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Tewari: Strong policy needed for languages

NOTED HINDI writer and poet Vishwanath Prasad Tewari feels that there should be a strong policy for languages in the country.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2006 15:21 IST

NOTED HINDI writer and poet Vishwanath Prasad Tewari feels that there should be a strong policy for languages in the country.

Conceding that the content of literary writings has changed over the years, he spells out the need for enhancing the use of Hindi in government machinery.

In a talk with the Hindustan Times, he discusses the status of Hindi literature, his new writings and more.

Changes in literary landscape

Religion and ethical values constituted the fulcrum of literature in the past. The writings were immune to political powers.

The contemporary literature revolves mainly on the ‘realism’ of our times in particular the political consciousness. It has become themed on discussion on women and dalits in the post-modernist era.

New books
My last book ‘Antheen Aakash’ — a compilation of my visit to foreign countries — was published in 2005. My new book k ‘Alochana Ke Hasya Par’ summarising the ideological debates on Hindi during the last 25 years is slated to be released shortly. Another book on poetry ‘Phir Bhi Kuchh Rah Jayega’ is also in the pipeline.

Status of Hindi literature
As compared to other languages, Hindi has a special importance in itself. All the Indian writers want that their writings to be translated into Hindi. A maximum number of translations have been done in Hindi. I would say that regional languages’ writers have garnered popularity because of their Hindi translations.

Percolation of English
It is extremely unfortunate that the government machinery is promoting English. I feel the governments (both Central and states) have lost an inner desire to popularise Hindi.

There are two categories of schoolchildren—poor and elite. The latter category has dwarfed the usage of Hindi, which is really detrimental. But despite all this, the percentage of English-speaking populace is only five per cent as compared to 45 per cent Hindi speaking.

Future of Hindi
To reshape the status of Hindi will require an immense will power of the government. In countries like France, Japan, China and even Russia, they have a strong sense of binding in their national language.

Besides, in India there is no strong policy on language. To break the inferiority complex that arises due Hindi syndrome, it is essential that people from higher class should speak in Hindi.