Devnagari as National Script
   10-Sep-2019
 
 
 

The Hindi-speaking people should accept words of any Indian language as Hindi words as they happily accept English words as their own without much hesitation

 
 

Dr. K.C. Ajayakumar

 
Regarding the use of a common language of India, some questions are to be raised. Whether the like-minded organisations do support the cause of Sanskrit to the extent it requires? Are we using Sanskrit in our activities at least in a nominal way; at least to spread Devnagari as our national script so that proper nouns written in Sanskrit can be read?
 
The Constitution of India says, ‘Hindi in Devnagari script will be our official language and the numerals used will be the international form of Indian Numerals’. As far as the numerals are concerned the Constitution presented it as an international form of Indian Numerals, but they didn’t term Devnagari as international form of Indian scripts. It was not intentionally, but nobody thought of it.
 
This may be a new coinage of terms. Hence, I would like to invite the attention of the readers towards it. All know that Indian languages have a common ‘swar’ and ‘vyanjana’ classification viz A, AA, I, Ii, U, Uu ….. Ka, kha, ga, gha….. If 1,2,3, can be termed as an international form of Indian Numerals, why can’t we term अ, आ, इ, ई... and क, ख, ग, घ... as international form of Indian scripts? Had it been termed like that, in the Constitution itself, the history of languages in India would have got a new turn and proper nouns, at least names of places would have been displayed in Devnagari also without much hesitation. Now if anybody goes to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra or Kerala, it is very difficult to read even the signboards. Now if any instruction goes from the Government, it will be that the boards should be written in Hindi also. Actually, if we write चेन्नै, it is not in Hindi, it is in Devnagari. Hinditwa (हिन्दीत्व ) has been imposed on the Devnagari alphabets also and my experience is that if I try to write भारतीय विचार केन्द्रम् in Kerala, friends take it as Hindi, not as Sanskrit.
 
Now Bharatiya Vichara Kendram has letterhead in English script. The nationalist organisations’ notices regarding any function in which VIP’s or educated people are expected to participate are printed in English, address on envelope of the organiser is printed in English. If the organiser loves Sanskrit, why can’t you print the address on envelope in Sanskrit, i.e. in Devnagari so that at least the script of Sanskrit can be popularised. We will criticise the government for not popularising Sanskrit, especially in Kerala for not appointing teachers, etc. But are we putting any effort to popularise Sanskrit?
 
I know we are still afraid of the criticism of Sanskrit as the language of Brahmins or they called it Varenya Varg, the upper class. But we should be able to educate people that they presented Sanskrit as the language of the upper class only as a tool to suppress the language, actually of all classes. The poet of the great Sanskrit epic of Mahabharata was so-called Sudra (if anybody would like to call like that) since he was the son of a fisherwoman. The poet of Aadi Kavya ‘Ramayana’ Valmiki also was a so-called Sudra (if anybody would like to call like that). If the greatest poets of Sanskrit are ‘Sudras’, then how can anybody call it a language of upper class? It is very much clear that it was propaganda of the traitors only to suppress the great language of India, the language of our great Rishis. When the interested parties started presenting Sanskrit as the language of the upper class, our forefathers failed to present the facts (I am not blaming them.) But at least we should be able to present Sanskrit as the language of all, if not as the language of Vyasa, a Sudra, Valmiki, a Sudra.
 
We are still the slaves of English mentality. We are afraid of putting efforts to popularise Sanskrit. Of course language may not be our priority, but at least the like-minded organisations which have some relation to languages should be cautious. What about states which are ruled by the BJP? Are they putting efforts to popularise Sanskrit? Are they inclined towards English or having love for Sanskrit? Maybe they love Sanskrit just as one new-gen loves his/her Mother. Keeping in the kitchen… they would like to put servant at the reception as they feel the servant is more beautiful than mother.

The problem started when dictionary of Hindi was published. the Constitution says that the spread of Hindi should be done by assimilating terms from Sanskrit and other Indian languages. Then dictionary Hindi should have been brought out by incorporating terms from all Indian languages

I know, Tamil people would like to say or they claim Tamil as the mother of languages. Let it be so. But Sanskrit is at least sister, who deserves preference than a servant. They should accept that writing चेन्नै ` is not in Hindi, it is in Sanskrit. They may be ready to accept it so, for that Hindi speaking people should first accept that it is not written in Hindi, it is in Sanskrit. After all, what is the language of a proper noun? But if I write Kochi in Devnagari as कोच्चि (because in Malayalam ‘i’ is short) don’t ask me to change it into कोच्चि as writing it as कोच्चि is the Hindi style! Hindi-speaking people should understand that there can be an Indian style, or call it Devnagari Style.
 
The problem started when the dictionary of Hindi was published. In the Constitution, it is mentioned that the spread and development of Hindi should be done by assimilating terms primarily from Sanskrit and then from other Indian languages. Then a dictionary of Hindi should have been brought out by incorporating terms from all Indian languages. It will not have 24 times the size of a Hindi dictionary. Maybe, two times maximum (as there are common words in all Indian languages). Of course, in the era of old printing technology, it may have been difficult to compile such a dictionary. But now, in the era of computer, a dictionary by incorporating all the Indian language words, if necessary by marking the name of the source language, is not difficult. The script will be Devnagari. At least such a dictionary–soft copy–should be available in website and the Hindi-speaking people should accept a word of any Indian language as a Hindi word as they happily accept English words as their own without much hesitation. If all the Tamil, Kannada, Telugu terms also find a place in Hindi language then who will be there to oppose Hindi? If necessary after such a dictionary is prepared, call it the dictionary of a new language ‘Bharati’. If Hindi-speaking peple are not ready to accept a Tamil word as word of Bharat, then don’t blame them for not accepting Hindi.