Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' being sworn-in as a Cabinet minister | PTI Photo/Vijay Verma
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New Delhi: There is no official imposition of Hindi across India as many feared, but at the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the increased usage of the language in official work under new minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ is stressing out civil servants.

After Pokhriyal, a Hindi poet and writer, joined the Modi government last month, a large amount of official work in the ministry is now being done in Hindi — a dramatic change for the officials. Use of Hindi has not been this high under any previous minister, said multiple officials in the HRD ministry.

Official work in central government departments takes place in English, especially in ministries like the HRD, where the work is related to education.

Currently, officials are depending on translators in the HRD ministry and people from the Raj Bhasha department to translate official papers into Hindi. One official said that tech giant Google’s translation tool, ‘Google translate’, does not work for most official documents.

Officials are struggling to find the Hindi equivalent for words such as ‘infrastructure’, which translate into avasthapna in Hindi, and ‘scientific temperament’.

“Even if the entire document is in English, there has to be a paragraph at the end of the document in Hindi for the minister to understand, if the file is being sent to him,” said a ministry official who did not wish to be named.


Also read: New HRD minister Pokhriyal has a pet project – developing Sanskrit-speaking villages


Fluency in language is the issue

Ministry officials told ThePrint that these developments have come as Pokhriyal is not fluent in the English language and even prefers conversations in Hindi.

“Even during a conversation with the minister, if an English word is used, his translator translates it into Hindi for him. We understand that he is not fluent in English and hence we try to make sure that we avoid the language as much as possible while talking to him,” said another official in HRD ministry.

Ten days ago, some journalists covering HRD ministry even protested in a WhatsApp group that the Press Information Bureau had not sent them English press releases and was only issuing them in Hindi.

“The ministry is a central government department, with people from all over the country including that from non-Hindi speaking states working here, so it is a challenge to work in Hindi. Most people are fluent in speaking the language but doing official work in it is another task,” added a third official in the ministry.

Other Modi government ministries such as the rural development ministry and skill development ministry have been doing official work in Hindi but the HRD is a late entrant to this.


Also read: Modi govt’s new education policy draft wants law taught in English & local languages


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7 Comments Share Your Views

7 COMMENTS

  1. Hindi is a regional language spoken and used for official business in eight states , less before bifurcation of Bihar ,MP and Punjab ,lacks lucidity and international stature of English .With globalisation , integration of industry(our country being among top ten industralised nations in the world and further climbing ladder ) and services , there is further need to spread English in the country . Colloquial Hindi is spreading due to Bollywood .Even people in various spheres of Hindi language related professions prefer sending their wards for English medium school and college education . Use of Sanskratised words for naming various Central and State Govt. Schemes is another way by which govts.are trying to push Hindi even in non-Hindi speaking areas . Both Hindi and English languages are responsible for death of some ancient and native languages like Bo spoken by Great Andamanese .

  2. Mr.Binoy is speaking like a typical Dravidian Party member and quoting debunked Theory of Aryan Invasion. For that even the Aryan Migration Theory has been debunked too. It is quite mischievous effort by the TN politicians. Fortunately, the other 3 S.I. states are not into these is the most welcome relief.
    That said, while a sudden change in the use of Official Language may be difficult it is certainly deplorable that they are finding it difficult to understand a note in Official Hindi! Use of Google translate to get a passage translated would turn out to be hilarious and sometimes bring out objectionable sentences if not checked back by a human translator. I am saying this after being given the job of translating the English Website of a well-known PSU as an insider. To help me finish the job I was provided with Google translate. I had the heartiest laughs as I went through the job of translating by fixing the Hindi translation given me as a draft.
    In sum, it is not at all difficult to get accustomed or acclimatized to use Hindi. As is said where there is a will there is a way. The Honorable Minister’s efforts to promote Sanskrit Villages in and around Sanskrit Institutions is a laudable goal. At last Bharatiyas are coming up in this enslaved country India. Bravo! My dear Bharatiya Minister! Even in the HRD Ministry, if one is reluctant to use Hindi, how can we ever dream of doing it say Ministry of Industry some day?

