India's national language Hindi finds itself battling with change
due to the influences of other languages, writers and poets opined
at the ongoing Penguin Spring Fever here.
"Hindi has been institutionalised to suit the needs of the
people," said Noor Zaheer, who has donned many hats as writer,
dancer, playwright and journalist.
"It has been politicised because we get to see its different forms
in spoken world, literature, and a totally different world in the
Hindi media," she added.
Zaheer, who has translated plays by Bertolt Brecht, Tennessee
Williams, Shakespeare, Zean Aanooi and Peter Chaffers, won
critical acclaim for her memoirs book "Mere hissay ki roshnaai".
It was a baffling issue for the writers and poets who sat down at
the "Badlegi to chalegi (Change is necessary to move ahead)"
"Hindi's character, since its origin, has been such that it has
accommodated all the languages that came along," said a
philosophical Anamika, the third woman poet to get the Kedar
Sammaan award for Hindi literature in 2008.
"It has never been alone in the walk," she said.
Anamika, currently a reader in English at Satyawati College, Delhi
University, is also famous for her writings such as "Galat Pate ki
Chithi", "Beejakshar", "Anushtup", "Doob-Dhaan" (Poetry),
post-Eliot poetry, "Streetva ka Manchitra" (Criticism), "Das
dvaare ka Peenjara", "Tinka Tinke paas" (Novel), and Afro-English
poems, among others.
What took the speakers by storm was the huge number of college
students among the curious audience that had turned up on an
evening India and South Africa were playing a World Cup match.
"If you talk about Hindi in the curriculum today, there are
students who come from the Hindi heartland and can feel the
association with Hindi, while the classroom is also shared by
those who know Hindi well, but hesitate to bring it on a social
platform because of status," Anamika said.
Steering the discussion was Satyanand Nirupam, a young writer and
poet and the Hindi editor at Penguin Books.
"Hindi is one language that has its meaning changing with every
day," said news anchor Ravish Kumar, who bowled the audience over
with his dark sense of humour.
"And that it is changing faster is visible in the 'speed news'
format that promises to take the viewer to a new world of the
national language," he quipped.
While Hindi's current position remained a question mark till the
end of the discussion, the speakers echoed on how the regional
languages, as also Urdu and English are affecting the epic
language in more ways than one.
"To know how Hindi is changing, all you have to do is tune into
any Hindi channel that is presenting news on the Japan
catastrophe. It will make you realise the diminishing quality of
this rich language," Ravish Kumar summed up.