On December 11, two brothers of Kashmiri origin were assaulted in Bengaluru because they could not communicate in Kannada. They were pelted with stones and harassed by men in motorbikes when they were returning home.
This shameful and disturbing incident is yet another proof of growing intolerance and hatred developing between different states in India on the grounds of language. Last year similar issues arose between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were people from both the states were involved in spiteful comments on facebook and were subsequently beaten up.
The inimical relationship between different states because of languages has been going on for decades in the country. This has been exploited by many political parties to gain votes and popularity. Classic example would be the anti-Hindi protests in Tamil Nadu which has been happening since the pre-independence years. In 1965, more than 200 Tamils were killed by primarily central forces when they protested forced Hindi imposition. Moreover, this has been helping the political parties to unify a divergent group of people against common grounds. Now, Karnataka is also becoming a battleground such movements. The recent imposition of Hindi by the BJP-led government was also resisted. Why is language creating this big drift among people?
The Indian Union has no national language because it is a union of various linguistic nationalities. The imposition of a language on people tends to threaten their identity. While knowing a language is useful,imposing it on people only creates divide. Places like Bengaluru where people from every corner of the country come to earn their living should be more welcoming of others. While it is absolutely fine to help the outsiders to learn the language, it is not remotely accepted to beat them up for not knowing it.The beauty of India is the coexistence of different cultures and languages. The rest of the world is still trying to understand our cultural diversity. We can start looking at our differences as our strength by embrace them and learning from each other.
From scientific perspective,learning different languages might prevent people from getting Alzheimer’s. So why not grab a learn a language in 30 days tutorial and start the process. There is no harm in knowing a new language but one should understand that it’s always a choice and not a compulsion.