The Divided States Of India Skip to main content

The Divided States Of India


As I landed in the city of Bangalore, a man is shouting just outside the airport. He is shouting something that I do not understand. Fortunately, he has learned 4 5 English words. After all, he is standing outside the airport. “Where,” he asks. “Marathahalli” I spoke. “Bus 8”. He says one word and starts shouting again. He was a bus driver. But most importantly, a resident of Karnataka state in India. Yes, this place is in my country and we both cannot communicate.





Many years back when I was in the eighth standard, my textbooks proudly and boldly highlighted the words, “India is a diverse country”. They would show the culture and folk dances of each state. Unique on its own. A moment to feel proud. You can never find a country as diverse as India, as culturally rich as India. That was just the textbook. My practical started almost 2 months ago.

Soon when I reached my hotel I realized nobody in the hotel knows Hindi. Yes, Hindi. A language spoken in India. A language which is not only spoken in India but covers the majority of India. My mother tongue is Hindi. A language spoken by 42% of Indians. You know how much that is? Might cover the majority of the existing countries. Even though I speak a language that is spoken by the majority of my country, I feel helpless here communicating with my fellow Indians. I realize India is so diverse that its diversity has made me an unknown stranger at an unknown and strange place. I see this as a place where just my driving licence and voter id is valid. Nothing more.



A few years back, I visited the Garhwal region which I mentioned in Future of My Language. A place where Garhwali Is spoken. Another Indian language. For not even a single second I felt to be at an unknown place. They respected that Garhwali is not something everyone knows. They knew fluent Hindi. They always spoke Hindi if you are not from their native place. I do not remember a time when I felt the need to learn the language. I visited the remotest places in that region. Places where the road is not built. Places where homes are still of mud. Places where you wake up and see peacock dancing and children going to the school. Places where you have to make a list of the things that you need so that one person can go on Sundays and buy these things. They live remotely. Those were the people that did not know Hindi. I can understand that. There were females who have never been outside the parameters of their town for their life. They actually never got a chance to learn Hindi. But, students were learning Hindi there. They knew the art of preserving their own culture and participating in others. Things are just opposite here.




It does not matter how much-educated person you talk to. If he is from this state, 80% of the time he does not know Hindi. I find this strange. I find this questionable. A question on my country. Is India really diverse? Or is it a fancy word to say divided? A friend of mine told me that they do not want to write the billboards or road directions in Hindi because they say we don’t write our directions in Kannada in Delhi or other parts of northern India. Oh! Did I tell you Kannada is spoken here? A language spoken by 3 crore people is challenged to a language spoken by 43 crore people. It must have made sense to them. It does not make to me. Does it make to you? Well, it will if you are born here.


Maybe I am not interested in these situations. But these situations affect me every day. Uber driver does not speak Hindi. A shopkeeper does not. Even the Zomato delivery guy sometimes does not. But, the challenge is not this. I cannot challenge this with my million fellow Hindi speakers on the grounds that I cannot communicate. They have a beautiful response for this that fills my heart with an emotion I would rather not express. “Hindi?” I speak every time before communicating with anyone. “No, Kannada”. “Do you know English?” “Yes” I say. And so I communicate. From an auto-rickshaw driver to anyone you see. Knows English. A language that is not my own. A language that will never make me proud to speak with my fellow Indians. I am standing in my country and still, I am speaking a foreign language. For the reasons, I do not understand.



This drives me back to think about the country I live in. I am confused. Is it a good thing that I feel like a stranger in the boundaries of my country? “A south Indian always favours a south Indian” I heard. Why is that? Aren’t we all Indians? Am I north Indian because I live in the north? Or just because my mother tongue differs from you? I walk on the streets and overhear people discussing. I overhear people talking. Something I do not understand. Maybe one day I will visit China or Spain. I will walk on the streets and overhear people. I won’t understand. What is the difference? An American is walking these streets and does not understand what they say and what is written. I walk and do not understand what they say and what is written. What's the difference? “South Indian cinema is the best cinema”. “You north Indians copy from us.” Isn’t your movie and our movie both Indian movies? “Diwali will not be a holiday, it is north India’s festival”. Isn’t it India’s festival? “Make our language one of the official languages of India” The reason is unknown. “Hindi cannot be the national language of India” because a language worth 3 crores is more important than 43 crores. Shouldn’t we understand and try to unite India? I feel awkward and strange. A feeling I cannot describe. I feel like an outsider. Maybe you are proud of such a country. I am not. I will never be. A country which is divided inside. We have already felt the pain of the division long ago. This is a small process, minuscule on that scale. But still, it affects. Are you proud of not being able to understand what I say? Do you really think India is diverse? Do you really believe India is united? Think again. 



