Answer By Raakhee Venugopal:
Thank you for the A2A.
Why don’t South Indians learn Hindi if they can learn English?
We do learn Hindi. At least in Kerala, it is taught in all schools. It is given the respect it demands as a national language. But that’s all there is to it. It is just a subject studied for the sake of information, and not for communication. We learn Hindi just as we would learn French or Spanish. We don’t use it even a quarter as much as we use our mother-tongue or even English. We do know functional Hindi, and I think that would suffice for survival. English is a global language and is the medium of instruction in most schools. I could go on about why it’s more important to be fluent in English than in Hindi, but I’ll not go there as it has nothing to do with the question asked.
The usage of the word ‘can’ was, however, a little too harsh though. All south Indian languages are complex in nature, and that makes learning any language easy for us. I live outside India and when I see the fluency with which fellow Keralites here speak in Arabic, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, and even Tagalog, it amazes me no end. How are they able to it? Necessity. That is the key-word. We learn any language if the need arises…if we need it to earn our daily bread…be it Hindi or Odiya or Bengali or anything. Otherwise, why should we?
Do they really want consider themselves as Indians?
Questioning our patriotism based on our fluency in a language, that isn’t our mother-tongue and not one that we use on a daily basis, is completely unjustifiable.
What about Kashmiri & North-East?
What about them? To me Punjabis, Bengalis, Gujaratis, Kashmiris, Assamese, Odiyas, Tamizh people, Malayalis, Kannadigas, Goans, Marathis, Rajasthanis and every other Indian citizen is one and the same….we are all Indians. That’s all there is to it.