Lately I have noticed through media reports widespread opposition to the Home Ministry’s proposal of making Hindi as compulsory subject up to matriculation in Meghalaya and other North East states.
In this connection I would like to say that I have not seen so far the notification of the Ministry to this effect but I have read media reports that the North East state governments have agreed to the proposal in a meeting called by the Home Minister in Delhi to that effect but the official order or notification is yet to be out.
I, for one, am not against Hindi because I feel that it is a national language and it is good to know how to read, write, understand and speak the language proficiently. It is for our own good and necessity, I feel.
Even now the majority of us in the North East, except in Assam and perhaps in few other states, the rest are not so conversant with Hindi.
In spite of this handicap some of us try to converse in broken Hindi with Hindi speaking individuals who want to seek information from us on any matter.
Moreover, it is good to know other languages like German, French, Italian, Spanish etc if there are facilities to learn but our priority should be to know our own language first proficiently before knowing other languages.
In Meghalaya, to take Hindi as compulsory subject up to matriculation and to be proficient at it, Hindi learning has to begin with Class-I to get a strong foundation in the language. It cannot begin from class IV or Higher classes.
This means we must have good teachers in the subject right from the primary classes till the secondary and perhaps up to higher classes if there are students who pursue higher studies in the language. But this will put an extra burden on those who have to take other language subjects in matriculation. This can be recourse to if it is strictly necessary.
This I leave to the authorities concerned to consider judiciously. But I still emphasise that knowing Hindi proficiently is necessary for us and it is for our own good.