Comments

  1. Common thing which you have put it up in an amazing way. Every south indian must read it. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. People in Karnataka are very possessive about there language as compared to any other state and that's okay untill they wont inflict there language on you South Indian doesn't know Hindi but they know English thanks to crown. This make independent India better than the British flag it gives freedom to choose your language by not forcing a language spoken by majority of people becoz democracy take cares of majority as well. We ourselves don't care about hindi.Even in school we got penalise for speaking in Hindi and to survive we need to learn english

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautifully written, really language is the first thing which unite people. Giving respect and protect beauty is good but not good if we ignore Hindi language which clicked first to other countries. It is very painful that we only relocate one state to another and the language become barrier. It is not only about south region it is also who think Hindi is just as common language.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You mentioned, “A south Indian always favours a south Indian” I heard. Why is that? "
    In fact i heard "A North Indian always favours a North Indian". In fact in my personal experience it holds true in my life. Please note i am not Kannadiga nor i can speak kannada. Though i speak hindi my north indian work collegues do not mingle well with me as they do with their own so called north indian friends". Its common. So do not blame people of not speaking the language you know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, my post is not against people living in any part of India. I dont understand why south indians are reacting like a child. Second of all, I wrote it because of the same thing you saw in your office. Your north indian friend mingles well. You would do the same if you come to work in North India and find someone of your region. This is what I dont want. If everybody would have spoken the same language, you would be mingling with him like best of friends. This is how it should be. We speak south india north india east india whatever because we dont interact on a common platform. If we could, we would just be Indians. We interact on English on which we all should be ashamed of doing so.

      Delete
  5. What you have written is totally factual ..but this division is contemporary in all other countries..even in developed countries people will be more attached and will have soft corner for their natives...
    Division actually present at all levels…for e.g.  our planet Earth than my country, than my state, than my zone in state, than my block in a zone, than neighbors and finally people are divided in their homes..brother is fighting wit brother…at all levels people are fighting each other or supporting each other…
    I don’t thinks if there is any solution for this problem??

    ReplyDelete
  6. The solution is making study of hindi compulsary & making it one common language (instead of English that is used just to show pride or international culture) that breaks the barriers that arise from one state culture to another. Also, there should atleast one native language that should be chosen by the individual i order to preserve his culture & uniqueness.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I totally agree on the most basic labels. In companies, we can try English, but not at least where we are informal to others. In those situations, being local and using a common, most known/used language would help relax a lot. But Nope. English is what dominates in these areas, than 1 of our own language, which could have united us more like a family rather than a company/ colleague (official) environment.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

2020 - A New Beginning

I am listening to a song. A very old song indeed. I don't know how but I got an urge to listen to it. A playlist instead. But, another voice is dominating this over my song. The voice of firecrackers. Oh! the new year has arrived and so has the wishes of so many people. So many people have forwarded there wishes to all their contacts which included me. But, I have not responded to most of them.



What kind of new year are we celebrating? It's like celebrating independence on the cost of millions of lives and broken homes. I read the newspaper today and the first page is showing the same news as it has been for the past days. CAB protests at Lal Quila. CAA protests at Jama Masjid and many more protests at various other places. A new year but no new news. It is not a new knowledge that this country has been divided at the smallest levels till the top-most and the categories are so many. I am from a different cast of a different religion of a different state of a different gender.…

Signs We Ignored - Part 2

In the midst of heavy rain, we decided to go ahead with the plan. I took my phone and the power bank with me. Raman took his phone. As we stormed down from the stairs, the rain started getting worse. "Are you sure it's a good idea?", I asked him with rain dominating over my voice. "Just a matter of minutes and we will be inside the car", a confident Raman said. "Alright then, let's go ahead with the plan".

READ SIGNS WE IGNORED PART 1

I sat in the back and Raman drove the scooty. There was water everywhere. I was soaked in water in just a few minutes. I tried to hide behind Raman as much as I could, but the weather was so damn bad, I could not escape. I was wondering how my friend was fighting with those thorny little drops. It was around 1.6 km in distance including all the U-Turns and service lane cuts. Finally, we reached our destination.




"We have a booking for Tata Bolt," I said in a slightly louder tone to the Drivezy agent. "

Signs We Ignored - Part 1

It was another weekend in Bangalore. Just like any other. I called my friend Raman. "What's the plan?" "Just came from office, have a lot of pressure these days." He sounded really tiring. But, it was a boring day for me. It was around 8 pm and I was really looking forward to a little adventure. I called him to my flat and told him that we will hang out for a while and then we'll sleep.

