Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Am reading a Hindi novel these days: Munshi Premchand's Godan. The novel presents a heart rending picture of a peasant called Hori and his struggle with the society, life. How he is exploited by the rich and his struggle to survive. It is one his highly acclaimed novel.

As usual, a colleague of mine asked what I am reading these days. The mere mention of Hindi novel raised her eyebrows. It was hard for her to digest that someone can read 'HINDI' novel. My reaction was even more of astonishment. Why not!! Whats wrong in reading a 'HINDI' novel. My mother tongue is Hindi and if there is something good available to read in it, then why not read it.

I generally find this behavior in today's society. Its considered below standard to speak or read anything in Hindi. They will know all about Sidney Sheldon or Khaled Hosseini or Paulo Coelho, but they would not know about Premchand, Mahadevi Verma or Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'. Am quite sure, not many people remember about them, even though they did read their literature in either school or college.

Why do people find it so derogatory to read Hindi? I still remember a friend of mine who passed a remark, while we were in school about the Hindi period: 'O God! What a pain to study Hindi after studying such an enriching language like English.' Our Hindi syllabus offered a wide variety of poems, short stories, comprehensions and novels. There were students who failed to pass the Hindi exam or they copied notes from others, including mine to score marks. Still they passed such remarks about the subject.

I sometimes wonder, why dont we take Hindi in such a good stride as English. Agreed that English may be a universally accepted language. But does that mean that we forego or forget about our own Mother tongue. Living in India, still we feel that its below standard to read Hindi. Why? Why cant Hindi language be given the same importance like any other language? Is it so difficult!

1 comment:

pilot-pooja said...

Agreed, guess bcz of so many cultural diversities in every 50-100 km, Hindi has not yet got the otherwise much deserved respect for being the national language..!