Hindu Vivek Kendra
A RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE PROMOTION OF HINDUTVA
   
 
 
«« Back
 

Narendra Modi’s Hindispeak abroad hits its mark at home

Author: Deeptiman Tiwary, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: September 2, 2014
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Narendra-Modis-Hindispeak-abroad-hits-its-mark-at-home/articleshow/41468974.cms

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday addressed a conference of reporters and businessmen in Japan in Hindi even as he continued his preference for the national language in bilateral talks with Japanese leaders. The last time an Indian leader—Atal Bihari Vajpayee as foreign minister — chose Hindi over English in an international conference in 1970s, it made waves. Modi's speech, say experts, may have more impact though in terms of assertion of Indian identity and promotion of Hindi in his own country.

 Modi had only recently addressed a gathering of Isro scientists in English betraying no problems with the language even if he is seen more comfortable in Hindi. Thus his choice of language in Japan looks more a deliberate attempt tugging at his political constituency at home. It's an effort to break down language-linked walls that has won the hearts of many in an aspirational India.

 Commentator Santosh Desai said, "From an international perspective there is nothing significant about Modi's speech in Hindi. All world leaders speak in their mother tongue in bilaterals or international foras. But at home, he is breaking the presumptive hierarchy that existed earlier. It is indicative of a shift in power equation of people who run governance in India."

When Vajpayee spoke in UN general assembly in Hindi in 1977, it was seen by many as an Indian leader's expression of personal love for Hindi. However, India has changed much since then and is now a force to reckon with in a multipolar world due to its rising economic power. With that background when a PM speaks in Hindi at an international conference, it has more significance, say many.

 Academic Pushpesh Pant, however, says Vajpayee's speech as the first such instance was as significant and historic. "But Modi's speech is significant on two aspects. First it shows that he is free from mental slavery (to the colonial legacy). Two, it has great potential to help Hindi at home. When the youth, in some ways besieged by the importance of learning English, hears its icon speaking in Hindi in a foreign country, it will embrace the language more freely. The humiliation heaped on Hindi by Nehru must change," says Pant.

    
Desai, however, says Modi was not promoting Hindi alone. "Modi does not give any particular currency to Hindi on the world stage. But it sets precedence for the local Indian language. Tomorrow there could be a prime minister from Tamil Nadu and he could speak in Tamil in a foreign country," says Desai.
 
«« Back
 
 
 
  Search Articles
 
  Special Annoucements