“India mein Hindi Bhasha nahi, class hai class..”
This dialogue from the movie Hindi Medium, echoed my mind when a branding expert asked me to write a punch line and a caption for a social media post. But it was a different kind of asking.
Every branding expert usually gives specifications. But this person wanted me to use so much English, that I felt stirred up. He wanted me to write for a footwear advertisement like it was a chocolate advertisement.
When I was unable to digest it, I politely told him, “Sir, your target audience doesn’t speak English. Then why are you running after English? You have 5 lakh likes on your Facebook page but you hardly get a conversation of 10k likes. Have you ever thought why? You know the language of the market, but you don’t know the customer relationship language. You don’t know the language that will help you reach the hearts of your target audience.”
I took a pause and he found an opportunity to speak. As soon as he tried to give a reply I started,” Sir, English is the language of market and offices. Hindi is the heartbeat of Indians. Majority of Indians speak and connect with Hindi only. Even Google, Facebook, and Amazon have understood this. So, you must.”
Again there was an undue pause. He was perplexed with my unexpected behavior. But I had a point. Hindi is not threatened by English. Both languages are good in our respective circles. The thinking, which compares the two languages and portrays English as a superior language in Hindi, is the actual threat.
Hindi is as good a language as English. However, in India, the English mindset of people is killing Hindi. Hindi is not treated as a language in India but as a class.
The thinking which has made English the first criteria of high society or rich status is killing Hindi. The day we start avoiding, ‘Hey bro whatsup’ as a status symbol, Hindi will be respected in a true manner.
Every year when Hindi Diwas arrives on 14th September, instead of highlighting the history of Hindi and wonderful writers of this language, just take a chance to express yourself in Hindi. It connects with everyone.
We can talk in Hindi, we can walk in Hindi, and we feel proud of writing about Hindi in English.