Posted on 02/12/2022
LICENSE: CC BY 4.0
The Honourable President,
The Republic of India
“I consider all our languages as national languages. They are equally our national heritage. Hindi is one among them which, by virtue of its countrywide usage, has been adopted as the State Language. It will be wrong to describe Hindi alone as the national language and others as provincial languages. That would not be seeing things in the right perspective.”
— M. S. Golwalkar, 1957
Sub: Home Divided: Reconciling the polemic between Hon. Modi and Amit Shah on Akhand Hindu Bharat’s Plurilingualism and Monolingualism
We, the adherents of the Saṅgh Parivār ideology and as the appellants for a Dayabhaga Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), are proud enough to stand for a homogenized, pasteurized, standardized, essentialist and uncontaminated Hindu raṣṭra of Bhāratvarṣa.
As we are perplexed by the different statements made by the revered Hindu personalities on the issue of language in the akhand Hindu Bharat⤡, therefore, we wish to seek a solution from you.
In a nutshell, there are two contradictory groups within the Hindutvavadins on the use of language(s) in India: some Hindu dignitaries (viz., Veer Savarkar, Shri Amit Shah et al) have supported the monolingual Indian nation-state and on the other hand, some Hindu scholars (viz., Guruji Golwalkar, Modiji et al.) have subscribed the maintenance of the plurilingual ethos of akhand Hindu Bharat.
Due to this type of contradictory advice, we are unable to take a decisive position regarding the use of language in the Indian context. Moreover, if the excellent rapport between Modi-Shah duets is interrupted, if the home is divided on the issue of language, the same should be amicably reconciled without any hesitant dilemma or else the whole Hindutva-project will be inevitably jeopardized. It will be like the two Yadavs, viz., late Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav, quarrelling on the imposition of English and Hindi. In the early nineties, at the eve of the introduction of the neoliberal economy, Mulayam Singh Yadav started a movement called “Angrezi Hatao” (Banish English), whilst after a year or so, Lalu Yadav promoted the movement “Angrezi Le Aao” (Introduce English). Lalu Yadav wanted to introduce English since he thought: “Hindi is our mother, but English is a beautiful prostitute.” (Bandyopadhyay, 1998⤡)
Analogically speaking, take the case of ‘Hirdu’ (Term coined by Ashok Kelkar⤡ by enmeshing Hindi and Urdu), the reality of the “HUP” (Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab) Region, where it is very difficult to distinguish between Hindi and Urdu. For some members of the socio-linguistic tribe, Urdu is nothing but a language which is syntactically similar to Hindi but it possesses a different script (script is just like a cloth; one can write Bangla in Greek Alphabet, as S. K. Chatterji did in his diary) and Arabo-Persian vocabulary.
However, the divide and rule policy of the Britishers had tried its best to draw a dividing line in between these two languages with a goal to break the goal of the country’s unity and the syncretic elements shared between the two religious communities, viz., Hindus and Muslims. This path is thoroughly followed by the Hindutvavadins to justifiably consolidate the Hindu rastra with the unifying languages Hindi and Sanskrit.
It is to be noted that Kelkar⤡ (op. cit.) represented the state of affairs not in genealogical fashion, but he followed “Wave Theory of Language Convergence” (ibid., pp. 12-13). According to him, languages in the South-East Asian subcontinent are like waves without distinct genealogical or chronological cause and effect relations. The ripples of languages are inseparably overlapping each other.
The testimonies of the two above-mentioned groups of Hindutvavadins on the language issue are cited below:
A) PROPAGATORS OF MONOLINGUAL AKHAND BHARAT
· Without Sanskrit, India cannot be understood fully: RSS chief VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 20th July, 2019 ©India Today)
· Sanskrit should be made official language: Swamy VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 9th December, 2021 ©The Times of India)
· BJP Hindi Imposition Part RSS Agenda One Nation One Language VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 15th April, 2022 ©NewsClick)
· ‘Hindu Rashtra’ draft proposes Varanasi as capital instead of Delhi VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 13th August, 2022 ©The Hindustan Times)
· Official language Hindi unites nation in thread of unity: Amit Shah VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 14th September, 2022 ©The Times of India)
· VD Savarkar’s language purification project was a precursor to creating a ‘Hindu language’ VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 31st August, 2020 ©Scroll)
· “Hindi Imperialism”: Opposition Slams Amit Shah’s National Language Pitch VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 8th April, 2022 ©NDTV)
· What RSS said about Hindi as a national language 50 years ago VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 29th June, 2020 ©The Hindustan Times)
This type of bulldozing plurilingual nation state and metamorphosing it as a monolingual state is nothing but a derivative as well as mimicry of European imagination of monolingual, monocultural, mono-religious Nation State—according to the opponents of linguistic imperialism (a la Phllipson, 1992⤡). As a purvapaksa (opponents’ views), we must first represent them and then nullify those claims by introducing the concept of monolingual, mono-religious Akhand Bharat with a view to achieve the Hindu Rastra.
