of architect of the constitution on them or the names of union government at the centre. Don’t punish Hindi lovers for no fault of theirs!