(85), Unnyasi (79), bayaasi (82)
Have you ever tried dictating your phone number to someone in Hindi? How many of them got it right? Do you even know how to say your own phone number in Hindi?
Being unable to read, write, or even understand numbers in Hindi is acceptable, but how does knowing less makes you more?
The way people smirk their faces off on hearing numbers just numbers in Hindi tells a lot about how much we respect our own culture. And this is not even the sad part, the sad part is that they rather feel proud while saying that they don’t understand that much of Hindi.
Flaunting the knowledge, or possessing any kind of information better than the other person is understandable and it’s still okay, but can you fathom flaunting knowing less? Since when knowing less has become something to show-off? Flaunting knowing less is funny and sad at the same time. While Indians flaunt their English skills sometimes even in front of local vendors in order to prove themselves more intellectual and smart, they completely forget that they have failed as a member of Indian society (which largely consists of Hindi or regional language speaking people).
There’s a thing common with almost every Indian, they are always trying to be better (which is obviously a positive aspect) but in doing that, instead of improving themselves as an individual, they try to imitate someone they think is better than themselves. As a result, they lose their individuality.
India has been a developing country since decades and in that process, the only definition of development we have learned is to imitate and adapt western culture. You are ‘modern’ or ‘cool’ if you are just not yourself but someone who is completely imitating the western world. Be it the dressing sense, eating habits, music taste, accent, tattoos or even toxic habits, you are considered cool just for being an imposter and that is a subject of humiliation, not something to be proud of! It’s good enough to pay such respect to other culture that you adapt it but humiliating your own roots is completely unacceptable.
How immature it is that even while making friends, we judge them on their English and if it’s not up to the levels of expectations or if they just say ‘Didn’t got it’, it’s a major let down! Regardless of the kind of person, they are, and how they could be better than you at everything except speaking a particular language, you consider yourself to be more intellectual.
In fact, knowing better English is sometimes a catalyst in boosting the ego for a lot of people. Just to shake your ego off, let me tell you that being a “Grammar Nazi” is India is nothing to be proud of! Not reading Hindi literature and calling yourself sapiosexual for having few dozens of English novels never makes you better than anyone. Especially, if you mock someone for not knowing Paulo Coelho but you have no clue what “Godaan or Premchand” is then you both are on the same intelligence level.
It is a sad truth that we all are living in a cocoon where speaking English puts you in the superior category. Indians feel that being obsessed with specific lifestyle, dressing style, music or even language make them modern, but as a matter of fact, such perceptions are taking us far away from being a developed society. Our minds are ingrained with the notion that knowing English is an epitome of an individual’s IQ. There are people from countries like China, Japan, and Israel who proudly speak their mother tongue, no matter where they are dwelling and ironically we appreciate the foreigners for the same. A developed society never makes an individual feel less of themselves, especially for not knowing decent English. If you really want to fit the proper definition of being modern, then on a sad note, speaking in English and discriminating on that basis is definitely not the key (pun intended)