He agreed and came to my flat. He was very hungry. As always. I was not surprised to hear, "Let's eat something." We have been going to the street vendors and restaurants every weekend now. "Where should we go today?" I knew he would have something in mind as he has been in Bangalore for a while now. "Street food?" he asked with an expectation of a negative response from me. "Ummm! No! I am hungry too and I don't think that would be sufficient." He thought for a while. With hunger continuously obstructing his thoughts, he fina…

A Day Before Long Nights - The Start || Part 1

I took my empty bag, I took my jacket, dressed in college uniform I started my ride. I was going to my college to give my final semester presentation for the project I had done in LTI, Mumbai. I was happy about the fact that after today, there will be no exams, no attendance and my college life would be over. I had my days planned. Since I had been on the flight from Mumbai to Delhi to come home, I had planned all my days. I wanted to learn driving at a driving school. I wanted to learn swimming. I wanted to go to the gym. I wanted to go on at least three trips in one month. I had all planned but I guess life had other plans for me.


      I gave my presentation to a four judge panel out of which three were ladies. They were chit chatting and I don't remember any of them listening to me after I told them the company and brief of the project. My presentation was over as soon as they told me "Thank You". It was a moment of epiphany. My college was over with that sentence. I …

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - THE LANDING || PART 10

As I mentioned earlier, I was seeing double from the first day till now. My eyes did not improve even a little for many days. Everything I used to see was double. Two doors, two mobile phones, two coffee cups everything. The doctor said my pupils are not moving synchronously as they should and hence you are seeing two images of everything. The images are seen separately by both the eyes but our brain combines it as one, while in your case it is still two images. But, you will be fine with time. With time. This is a very vague sentence. There is no specific maximum limit nor there is any medicine. You will see normally with time. Hence, I waited for "the time".

Two days after I came home after being discharged, I picked up my father's phone, opened chrome browser and typed, GB Syndrome patients case studies. I wanted to know how much time? How everyone else have managed and how much time they took. I needed to know. I needed to be prepared at least. I read three case stu…

A Letter To Your Mother

Thanks for this beautiful gift you gave this world. "Thank You", seems like a smaller word. But wait, will this gift think like you do? Or is it independent enough? You must not have thought this. Actually, I have seen enough. I have heard enough. I am tired of this. Are you a parent? Or a child? I don't really care as of now. But, you should. You should go back and think about your actions. You should think about your thinking. Are we moving towards the age of robots or you already have given birth to one? I am confused.



Everywhere I see, every time I hear, the same whining and the same useless thoughts make me think about the existence of yours in this world.  You must have thought you are a great parent, a great mom perhaps. But, does someone else thinks the same? Is she proud of you in the same way as you are proud of her? No, she will think. Yes, she will say. "Nobody thinks of me", is the perfect solution and resolution to hundreds of problems you have i…

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS- THE ADMISSION || PART 2

The window showed me all the delicacies I had enjoyed in my college life going past me as I was travelling to another hospital from the Max hospital. Dr. Deepak Goyal had advised us to go to another hospital called Himalayan Hospital keeping in mind all the routine checkups so that I don't have to travel too much in that condition and assured me the best of treatment there as his very good friend and his teammate Dr. Manish Mittal will be treating me. The walking was becoming harder and harder for me and I had to take a wheelchair for the exit. I sat in the cab to go to another hospital.

      My condition was worsening but I took my mind out of it and started seeing the roads and the shops where I had spent four years of my life. I saw a shop and a memory would pop up and another crossroad would bring another memory. I was smiling for the first time this day. My mother thought I have closed one eyelid because I was having trouble seeing but unfortunately that was not the case.…

FUTURE OF MY LANGUAGE

Earlier last year I went to Mumbai for an internship. People in Mumbai are of mixed culture. A heavy number among them is local people who speak local language i.e. Marathi. I also encountered the same situation everyday where I would find many people talking in Marathi in my office. Mumbai being an alive city will preserve its language for a long time to come. But this is not the case for every region.




I once had a chat with an old man sitting outside his house and thrashing the wheat. It was a nice morning in the month of July at a hilly area Karnaprayag. He was sitting on the ground and lived just 10 meters away from where I stayed. I used to see him everyday on the same chair while going to office. He was consistent. So was I. It was Sunday and my day off from office when I went outside the guest house into the sun. I used to live alone in that 3 BHK guesthouse and I used to feel alone sometimes. This loneliness lifted my feet in the direction of that man. I went to that man pret…

THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP - THE START || PART 1

Me and my sister decided to visit Bhutan on the 24th of March for it's international festival and trekking. We had made all the reservations for flights and train but left the reservations of Hotels for on the spot booking. On 24th morning I arrived at the airport and met my sister, all set to witness the spectacular view of the festival that was being organised which looked just like this.


     I expected to see people dancing on the roads, wearing traditional dresses and huge dragons on the way. But soon, my sister spoke the words that shattered all the above imaginations. She said, "I won't be able to go, I have some really urgent work in the company, I am really really very sorry". I was like what the hell? Why didn't you tell me before? She said the flights were non-refundable. I thought you and I can enjoy the day here and you can stay at a hotel in Delhi. I had no idea what to say now. The departure time was still three hours away. We decided to eat somet…
Managed and maintained by Harish Rajora