English still dominates, says Paswan
Minister recalls Ram Manohar Lohia’s insistence on Hindi for the bureaucracy
Paying tribute to socialist icon Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, who championed the cause of Hindi, on his 50th death anniversary, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said dominance of English remains intact and the bureaucracy remains essentially anti-Hindi.
Recalling Dr. Lohia’s famous slogan, Raj-paath hai kiske haath? Angrezi aur Oochni Jaat… Angrez yahan se chale gaye, Angrezi ko bhi jaana hai. Angrezi Main Kaam Na Hoga, Phir se Desh Ghulam Na Hoga..” (Who has the reins of administration? The English and the upper caste! The British left the shores, English too has to go. There will be no work in English; the country won’t be subjugated again), Mr. Paswan said his dream remains unfulfilled.
The Minister said there was no let up in English culture in the bureaucracy. “Every year we organise Hindi week and distribute prizes to those who extensively use Hindi in administrative work. Yet we have not been able to buck the trend of English being the key administrative language,” he said.
In the last few years, the number of English-medium schools has only risen, Mr. Paswan said adding, “It is only natural for this, because English has become the language of livelihood.”
“How old is English? It was imposed on us in 1857; within 90 years it took such deep roots that it can’t be uprooted at all,” he added. Hindi continues to be have servile status while English continues to be language of aristocracy.
Talking of Dr. Lohia’s relevance in today’s politics, Mr. Paswan quoted from his book Wheel of History, which explores the details of the power play between the castes. He wrote that power will change hands from upper castes to the more aggressive section of backward classes. He, however, had predicted that if this section of backward classes behaves in a similar manner as their upper caste predecessors, then the Dalit will join hands with the upper castes to throw them off. “This has happened in the recent elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. That’s the relevance of Dr. Lohia,” he said.
Mr. Paswan said Dr. Lohia had been suitably appropriated by all parties. Among the current political lot, the Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Janata Dal (U) of Bihar and the Janata Dal (S) of Karnataka were all spawned from Dr. Lohia’s movement. The BJP has also of late started quoting Dr. Lohia and his OBC politics.
“It is like the elephant and six blind men. Everyone has been selectively using Dr. Lohia to further their political interest,” he said. Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav only talk of Dr. Lohia’s secularism but forget his stand against corruption, he said.
Ram Vilas Paswan