Hindi might not be the national language – but it is growing rapidly across India

September 21st, 2020 by Is Hindi being imposed on the states of the Indian Union that don’t speak the language? For the past few weeks, a range of people living in South India have made this claim, arguing angrily that the Union government is forcing the Indo-Aryan language onto Dravidian-speaking states. On Monday, former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy demanded the cancellation of the state celebration of “Hindi Day” calling it an “underhanded method” to impose Hindi. This comes after viral protests by activists – including many celebrities – in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka asserting that they “don’t know Hindi”. It is unclear what is the proximate trigger for the protests. While some activists have claimed that they are responding to the Union Government’s proposed national education policy – which would make Hindi compulsory via what is called the “Three Language Formula” – in reality, the Three Language formula has been in place for more than five decades now and the Modi government has made no change to it. Read more: Scroll.in

Prevented From Intermingling With Hindi By Language Police, Urdu Dies A Slow Death

June 13th, 2017 by In March, the Center told the Supreme Court that it was open to the suggestion of conducting NEET, a single window entrance test for admissions for MBBS and BDS courses, in the Urdu language from the next academic year. This has rekindled the debate on the present state and the future of Urdu language. Every language affords its speakers the opportunity to experience the world through a distinct lens. While Hindi speakers perceive their surroundings through a vocabulary comprising Hindi words, English speakers discern worldly bustle through the English language. Every language, thus, grants a glimpse of a unique reality peculiar to that language. Increasingly, however, the Urdu language is nowhere within the eye’s line, which makes one ask: What happened to the Urdu language and the corresponding reality it afforded? In pre-independence India, Urdu was the language of cosmopolitanism and distinction. Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the most revered leaders of the country, had once said, “Urdu is the language of the towns and Hindi is the language of the villages. Hindi is of course also spoken in towns but Urdu is almost entirely an urban language”. Urdu was, thus, a language of upward mobility in the period preceding independence. Read more: Outlook

Translating an Inuit tale: How many words does Marathi have for ice?

February 17th, 2016 by Kamik was wandering in the middle of a desert of ice and snow when a savage polar bear emerged out of nowhere to kill the dogs that had been pulling the sled of the group of hunters he was travelling with. The hunters decided that the bear must die. So begins Harpoon of the Hunter, the first novel in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit in Canada. Written by an Inuit named Markoosie, the novel was originally published in a journal in 1969. It was a landmark book for many reasons, not least because it was the first time that an Inuit oral narrative in Canada had been formally published on paper. Now imagine reading this rare work in Marathi or Hindi. Read more: Scroll.in‎