English still dom­i­nates, says Paswan

Min­is­ter re­calls Ram Manohar Lo­hia’s in­sis­tence on Hindi for the bu­reau­cracy

The Hindu - - NATION - Sob­hana K Nair

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.

Tac­ti­cal al­liances

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

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