“Sorry, I Don’t Know Hindi That Much!” – This is what I’ve been hearing very frequently from native Hindi speakers lately. Just imagine a person who was born in North India, uttered his first words like ‘ Ma, Mam-Mam, ta -ta ‘etc in broken Hindi now clarifies that he doesn’t know Hindi much. Well, it startles me and takes anyone aback who respects Hindi.
I wonder could it be really possible for someone to attain that much of dexterity in a second language that he forgets his first language/mother tongue? This is the language which was a part of his childhood, this is the language in which he even now communicates with his parents and grand parents, and this is the same language in which he communicatse with his platonic partners. But then what happens to him when he visits a new place, and starts talking to a new person, coincidently of his own origin?
According to me, It is almost impossible to forget one’s mother tongue!
When a native Hindi speaker says, ‘I don’t know Hindi that much, it is a blatant indignity of Hindi, our mother tongue. This is the same language which we were once proud of, and for which we even were ready to go beyond the extremes to boycott English. But now I think the tables have turned, as some of us don’t give any importance to the language anymore. Just to show our high/elevated standards we’ve started talking in English where it’s not even needed. We have made English as an emblem of elite class.
It’s really ironical that those same people who love to listen to Hindi songs, Hindi raping and gazals, whenever confront a stranger, switch to English and put aside the language they both know more than the language they are conversing.
I can wager, those native Hindi speakers who say ‘ I don’t know Hindi that much ‘ are neither fish nor foul, living in their own delusions of grandeur. Maybe they think they have moved ahead. But I would like to ask them, “Does moving ahead always mean forging or could it also mean we are moving ahead to our own breakdown?“
By: Pahal Manjul
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