Only When We Speak Our Bhasha, Can We Protect it!
Love your Bhasha!
(This piece was first published on 12 August 2017 and is being republished in light of recent calls for ‘One Nation, One Language’.)
My mother tongue is quite sweet and means no harm, but unfortunately going by the perception most people have, it is rude and unapologetic. Oh dear Haryanvi! I’m so sorry...
I recently got married into a Punjabi family and my aunt asked me, before entering my soon-to-be husband's house for a ceremony, “Hindi mein bolu ya Haryanvi mein. Sare bhag ge to?”
And as much as I was amused at her question, I was also quite upset because nobody should be embarrassed or afraid to speak in their mother tongue if that's what they prefer. I told her to speak in whatever language she felt most comfortable with. After all, it was a union of two cultures, two languages.
I strongly believe that maintaining one's mother tongue is critical to one's identity and contributes to an empowering concept of self. It's only in India, when we meet someone, we prefer to speak in any language other than our mother tongue. The simple reason being we are afraid of being judged. Is it fair, for anyone to judge us because of our mother tongue? Isn’t that a form of discrimination?
We take pride in speaking foreign languages but what about our mother tongue? The very root of our existence. And that's embarrassing. Our bhasha, our mother tongue should always be encouraged and given a priority because only when we speak it, can we protect it. And only those who speak it, can protect it !
Love your Bhasha!
(This article was sent to The Quint by Deepshikha Dhankhar for our BOL – Love your Bhasha campaign.
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