  3. Although the fact that the minister is unable to converse in any language other than Hindi is not deplorable in itself what is is the fact that capable translation facilities do not exist. Regardless it is impossible to switch over to just Hindi giving other regional languages a toss. I have observed that certain ‘nationalist’ elements have dragged their own crooked agenda of Hindi imposition here as well into a public forum such as the print ; my advice to all search learned ‘vidvans’ is quite succinct unless they wish to see a repeat of 1971 they would best keep their biased opinions away. It is truly regretable that our country does not have a ‘unifiying’ language contributing to a common identity however that is just the way it is , a country that has sprung into existence based on an artificial dividing line namely religion does not have much room to protest in this regard . Still slow promotion of Hindi and other regional languages in regions out of their natural zones can certainly work however no such policy has been implemented therefore it is only natural that the language of our colonial suppressors which coincidentally happens to be the only global language in effect has been chosen to fill this void .

    I personally feel that Google translate is indeed not up to the task of seamless translation and the development of an improved system is vital for further progress not choosing to overhaul the bureaucratic machine in itself which though has its own faults has been chugging along quite well.

  4. माननीय मानव संसाधन एंव विकास मंत्रालय के द्वारा राष्ट्र तथा राज भाषा के हित में किया गया एक सराहनीय एंव उत्तम कार्य हैं। विश्व के उन्नत राष्ट्रों जैसे की चीन, जापान, रूस, करीब करीब समस्त यूरोपीय राष्ट्र और जर्मनी आदि में राष्ट्र भाषा का ही उपयोग होता हैं। अंग्रेजी का उपयोग ना के बराबर होता है, परंतु सिर्फ हमारा हिन्दोस्तान ही एक मात्र ऐसा राष्ट्र हैं जहाँ की बड़े बाबू लोग अंग्रेजी का ही उपयोग करना चाहतें हैं।
    आजादी के 76 वर्षों के बाद भी हमारे बड़े बाबू लोग अंग्रेजियत की मानसिकता के गुलाम सिर्फ इसलिए हैं की हिन्दोस्तान की 88 प्रतिशत जनता को सरकारी योजनाओं का लाभ नहीं मिल सके। साथ ही 80 प्रतिशत जनता जिसे अंग्रेजी नहीं आती है। अनपढ़ और गवाँर ही बनी रहें।
    परन्तु शायद बहुत जल्द ये बड़े बाबू लोग माननीय डाँ पोखरियाल को इसी हिन्दी का बहाना बना कर मंत्री पद से हटवा देंगें।
    जैसे की भारत सरकार के एक संस्थान, “लक्ष्मीबाई राष्ट्रीय शिक्षा संस्थान” से मुझे हिन्दी में छात्रों को पढाने और परीक्षा देने की निर्देश माननीय मध्य प्रदेश उच्च न्यायालय से आदेश कराने के लिए सेवा से निष्कासित कर दिया गया।

    • Mr Hindi nor his minister cannot find his words in English.Expect India to shine achae din hai hind ..

    • With due respect, let me tell you that I am a person from S.India who has studied Hindi as a second language for 12 years in school., and I cannot understand your comment until I carefully read it. You are referring to Germany (similar to population size of Tamil Nadu), Russia or Japan (population size of Maharashtra), TN and MH use their respective languages for official purposes. China (has a same picture based writing so everyone understands the written form, regardless of language), India has a population much larger than the countries in Europe, I have travelled in a few European countries and lived in Japan, those countries are PROMOTING the usage of English, not reducing the usage. In Japan specifically, hardly anyone can speak English, but most road signs, offices, banks etc. have English translations for everything. Many companies require executives to have a certain level of English knowledge to get a promotion ! You are also referring to English as a language of foreigner, but look at it this way, wherever I am from in S.India, Hindi is more foreign than English, and as per Dravidian parties in TN, Sanskrit and Hindi are not languages of this land, since it belongs to a Indo-European family of languages, just check how you count 1-10 in Hindi vs in Spanish or Italian, you will understand. Hindi is a language of Aryans, who are also invaders just like Central Asians, Persians, Europeans etc.

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