….The place of Hindi as the national language of the country has already been defined in the Constitution.
The manner in which Hindi is to replace English has yet to be prescribed. A few months ago, a local teachers’ association had sounded various universities in regard to their opinion on medium of instruction, and not so very surprisingly perhaps, they insisted almost with one voice that English should be retained.
At the college level all subjects are now being taught in English, for the simple reason that the teachers themselves are poorly equipped to teach in Hindi. Besides, Hindi is not sufficiently developed to replace English with ease.
University teachers are putting up resistance, partly because of the fear that failure to study Hindi in time may throw them out of jobs, but more specifically because they feel they cannot do full justice to their special subjects if they are to be interpreted in a language they have to learn afresh. Misgivings are most common among teachers of science who are more at home with English words.
Students taught the sciences in Hindi in the secondary school have been finding it difficult to understand college lectures which are delivered in English.
If this is so in predominantly Hindi-speaking areas, the conflict is greater in non-Hindi-speaking States.
Fears are being expressed that the average child cannot possibly be expected to learn four languages at once, if Sanskrit is also taught simultaneously.
Can Hindi be taught as an additional language without drawing the wrath of those who suspect that Hindi is being used as a political weapon?….
One thing is evident; unless Hindi makes rapid strides in the near future it will not be easily acceptable to non-Hindi-speaking people who have a rich language of their own……
English, howsoever useful, can never fully replace the mother tongue of the Indian child.