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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!

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The tryst with toys

Photo: personal

My three years old daughter is very fond of colourful building blocks from which she makes beautiful and unpredictable structures. It has a combination of blocks of various sizes and colours. She spends hours to think of possible complicated yet beautiful structures with proper care taken for the symmetry and the stability of the structure. Even the colour combination also appears precisely chosen.

Seeing her grown interest in the activity I decided to get another set for her so that she can make her imagination fly higher. With the fear spread around, first I thought of purchasing online.  I searched on the leading shopping portals and found plenty of such items and then I researched and none of them could meet our requirement.  Our single requirement was that the item should not be ‘Made in China’. Though on many items the origin of country was not visible, the research could reveal that the products were in fact, ‘Made in China’. There were some products for which we had doubts, we ordered one of those, but when the product arrived, it was the same. We returned it back.

It was our personal view and decision that we shall not be using China made products. Not that it had something to do with G2G tension, but primarily because we felt that the carelessness in following the protocols during their research on corona virus had resulted in such an awful situation the world is in today.  Further, Chinese advances in various parts of the world encroaching land and water are malicious and unacceptable.

Fed up with online opacity, I decided to get the item from the store. After all, it was a matter of pride for a contemporary father to gift his daughter something non-electronic. And, my son had the luxury of having such toys and much more when he was in this age. Why should I let my daughter suffer?

I approached a nearby toy store. Raided the items and their packing like a police personnel, but couldn’t find one suiting our requirement. Few items were even tagged as ‘Made in India’ but when opened were the same from inside. I was just wondering, even after seven decades of independence we are not able to make indigenous toys for our kids? And it is not only in our country. When I had purchased few toys for my son during my stay in UK, surprisingly I had found the same label there too. ‘Made in China’ from UK with love? I still have couple of those with me. The reach of ‘Made in China’ products can directly be mapped with the reach of corona virus in the world.

I left the store in frustration. Then I decided to go to a bigger store where the chances of variety and diversity were more. True it was but again looking at the label was annoying. Luckily I found few Indian stuff but the quality of the product was down and the price was up. My ‘parental conscience’ didn’t allow me to adjust with it. Rise in price is OK but I should get at least a similar type and quality product. I did not give up hope and tried at another toy store. The story was no different there.  Now, the irritation levels were so high that I thought of tweeting the state of affairs to who’s and who’s of the country. Is this the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’? What have we done in this many years to ensure that we build everything from a needle to a ship in this country?

I decided to go back and purchase the available item from the shop near to my house that I had explored first.

‘What is my daughter’s fault if there are Chinese toys flooded in the market’? When my son can enjoy the luxury of toys during his childhood why not my daughter? Anyways, theoretically the government stresses too much on the rights of girl child. They have various schemes launched for them. In that pretext at least I am empowered enough to fulfill all the desires of the girl child.

I parked the vehicle near the shop. Suddenly I felt someone pulling my shirt gently from back. I turned and saw a lean girl begging for food.

‘Uncle, please give something. We didn’t had anything from morning’. She pointed towards two kids playing by the side of the road.

I saw that side. Two small kids possibly of the age of my daughter were busy playing with a small pile of stones. They try to put them in various shapes, one over other and were enjoying the outcome of their efforts. They were so happy playing with those ‘indigenous’ stones that the entire toy shop with sophisticated and imported toys looked a junkyard to them. This small event changed my entire outlook.

I came back home and told my daughter that the I have ordered ‘indigenous’ toys for her and it may take some time. Unaware of my state of mind, she remained happy as usual, ‘OK papa’ she said and continued playing with her building blocks. I thought, her childhood may not wait, but I will wait, we will wait!!!

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My international guest

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Graphics: Courtesy WHO
Finally the most overrated international guest reached my neighbour, next door. Wow! It has been a fantastic journey for the guest, originating from Wuhan, China to my country, my state, my city, my area, my lane, my apartment and next door. I am not sure whether to consider myself lucky or otherwise for this unwanted guest who has chosen our site in the whole planet for its recreation?  We have two main gates to enter our apartment area and as a precautionary measure, the security guard used to keep both of them locked? I asked him jokingly, ‘how did the virus enter then?’ The situation is alarming, entire world is bleeding. Corona virus has brought the world to a standstill. Many countries are pretending to move ahead riding on the wheels of economic growth but the price to be paid is quite higher.

