Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Home News Reports The Linguistic ATM: A divisive investment

The Linguistic ATM: A divisive investment

Bengali linguistic chauvinists have taken a leaf out of the book of their Kannada and Tamil counterparts and are trying to foment linguistic chauvinism in West Bengal as a last-ditch effort to prevent Hindu consolidation in the country.

On Saturday, Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal congratulated the people of Kolkata for the City Metro’s decision of including information in Bengali in its smart cards.

Self-proclaimed “Didi fanboi” and “Typical Aantel” Agnivo Niyogi reacted to Union Minister Piyush Goyal’s congratulatory tweet on Kolkata Metro including Bengali in its smart cards with a jibe at ‘Hindi imperialism’. According to him, Piyush Goyal’s tweet reeked of it.

Another vocal supporter of Trinamool Congress, Garga Chatterjee, interpreted the tweet as the ‘Hindi imperial centre’ sensing the power of ‘Bengali resistance’.

From the tweets, the resentment that is festering within the hearts and minds of such people becomes quite apparent. One wonders where was the ‘Bengali resistance’ all this time that the BJP wasn’t in power. And if the purpose of this resistance is served merely by including Bangla in the smart cards of the city’s metro, then are the goals of the resistance really worthwhile? Over the course of history, ‘resistance’ has always meant a tiny bunch of the oppressed standing up to the tyrannies that rob their people of the necessities of life. It is 2018, however, and a certain bunch of people with an irresistible urge to appear heroic without suffering any of the miseries that come along with it, are inventing trouble where none exist so that their baser urges might be satisfied.

Bengalis have always been proud of their culture and there have been movements in the past, notably the one led by Sunil Gangopadhyay, which have sought to restore the presence of Bangla in the fast-changing landscape of Kolkata. However, the recent phenomenon that has surfaced with vengeful people trying to cloak their personal agendas under the garb of linguistic pride and nefarious regionalism, has manifested itself in vitriolic rhetoric that could go a long way in fostering unsubstantiated hatred along linguistic lines.

Kolkata has always been a melting pot of cultures where one of the most influential strands of the Indian Independence Movement was born. Heroes of this land whom Bengalis adore and cherish have always harboured and inculcated a pan-Indian outlook that is not limited by narrow linguistic barriers. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army itself inducted men from all across India and most of the recruits were Sikhs who presumably never spoke Bengali. And here we have, Twitter Linguistic chauvinists who disgrace one of the greatest heroes of this country by promoting enmity between communities based on the language they speak. Netaji’s primary allegiance was to India, not hindered by his linguistic identity, and here we have these people using our great Bangla language to divide Indians along linguistic lines.

The objective of this rather futile exercise is to malign a section of the political spectrum among Bengalis. Of course, such a move could very well succeed but at what cost? It has to be kept in mind that linguistic chauvinists in Bengal politics represent a fringe of the fringe but it is so not for a lack of effort. As 2019 gets closer and closer, we will witness more of such divisive rhetoric to influence the General Election results. It might prove beneficial for certain political parties in the short run but in the long term, it could pose a grave threat to the unity and integrity of the Indian union.

As I have said before on several occasions, we are living in an age of chaos. Provocations even by inconsequential people could lead to grave consequences. Under such circumstances, it is imperative for people in the public eye to conduct themselves more responsibly. They might be under the impression that their current endeavours will earn them great benefits in the future but Chaos is an unforgiving mistress and people often discover that the fruits of their actions are not what they envisioned them to be.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

Related Articles

Trending now

Maharashtra: Viral video shows corpses of Covid patients wrapped in garbage bag and polythene being taken for cremation

One of the corpses had a black garbage bag taped over it while the face was wrapped in a polythene bag.

Pfizer wanted Brazil, Argentina to put military bases, Federal reserve as collateral: Why India kept Pfizer away and how the usual suspects are wrong

Pfizer has been accused of countries in Latin America of pledging their sovereign assets, military bases and financial reserves to protect itself from any adverse fallout of the vaccine

OpIndia Exclusive: Tata Communications suffers data leak, hackers claim to have sold access to company’s servers, over 50GB data still up for sale

As per two posts by hackers on a hackers' forum, they have gained access to Tata Communications servers and sold them.

‘Victim card’: Netizens react as ‘comedian’ Munawar Faruqui vows to quit social media, political jokes

Munawar Faruqui has now announced that he would quit making political jokes and leave social media platforms.

While opposition leaders claim credit for Sputnik-V vaccine approval, here’s how it is the latest step in a process that began in Sep 2020

The approval for Sputnik-V vaccine today has suddenly given some people cause to fall prey to their own false notions.

SEC gives emergency use approval to Russia’s Sputnik-V to combat Covid-19 in India: All you need to know about the vaccine

Sputnik-V will become the third approved Covid-19 vaccine in India if the Drugs Controller General of India approves the recommendation.

Recently Popular

Pfizer wanted Brazil, Argentina to put military bases, Federal reserve as collateral: Why India kept Pfizer away and how the usual suspects are wrong

Pfizer has been accused of countries in Latin America of pledging their sovereign assets, military bases and financial reserves to protect itself from any adverse fallout of the vaccine

After explosive Clubhouse confessions, Prashant Kishor starts building ground to blame only Mamata Banerjee if Bengal is lost: Here’s how

While trying to fire-fight fall-out from Clubhouse conversation, Prashant Kishor has set narrative to blame Mamata Banerjee and TMC for West Bengal loss

Attempts to draw false equivalence between the Kumbh Mela and Tablighi Jamaat congregation do not make sense: Here’s why

Attempts are being made to draw false equivalences between the Kumbh Mela and the Tablighi Jamaat congregation last year.

Shops burnt, stones pelted on police in Baran, Rajasthan after 3 Muslim men stabbed one Kamal Singh: What we know so far

Shops burnt, police personnel injured, stone pelting, fire department vehicles attacked in Chhabra, Rajasthan.

‘Victim card’: Netizens react as ‘comedian’ Munawar Faruqui vows to quit social media, political jokes

Munawar Faruqui has now announced that he would quit making political jokes and leave social media platforms.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,077FansLike
528,649FollowersFollow
24,200SubscribersSubscribe