Why Maithili Is Lagging Behind
Is Hindi’s Prominence Proving Devil?
– Pravin Narayan Choudhary
(In response to #Stop_Hindi_Imposition –#Revive_Maithili – #Language_Equality_Day –#Justice_For_Maithili on Twitter & Facebook Page)
At some point of time, Hindi used as the tool to spread nationalism and there princely states in Mithila region were easily convinced by the freedom fighter leaders of India to use Hindi instead of any local language for sake of making India stronger and better with ‘one common language policy’. This was perhaps propagated with better vision of uniting all different languages speaking people on the name one nation theory. Still there are many who believe in this notion that Hindi gives recognition for major and vital language of India also called Hindustan and that the nation of Hindus. Hindustan, Hindi and Hindus – all taken on same note of united peoples having united language for united religion. The propagation of Hindi functioned very well in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajsthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, J&K and some more states. Even in larger parts of other states did adopt Hindi as Bollywood Hindi films did miraculous job to spread this national language of India. Hindi is still believed to be language of all from India. This language is gradually becoming the language of world – as it has now spread through many nations in America, Europe, Australia, China, etc. Both the state sponsored favor and popularity of Hindi films altogether did great work for Hindi and national capital Delhi as well as big leaders like Prime Minister, President, and others of bigger height are all Hindi users which still vitalize Hindi alone.
Unfortunately, this widespread and natural propagation of Hindi and better knowledge of English for better life theory proved curse for many other rich ancient languages including Sanskrit as the mother of many languages. Now, those languages which have its own state are still surviving and doing better having powerful regional effects, but Maithili has been most unfortunate as it is neglected by its own state Bihar and Jharkhand, even it could not get proper promotion in Nepal despite being the second largest speaking language there. The script of Maithili called Mithilakshar or Tirhuta Lipi have been out of use after the kings of princely states of Mithila region declared Hindi as their official language and use of Devnagari script for official works in late 19th century. Subsequently Hindi became the language of communication due to freedom struggle spread through this region very powerfully. The kings as well as the peoples were quite impressed from prominent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru and several others. Newspapers, radios, all used Hindi cornering other languages in this region. Even after independence, the state has not given any welcome status to Maithili. It struggled for quite a long time, Dr. Subhadra Jha, Dr. Jaykant Mishra and many academician and language scientists worked day and night to give new life to Maithili. Many youths in 1930’s took Photo of Vidyapati – the most renowned writer of Maithili and wandered village to village and town to town for making people wake for their own language. Till today, the similar movements are continuously running by a few people of Mithila living in different parts of India, Nepal and other countries. Some of these movements for conserving language and scripts can even be seen on social media. But again, it is very unfortunate that most of the people from Mithila recognizing themselves to be advanced and developed family gave up using their own native language and adopted either Hindi or Nepali or English.
Maithili is also listed in the list of world’s endangered language due to aforesaid reasons. State’s neglecting this rich ancient language by not granting the fundamental and constitutional right of providing primary education in Maithili medium. Due to this, the literacy rate in Bihar or part of Nepal is much lesser than other parts (states) where the instrument of education is home language. Be it Kerala, Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Assam and any state of India; be that hilly parts of Nepal; the rate of literacy is higher because people are getting the primary education in their home language. But Maithili region not using their home language has proved curse for them. Luckily this adverse situation and hard struggle to educate them have given more strength, they have become more diligent due to sensitive adaptation power; but this luck is not for all. The backward classes of people are not prompt to be adaptive in comparison to higher castes peoples. And the gap is so big among different classes of people here that the politics is done on caste basis rather than the issue of development and progresses. The state (both center and federal provinces) has to do the needful to grant natural justice to all. The new education policy (draft) has presented 3-language policy, there the native language to be the instrument of primary education. This will surely help to increase the rate of literacy in this backward regions.