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Corona virus damage control

For representation purposes only

The total number of cases of corona virus in the world has crossed seven million and the death more than 0.4 million. Counting corpse in countries continues. Countries like US, Italy, UK, France, Brazil and India etc. are battling hard and the originator is sitting at far bottom in the tally with its own white paper giving a clean chit. What was an internal affair of China few months back has become the national affair of almost all countries in the world. It appears as if China was saying, I have given you the virus, handle with care!
The world would have done it, but the virus is completely out of syllabuses. US president is daring enough to call corona virus as the Chinese virus. And now it appears to be a true and verified fact. A minuscule mistake of China had shaken the entire humankind.
Things cannot stop here just like that. No country has the right to play with the lives of innocent people in this world. Any such damages in this civilised world are not acceptable at all. The European powers have also unleashed criticism at China.
It is interesting to know that Germany’s largest tabloid newspaper, Bild has worked out an itemised invoice for Euro 149 billion (130 billion pounds) under the title, What China owes us. It includes a Euro 27 billion for tourism revenue loss, euro 7.2 billion for film industry, a million euros an hour for German airline loss and euro 50 billion for loss of small businesses. Quite a justified move. The newspapers, channels or other intellectuals in other countries should have also done that. Though the loss of lives cannot be directly converted into the monetary unit, an insight on the economic impact is worth looking for!
On similar line, a newspaper conducted a survey in UK and almost 94% of the readers felt that the Prime Minister should send China bill over the financial impact of the virus on the country.
It is also not wrong if the education minister of Brazil linked the corona virus pandemic to Chinas plan for world domination. The cloth that China is wrapping around itself has millions of holes through which the world had seen the harsh reality, which in no way can grant China the much and ever sought excuse.
If it is a gentlemen game, China should accept its fault and seek pardon form the world, from the people who have lost their loved ones, from the people who have suffered the hardships, from the people who have lived in the state of fear, from the people who suffered physical as well as mental torture. China should issue a paper but a white paper should not do, it has to be a transparent paper. And, as atonement to the sin China has committed, it should:

  • Withdraw all the claims on Chunxiao gas field in East China Sea that has reserves of 364 BCF of natural gas.
  • Relinquish its claim on Socotra Rock on which South Korea has constructed the Ieodo Ocean Research Station.
  • Give up its claim on Senkaku Islands.
  • Surrender its control on Taiwan.
  • Restore the autonomy of Hong Kong.
  • Relinquish its control over the Spratly Islands, the Paracel Islands, the Pratas Islands, the Macclesfield Bank and the Scarborough Shoal in South China Sea.
  • Hand over the control of Chinese occupied Kashmir or the Aksai Chin to India.
  • Granted freedom to Tibet.
  • Exit the permanent member seat of the UN Security Council support India and Japan for the same.
  • Fund the WHO completely for a year.
  • Publish in open domain the research being carried out currently in biological and nuclear fields.

The list is not complete but the pointers are set right. These socio-politico-economical steps shall at least ensure prosperity of its own kind which if accepted shall be Chinese biggest gift to the humankind! And the world possibly will forgive China for its biggest global gaffe.

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The social sin

Currently the world is passing through a very tragic situation. The only news in the world today is the number of deaths by corona virus. Every day it is a new figure and we keep consoling ourselves with the hope that tomorrow it may reduce. Death of fifty or hundred people daily appears to be normal news for us. Ten people ran over by a train or five people killed in an accident don’t seem to make much impact on us. Have we become so insensitive to the deaths of human beings? Has the life become so cheap? It is not so, else the death of a US national in police custody would not have caused that uproar. That means, it looks like we surrendered to corona virus. Continue reading

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The Mask revolution

mask_t

The world is fighting against the corona virus and it is no less than a medical emergency worldwide. Our social habits are changing, our life style is changing. All the otherwise officially busy people have been spending their precious time doing nothing during the lockdown. Many came to know how many shelves are there in the kitchen, many have learned how to hold the broomstick or the mop. Many could realize why their maid servant couldn’t get rid of those stubborn stains on the floor The only purpose remained in life is: survival.