B) PROPAGATORS OF PLURILINGUAL INDIAN STATES
· SC rejects plea to declare Sanskrit as national language VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 2nd September, 2022 ©The Times of India)
· Linguistic imperialism: BJP pronouncements on promoting Hindi spark outrage VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 3rd June, 2022 ©The Frontline
· PM: Consider use of local languages in courts, will help access to justice VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 1st May, 2022 ©The Indian Express)
· PM Modi Backs Regional Languages, Discusses Ways To Solve Delay In Justice VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 15th October, 2022 ©NDTV)
In this vexed context, as the Hon. PM and the Hon. HM’s views on language issues are totally different, we are seeking your kind suggestion for maintaining the Hindu community’s linguistic homogeneity.
For doing so, we must represent the purvapaksa arguments. Before going to perform that, we have to share the views of John Abraham Grierson’s dilemma in demarcating the difference between “language” and “dialect”. Following Chomsky (Language and Mind, 1968/72 ⤡ ; Syntactic Structures, 1957⤡), it is to be noted that this difference is merely a socio-political construct and has nothing to do with structural pattern of languages/dialects as all languages are biologically created by the species beings—all homo sapiens sapiens can create and comprehend internalized language per se by their innate algorithm— infinite sets of sentences out of finite sets of words. This biological endowment of species-being entails that the concept of ‘classical’ or regional languages is nothing but social constructs or historical a priori. However, that is another issue to be discussed elsewhere as we are going to concentrate now on the topic of arbitrary varieties of Externalized Languages, which are under the control of socio-political and economic norms. To elaborate this issue, let us cite from Grierson’s magnum opus, The Linguistic Survey of India VIEW HERE ⤡
“…another difficulty was finding of the local name of a dialect. Just as M. Jourdian did not know that he had been speaking prose all his life, so the average Indian villager does not know that he (sic) has been speaking anything with a name attached to it. He (sic) can always put a name to the dialect spoken by somebody fifty miles off, but, as for his (sic) own dialect— ‘O, that has no name. It is simply correct language’, it thus happens that most dialect names are not those given by speakers, but those given by neighbours, and are not always complementary.” (1903:19)
“In the course of survey, it has sometimes been difficult to decide where a given form of speech is to be looked upon as an independent language, or as a dialect of some other definite form of speech. In practice it has been found that it is sometimes impossible to decide the question in a manner which will gain universal acceptance. The two words ‘language’ and ‘dialect’, are in this respect, like ‘mountain’ and ‘hill’.” (1903:22)
The difference that disturbed Grierson, the dichotomy of language-dialect, is nothing but a problem of extra-linguistic politico-administrative categoremes/ order of things/ historical a priori born out of European concept of linguistic nation state in the context of the Guttenberg revolution, the mimicry of which is followed still now by the colonized people, who have Black Skin with White Masks (a la Frantz Fanon, 1952). VIEW HERE ⤡.
Keeping in mind this fuzzy zones of the arbitrary difference between “language” and “dialect” (“defeated peripheral” language, within the prison house of linguistic imperialism⤡, i.e. centre-periphery relationship, the speaker is captivated), let us look into the the inner domain of Indian plurilingualism with a little bit of history of language policies under the Raj. Therefore, we have prepared the following working document for your kind perusal on the Archaeology of Indian plurilingualism.
We sincerely hope that you will dissolve our embarrassing perplexities.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Dr. Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Mrs. Rupa Bandyopadhyay
Mr. Akhar Bandyopadhyay
बहुजनहिताय बहुजनसुखाय च॥
(“For the happiness of the many, for the welfare of the many”)
1. THE HONOURABLE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
2. THE HONOURABLE HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER OF INDIA
3. THE HONOURABLE SARSANGHCHALAK, THE RASHTRIYA SWAYAMSEVAK SANGH (RSS)