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Hindi is not the national language of India. It is not a part of the heritage of many Indian states. It is not a compulsion. It is just the language that a Punjabi guy would use to talk to a Marathi guy in Chennai or the language that a Malayali guy will use to talk to a Bengali guy in Shimla. It is the language that signifies the convenience to talk to your own countrymen. It can be used anywhere in India and it is much easier to use compared to English.

Recently, there have been protests towards the use of Hindi signboards at public places and the inclusion of Hindi in the curriculum of schools in some of the Non-Hindi speaking states. In my opinion, calling signboards in the Hindi language as the imposition of Hindi does not make sense, as it is a common language among the majority of Indians. It is not like these signboards are in the place of your state’s native language or English. There is a third signboard, which happens to be in Hindi. People taking the Hindi signboards down is one of the most offensive things I have heard in recent times. The act is actually imposition of your native language on those who do not understand it.

Because of certainly hidden intentions of some corrupt leaders and politicians, Hindi is being used as a tool to divide people and instill a feeling of hatred among people of the same country. All the Indians must remember that all Indian languages are equally great and there is no differentiation among people on the basis of the language that they speak. It is just that there should be a common language, which should be used by all the people, to easily converse with their own countrymen and Hindi has the potential to become that language. English can also become that language but more people know Hindi than English. Most Indians can at least understand Hindi even if they cannot speak or write Hindi. And more people are comfortable speaking Hindi than English. For many Indians, Hindi is the only language that they know.

Being proud of your state, culture and native language is a good thing but I feel every Indian should be proud of being an Indian first rather than being a Marathi, Bengali, Tamilian or Punjabi. I am from Mumbai but my roots are from Rajasthan. But I feel, people from all parts of India have the same right over Mumbai or Rajasthan as I have. Bangalore is as dear to me as it is to a Kannadiga. Himachal Pradesh belongs to a Tamilian as much as it belongs to a guy running a Tea shop in Spiti.

Most of us, including the people part of the ridiculous protests, do love India and feel proud to be Indians. But we often do not extend the feeling to the Indians ‘outside’ our state. Being attached to your culture and language is understandable, but the feeling of alienation to people outside your culture or language is not. Let us come together and bring down these ridiculous walls created by vested interests.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day J

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