In a significant development on April 5, Indian vice president Venkaiah Naidu directed the Union government of India to ensure that the mother tongue or state language must get prioritized on all the signboards relating to central or state government facilities. He specified that the sequence of language on all the signboards must be in the order of mother tongue or state language, then Hindi and English.
Naidu made this direction while chairing the proceedings of Indian upper house when Trinamul Congress member Sukhendu Sekhar Ray raised this issue during zero hour. Ray said that the local masses of Bengal were facing problem as the signboards have Hindi and English only. He cited the example of signboards at upcoming metro stations in West Bengal.
“We don’t have any problem with Hindi or English but such signboards fail in conveying information as local masses fail to grasp the wording on these signboards,” he added.
Reacting to Ray’s demand, Naidu said that this was the problem of local masses in almost all states of India. He asked the Union as well as the respective state governments to ensure that the mother tongue or state language must get prioritized on all the signboards.
It is pertinent to note here that the Punjab masses had already been vocal on this issue for the long time. In past, Punjabis successfully struggled to get their mother tongue prioritized on signboards whenever they noticed any odd.
It is also an undeniable fact that the BJP led Indian government has always been keen of prioritizing Hindi to achieve its motive of strengthening centralization in India by diluting powers of states.
Speaking to The Sikh Narrative, Sikh activist Papalpreet Singh said that the Indian vice president Venkaiah Naidu should also pay attention towards the language of communication in CBSE affiliated schools. “In all the CBSE affiliated schools, students are forced to speak Hindi or English for communicating due to which the students are losing grip on their mother tongue,” he added.