Hindi is our national language and English has been retained as an Associate National Language, due to its insistent and persistent demand from South India where the people in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, do not properly understand Hindi and they do not want that Hindi should be imposed on them, which is a language of the North and not of the South. In the beginning, it was planned to retain English for ten years as lingua franca—language used for general communication in the country—but now it has been declared as and Associated National Language and is being retained indefinitely until Hindi does indeed become the true National Language.
Hindi is indeed the National Language adopted by the Constituent Assembly soon after the achievement of independence in 1947. But millions in India still do not know Hindi. It is because it has been made difficult by the introduction of Sanskrit terms in it. The conception of Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose of Hindi as a national language was that of Hindustani—a mixture of Hindi and Urdu. But over the years Hindi has become very much Sanskritized. Purshottamlal Tandon, the U.P. Leader, was responsible for this form of Hindi.
Over the years Hindi has been made so difficult that many people from Uttar Pradesh, where it is the mother tongue, do not properly understand it. Then I was teaching in Ghaziabad. In examination many students sought my help by explaining to them the meaning of question given in Hindi.
Hindi was their mother tongue and they could not understand the question papers which were set in Hindi. Of course, I could not help them because I cannot read Hindi, although I can speak it. I do not understand many of its highly Sanskritized terms. In fact, hardly any student sought my help in understanding question papers in English which was my subject, and students of U.P. understood English question papers better than Hindi question papers. Is that not ironical?
In fact Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru the Prime Minister of India, once said "I do not understand the address in Hindi which are presented to me."
That is the real trouble with our national language. There is too much of Sanskrit introduced in it. If we want to make it a national language, it should be simplified and lowered to the level of Hindustani—a mixture of Hindi and Urdu—as Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose had suggested. Subhash Chandra Bose in fact went even further and suggested that Hindi should be written in the Roman Script. If Hindi is simplified and written in the Roman Script, it will be easily accepted by South India as the national language of India and there will be no need for English to be an Associate National Language.
Government of India is spending crores of rupees every year on the popularization of Hindi in the country but it is so much money going down the drain, because common people cannot understand the Sanskrit terms introduced by the Hindi scholars and academician, to show their scholarship. Let us simplify Hindi and introduce in Roman Script as Subhash Chandra Bose had suggested.
"If China, Japan and Turkey introduce Roman Script", said Subhash Chandra Bose, "Why not India? The Chinese, the Japanese and the Turkish language are far more difficult than Hindi."