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Should the Government's New Schemes be named in Hindi Only?

Present government has started a number of new schemes like Beti Bachao Andolan, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and many more, all named in Hindi. This sparked a debate if it is right to name all the government policies in Hindi.

Prima facie this step seems to be logical. Majority of our population is Hindi speaking and a policy named in Hindi will be able to reach to a larger mass. But looking deeper into the whole picture, it becomes quite clear that this step will have far reaching negative consequences. In our country a big chunk of population is illiterate. These people can communicate well only in their regional language.

A Hindi speaking person even if he is illiterate will easily understand the meaning of the policy like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, just by reading name of the policy. But persons speaking language other than Hindi, particularly illiterate ones, for them it will be very difficult to understand the government policies .Also a policy can't be effective and can never be properly implemented if it is not including common people. The very purpose of the policies will get defeated even before serving its purpose.

Policies like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Beti Bachao Andolan can become fruitful only if it is successful in appealing to the inner conscience of the people. How can we expect from the common people to volunteer and actively participate in these policies without understanding the basic meaning and structure of the policy.

Language is also source of pride for the people. India is a very diverse country with a variety of languages spoken in different parts of the country. There are more than 1500 regional languages. It is said that in this country language changes at every 5km. If a particular language is given due importance and made supreme by the government, there will be a widespread situation of chaos.

People speaking languages other than Hindi will feel cheated and discriminated. Such situation will harm the unity and integrity of the country. Inclusion of different languages in the mainstream functioning of the government will help in forging and strengthening unity of the country.

Accommodating and realizing diversity of the country is the only way to maintain peace and harmony in the country.

Historically also, great rulers and religious preachers used regional languages to propagate their ideas. Buddha used to preach his sermons in Prakrit and his successors followed the same. This was one of the reasons why Buddhism was successful in penetrating into the mass and Jainism failed to do the same. The inscriptions of Ashoka can be found in various languages as per the region.

His realization of the diversity of the country can be understood from the fact that he used Kharosthi script in north-west and at the same time used Prakrit and other scripts in other parts of the country.

Regional languages also played a significant role in the freedom struggle. Britishers realized its importance and so passed a series of acts to suppress Vernacular press.

Our Constitution provides provision to adopt any of the 22 languages mentioned in schedule 8 as the official language. The very motive of our great forefathers who made the constitution, behind adopting this provision was to accommodate the diversity of the country. Our country has faced many ups and downs due to issues related to language, but the unity of the country remained intact in all those days. This very provision of the constitution was one of the reasons behind this.

The only way to implement the government policies properly and to make it a success is inclusion of more and more target population in the policy. This is possible only if people are able to understand the meaning of the policies. For this states should be given flexibility to name the policies as per the convenience of the people. Also, this will indulge a feeling of pride and self-respect among the people. At last it is not just only naming of the policies which will help in reaching to the target population. But consistent and honest efforts of government officials, active participation of the civil societies is required. Literate people have to play a major role. Our country can move forward only by upliftment of the backward and illiterate people. Everybody has to play their part. Whatever they can do, they must do.

Suman Kumar

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