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The lifeless life

I often wonder why the entire humankind is running behind the money, power, achievements and all stuff which is not going to stay with them.

Most of the people run behind money like mad, not because they don’t have it but for the silly reason that they want more and more and more. Knowing the very fact that, this extra accumulation of wealth is neither going to increase their appetite nor their life span. Continue reading

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These amazing kids!

r_cub

Kids today are quite difficult to handle as compared to the kids of earlier days. Probably, due to the fact that they are exposed to the gadgets at an early stage. No wonder kids start watching TV or videos in smart phones right from their first birthday. These kids can embarrass the elders the way they operate the mobile phones and explore the features. Parents also conveniently leave their kids with the smart phones so that they do not disturb them. Incidentally we can see every member of the family busy with their mobile phones. Continue reading

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Honky Donkey!!!

hnk

I have my office in close proximity to my home as I am residing in the company’s township. I can really feel the joy of it. Not that my house is big enough or furnished to the level of star hotels but for the very reason that it is just near to my office. I have seen people struggling to reach the office. It is not the time that is important to them but the safety. Some drive for hours, some take a cab, and some use public transport but the threat on the road remains. Continue reading

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International Women’s Day

iwd

They say it is International women’s day (IWD) today, on March 8. One need not wonder what about the other days? Men should also not feel insecure about knowing or celebrating the IWD or breaking their head in finding the International men day. All days are for all the creatures in this planet which rotates on its axis that causes day and night which we count for 24 hours.

Yes, this is a special day for women (and men) as it is to celebrate the success of women in their respective fields and also to applaud the new areas the women are exploring and conquering. There is effectively nothing left in this world that can be termed as ‘man only’ domain which nature has not restricted. And that brings the needle of the gender balance to the middle.

However there is another aspect of such celebrations. What is the relevance and applicability of the seminars, conferences etc. organized on this day? Who benefits? Are the people attending them are unaware of those points highlighted in the talks? There need to be much more ground celebrations on this day. Especially among the poor, the tribal and the orthodox part of the world where the women are still struggling to get their due share of respect and equality.

On this day, let each one of us carry out an introspection on this day as to how much we have contributed towards the equality of women? At least to the women whom we are living with, to our sisters, our daughters and above all, the better half? As men we may not have much say on what goes through our mother or the sister but definitely, we are responsible to what kind of treatment we give to our daughters and wife. If we correct ourselves at personal level there, things will be definitely under balance.

 As far as the official scenario is concerned, there is a lot improvement required. But if we understand our responsibility and remain true to ourselves, there will be drastic improvement. Can we imagine a scenario where:

In office as the boss, we ensure that the women subordinates are treated equally without any prejudice.

  • In public places we keep our eye focus on the women same way as we do it for men.
  • In isolated areas we do not get the adrenaline rush pumping out seeing a lonely woman.
  • We treat our daughter –in-law equal (if not better) to our daughters
  • The police personnel nail the ‘crime against women’ culprits on war footing
  • A pregnant woman is treated as Goddess.
  • The worker class women are treated with respect and pride and not someone who can be taken for a ride, literally.
  • The cases in the court bear priority tag with lawyers pushing for speedy justice.
  • The mercy petitions for ‘crime against women’ are out rightly rejected.
  • The administrators at local and district level see that the women applicants are given their due.
  • The husbands share the household tasks equally especially the kitchen.
  • The diapers of the kids are equally changed by the fathers.
  • The fathers take care of the kids for a considerable amount of time.

This is definitely not a comprehensive list which takes care of the inherent inequality that is embedded in the system nor is the commandments for a balanced society. If anywhere we feel we fit in, let’s improve upon that area with the efforts that come directly from the bottom of the heart. That certainly will be a great tribute to the society (not women) on this IWD.

Image courtesy: Google