- I am sure many would be in the dark about 21st February 2021 being celebrated as International Mother Language Day. It is unclear how many celebrated the day for all its worth. However, one thing is certain in our country as regards languages holding an extremely special place because of the sheer diversity vis-à-vis regions, traditions, cultures, conventions, and most importantly, dialects that keeps changing from one area to another. The beauty lies in the way every region has its language and various dialects are spoken to by the inhabitants. India is a microcosm of such varying degrees of multiplicity that it will leave anybody bemused and befuddled.
- People who have traveled across the length and breadth of the country would unequivocally mention that India as a nation is endowed with many smaller nations within as the vast topographical spread shows. It is also worthwhile to note that people inhabiting one region may not be familiar with their language usage from the other simply because of the versatility of the communication medium available to the citizens. Thus, multilingualism existing in the country is a definite cause for celebration for not only building an inclusive world but also marking the centrality that binds the people from every region with its richness as also ease of adaptability.
- There is no other way available but to make every effort at ensuring diversity thrives without allowing anachronistic orthodoxy to define our existence. Despite the reassuring signs of humanity thriving synchronously in line with the changing times, there are efforts underway by the policymakers to undermine the harmonious forbearance by imposing restrictions that only succeed in foreclosing many available choices. There is this romanticism always identified with the mother language garnering rightful focus from the patrons as well as policymakers. However, when hypocrisy and doublespeak take precedence over practicality, clashes do take place.
- It is quite common to know policymakers donning the role of activists exhibiting a penchant for pushing mother tongue as the medium of educational instructions do not flinch one bit while sending their children to English medium schools. Paradox rules here when you see many couples do not share the same language as also speaking in different dialects. In a vast country like ours where millions of parents are migrants seeking a livelihood in different regions where the mother tongue hardly matters, the only language offering larger acceptance and upward mobility is none other than English.
- As the demographic so emphatically suggests, every single child of the country will emerge as a multilinguist held together by a common language essayed by the ubiquitous English gaining traction all-around. This being the case, with due respect to many mother tongues, the only way to ensure a commonality is reached for the sake of fostering a sense of belonging in the mainstream is to encourage English medium teachings without ever letting go of the opportunity to concurrently embrace our roots. I Hope, the authorities realize in the larger interest of the community.