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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Hindi language needs to move back to its Sanskrit roots

Language is not just a medium of expression in Bharat but also one that defines its diversity. It is a well-known fact that Sanskrit has a great influence on Bharat’s languages and no Bharatiya language has been left untouched by it. In a recent debate, BJP leader Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi was seen making a case for Hindi to move back to its Sanskrit roots.

Trivedi highlighted how the Hindi language being used today has lost its Sanskrit touch. He also spoke of the national/official language debate post-independence when leaders belonging to different non-Hindi states supported its choice as the national/official language.

Sanskritising Hindi language

Sanskritising Hindi is essential as it is a modern reformation of Bharat’s ancient language. As highlighted earlier:

Hindi in its own is fully capable of becoming rājbhāshā. It is a consciously structured language with layers of knowledge and conscientiousness of its own. For Hindu traditions to be honoured in righteous forms and Bharatiya culture to be flourished, respected and revered to the fullest, it’s important to have a sanskritised Hindi usage and not the persianised Hindi.

Hindi is the 4th most spoken language of the world with around 322 million native speakers and, as per official estimate, 522.34 million total speakers. Hindi developed out of Apabhramsha about a thousand year ago, and tents scores of dialects such as Braj, Awadhi, Khadi Boli under its umbrella. Hindi is also, under article 343 of Bharatiya constitution, one of the two official languages of our country; English being the other one.

Freedom fighters envisioned Hindi to be the sole working national language of the union, per directives of article 344 (2) and article 351, with each state having its own working language of choice. But opposition from others prevented it. But the biggest setback of Hindi is plethora of Arabo-Persian words gunged in its vernacular and widely used everyday by people across the Hindi belt, predominantly in U.P. and Bihar, and in Telangana. Urdu, being the biggest foreign linguistic influence in Bharat, has grappled a sizeable chunk of vocabulary in, as they call it, Hindustani.

When Hindi became the official language, RV Dhulekar remarked in the Parliament:

Mr. President, Sir, nobody can be more happy than myself that Hindi has become the official language of the country. I may remind the House that on the very first day when I spoke I spoke in Hindi and there was an opposition that I should not speak in the language which I called the National language of the country.

Some say “not yet”, but I say that it is a fact. However much you may try to postpone the day-in your opinion it may be an evil day-in my opinion it is a fortunate day, it has come. However you may oppose it, it is a decision that the country has taken. Some say that it is a concession to Hindi language I say “no”. It is a consummation of a historic process”.

It is the result of an historical process which has been going for a long number of years, nay centuries. I may say that Swami Ramdas wrote in Hindi, Tulsi Das wrote in Hindi, then again the modern Saint, Swami Dayanand wrote in Hindi.

I may submit to those people who are under a misapprehension that it is an imposition-I may say that it is not an imposition. Hindi has become the universal language of this country and has taken the field. there was a tug of war and there was a race among languages and the only language which had the national language characteristics in it, which had the power and the strength became today the national language of this country.

His remarks on Sanskrit are also worth noting:

Some of you want that Sanskrit be the national language-I may say Sanskrit is the international language-it is the language of the world. There are four thousand roots in Sanskrit language. Sanskrit is the root of all roots. Sanskrit is the language of the whole world. And you will see that some day when Hindi becomes the official and national language, Sanskrit will become the language of the world.

The case for Sanskritisation of Hindi stems not just from the point of view of purging the language of Bollywood influence but also because such a step would aid the growth of pure regional dialects of Hindi that are at present suffering a slow death.

(Featured Image Source: TOI)

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