It's Hindi Diwas today, which is meant to celebrate the history and the significance of Hindi as a language. However, off late, the language has become a symbol of imposition and control. The backlash towards Hindi as a symbol of patriotism and nationalism has bothered Non-Hindi speakers.
In this age-old debate since India's inception, many have now called September 14th a 'Black Day' due to the push to herald Hindi as a mightier language than the rest.
Celebration or imposition
Hindi Diwas is often treated as a nation-wide celebration of the language, as an 'Indian' celebration and this has come to bother many. The idea that Hindi implies Indian has been rejected and debated many times over in Non-Hindi speaking states. This debate isn't new, but is certainly a recurring one.
Many netizens came forward on Hindi Diwas to demand that 'imposition' of Hindi stop. The debate around Hindi imposition has received much traction since the passing of the NEP which rests on the 3-language formula that Tamil Nadu has been rejecting vehemently.
The struggle between the other languages and the common push to say that Hindi is the majoritarian language, as well as the 'national' language, irks non-Hindi speakers. This is because Hindi is still only an official language. The question, is Hindi really being imposed on us? From schools to the workplace as well as travel. Non-Hindi speakers are wondering why they need to learn a language that doesn't speak to their identity in states that don't comprehend or adopt it widely.
Those speaking up against Hindi imposition are not alone, JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy took to Twitter to say, "Hindi is not the national language. The idea of the national language is not in the constitution. However, there have been attempts to politicize Hindi as a national language and politicize it. It has now gone to extremes. The rest of the country's speakers have to stand up to Hindi before they rebel against such efforts."
Many netizens reminded the world that India doesn't celebrate other languages with a Diwas like it does for Hindi and that's part of the problem.
The question isn't simply about Hindi itself and its celebration. It might be about what other languages don't get in terms of status and importance, or that they are slowly being sidelined struggling to maintain India's diversity of which it so prides itself.