The railways have decided. Henceforth vital information on railway tickets will be printed in multiple languages. Class of carriage and the starting station will be printed in Hindi and the regional language while the destination will be printed in Hindi, the regional language while the destination will be printed in Hindi, the regional language and English.
Being laymen, we do not even pretend to understand why the destination alone should be polluted by this unwarranted intrusion of English. Nor do we doubt that the railways will now achieve what the politicians have so far failed—namely the emotional integration of the country as well as the acceptance of Hindi as the national language.
After all, even Ramaswamy Naicker will have to carry in his pocket a railway ticket stamped with the detested language next time he wants to travel.
However, the plethora of languages decided upon by the railways may create chain complications. To print the same name in so many different languages, the tickets will have to be much bigger in size. This will lead to greater consumption of card paper and that in turn may lead to a further strain on the foreign exchange.
The strain may affect the Third Five-Year Plan and that will certainly affect posterity. But of course posterity should not mind as long as Hindi will be saved for it.
(EDIT, October 10, 1960.)