Hindi in governance should be a matter of federal and personal choice

The mantra of “Minimum Government Maximum Governance” that Narendra Modi has espoused through the 2014 Campaign must find its way into both the thinking and the actions of the new government.
Narendra Modi’s campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections not only brought back the genre of powerful speech making to Indian Politics but it also celebrated the linguistic diversity of India. From greeting the people of Kerala in Malayalam to connecting with the people of the Northeastern region through their dialects, Narendra Modi demonstrated what the true spirit of Federalism in India was all about. More recently since becoming Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, by choosing to conduct his International diplomacy in Hindi has sent a message to the world that to engage with him it would have to understand the traditions that have shaped his worldview and it would have to understand the metaphors through which he expresses his worldview.
Narendra Modi’s championing of Hindi as his personal choice of communication is as much a celebration of India’s linguistic diversity as has his attempts to connect with people across India in their native tongue. This is the spirit of federalism and personal choice with which the new Government must approach the official language of communication issue.
The mantra of “Minimum Government Maximum Governance” that Narendra Modi has espoused through the 2014 Campaign must find its way into both the thinking and the actions of the new government. Bureaucratic gobbledygook must make way for simple rules and clarity. Rather than formulate complex rules for how states must communicate with the Center, it would be in order that a simple stipulation be put in place where a state or department may communicate in any one of multiple official languages recognized by the Government leaving the choice to the states. Perhaps the Government can learn a thing or to do from the world of Business and how India’s largest corporates that service Indians the entire length and breadth of the country are able to manage with multiple languages without the need for complex bureaucratic rules.
Listening and communicating in Hindi is important as we create more opportunities for the neo-middleclass but so are twenty plus other languages. Let us celebrate our linguistic diversity but with the spirit of Federalism, Individual Choice and the mantra of Minimum Government Maximum Governance. Let us get innovative in the use of technology where Government can listen and speak to you in any one of the twenty plus Indian languages.

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