Hindi, the official language of Madhya Pradesh, is giving a tough time to senior police officials in Malwa and Nimar regions of the state. Frequent mistakes in official letters written by lower-rung officers, especially those who speak Marathi, are causing discomfort to the seniors.
A senior official posted in Indore said mistakes in 'matras' (dependent forms of vowels) are frequently made by policemen who do not know Hindi properly. "Since most Marathis speak with the same matras as they use in writing, mistakes happen in letters," the official said.
The official also cited the case of a letter in which there were about five mistakes and he had to repeatedly send it back for correction. "I have to send letters for re-drafting several times," ASP (headquarters) Ramji Shrivastava said.
In most cases, senior police officials overlook minor mistakes, but corrections are made when letters are addressed to top officials, he said. "Sometimes, it irritates me, but they don't do it deliberately. The script for Marathi is in Devanagari and hence these mistakes are very common in Malwa and Nimar regions dominated by Marathis," Shrivastava said.
Urdu, which was once commonly used in Madhya Pradesh, has almost been forgotten. Many policemen are skipping Urdu words and using their Hindi counterparts these days. For example, the word 'tafteesh' (investigation) is now written as 'vivechana'.
"Words like 'aal-aye-zarb' (crime weapon) and 'adampata' (missing) have gone out of use," Shrivastava said. "Forget about flaws. Not a single policeman, even senior officials, today knows where to put a nukta (dots in words) in an Urdu word," said an inspector who is on the verge of retirement.
Madhukar Madhav Vishwakarma, a head constable, who usually writes applications for Indore police in the control room, said, "It is true that often Marathis commit mistakes. Many people had pointed out my mistakes but it happens because I write what I speak."