Most of the Hindi I have was taught by Shah Rukh Khan. Not personally, I didn’t care about it. But from looking at the star and his hindiwood colleagues, and feeling the need to understand what he is saying beyond what he expresses with the dog’s eyes of those cruel puppies. There were Hindi movie songs that I liked-not just those of King Khan-and their meaning was explained to me by kind family and friends who studied Hindi at school and college. And those songs helped to expand my Hindi vocabulary.
I learned Hindi easily. As a central government official in Tour d’Argent, I took several courses that helped me (slowly) read, write, and even sign up for a casual leave-all of whom actually heard my Hindi. It’s a surprise for me! I was on the third and last course when I had to travel from Bangalore to Delhi on public affairs. After returning to Japan, a memo was issued explaining why he did not attend the Hindi class held while he was away. I decided not to attend anymore. If classes were mandatory-I didn’t want them.
That is the problem. Most humans don’t want to force them to do anything. The ongoing language protests are against what is considered an imposition of Hindi-not a pretty sweet language itself. This is a boiling problem, especially in southern states. Tamil Nadu probably led the first resistance. Decades ago, when Doordarshan released national breaking news in Hindi during the Golden Time, DDK Madras (known at the time) had Tamil news instead.
The state of Karnataka has expressed opposition to the existence of Hindi in several places, especially in recent years. The state is leading the latest carfaffles on this issue-after Boliwood action star Ajay Devgn responds to a tweet from multilingual Kannada star Sudeep, the latter is in Hindi. It says that it is not.
In his tweet written in Devanagari, Davegan stated that Hindi is the national language and our native language. And I wondered why Sudeep dubbed his film in Hindi.