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Monday, August 4, 2014

The UPSC row - the conflict of conscience!

The on-going tussle over the CSAT issue seems to be assuming epic proportions. While on the one hand we have a large band of students who are against taking the basic test of English skills, on the other hand we have almost everyone else venting their anger against this band on the premise that a civil servant cannot manage everywhere unless he knows English. Both parties believe their stand to be justified and right and therefore the standoff.

It is a fact that English has emerged as the functional language of this country. The reasons for the same can be many – the effect of the british raj, the diversity of languages necessitating an impartial link language or just the national fad for anything from beyond the shores. 

Yes it is indeed a sad reality that confining oneself to hindi alone can be catastrophic in a nation that was once known as Hindustan! With almost the entire official work being carried out in English language any bureaucrat or a technocrat would find it almost impossible to survive without a bare functional knowledge of the same and that is what the CSAT paper strives to achieve. To that extent the paper is fully justified.

And we have hindi implementation or rajbhasha departments in government machineries. Hindi implementation is only possible in a non-hindi environment that existing government machineries have become. In this scenario, it has to be mandatory for all those who aspire to join central services to possess functional knowledge of English. 

Yet it rankles. Why should the link language be anything other than one of the major languages spoken in this nation and hindi being the most popular obviously has the biggest right. Why should a foreign language be the language of the nation is a thought that hurts deep down in the psyche of every idealist? Perhaps the idea behind the hindi departments was to make hindi emerge as the link language in the governmental system, frankly one is unable to think of any other idea that could have formed the basis for the same.

The love for their own language amongst the many countries whose mother tongue is not English is indeed amazing. Why are we different? Is our national penchant for the English language right? Why should people who converse in English be generally regarded as many shades above those who do not? Why should students studying in hindi medium schools feel shy in front of those who study in English medium? Why fluency in hindi cannot take one as far in life in this country as fluency in English can? These are thoughts that disturb all those who are really in love with the nation, for whom the nation should rise based on its ancient wisdom and thought and not language and practices imported from beyond the shores.

Yet we have come too far and English is there to stay. Perhaps the ideal scenario may remain a utopian dream for all times to come. It is indeed a conflict of conscience. The nation has miles to go and mere language can never dictate progress and growth. 

1 comment:

  1. Why English cannot be taught to Public servants (after they join civil services) ?