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‘Aspiring to build a career beyond Tamil Nadu, learn conversational Hindi’: Cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin slams Dravidian anti-Hindi campaign ‘Hindi Theriyadu Poda’

“Not knowing Hindi can be proudly expressed as ‘Hindi Theriyadu Poda‘. Alternatively, it can be viewed as ‘If we don’t learn it, it could be difficult‘, a mindset that can lead to significant personal growth,” Ravichandran Ashwin was quoted saying. 

Ace Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recently slammed DMK’s anti-Hindi campaign slogan, ‘Hindi Theriyadu Poda’ (Translation – I Don’t Know Hindi, Get Lost!)”,  and advocated for learning the Hindi language. Notably, Ashwin has been interacting with several media channels regarding his recently released book, “I Have the Streets: A Kutty Cricket Story.” During an interaction, he shared anecdotal stories to emphasise the need to learn other languages if one wants to make a career beyond their native state. He noted that learning the language could go a long way to earning acceptance from others and contributing to conversations.

While interacting with Chennai Super Kings’ Content Head, Radhakrishnan, Ashwin shared his thoughts on the challenges of not being able to converse in Hindi. He argued that there can be two mindsets. A non-Hindi speaker could take pride in saying, ‘Hindi Theriyadu Poda,’ or he could learn basic conversation in Hindi or communicate properly to Hindi speakers that he faces language barrier issues and seek assistance. He stressed the need to have a mindset that leads to personal growth. 

“Not knowing Hindi can be proudly expressed as ‘Hindi Theriyadu Poda‘. Alternatively, it can be viewed as ‘If we don’t learn it, it could be difficult‘, a mindset that can lead to significant personal growth,” Ashwin was quoted saying in The Commune. 

He also emphasized the importance of learning conversational Hindi for anyone who aspires to build a career beyond Tamil Nadu. At the same time, the Indian cricketer also seemingly urged native Hindi speakers to empathize with those learning the language and to foster inclusivity beyond linguistic barriers. 

He added that he wrote the book to drill down the point that learning the language would go a long way to earn acceptance from others and also be a part/contribute to conversations.

(DMK leaders are notorious for anti-Hindi remarks and campaigns, Udayanidhi Stalin, Minister and son of Tamil Nadu CM, MK Stalin wearing T-shirt that has anti-Hindi slogan, Image Source – FB page–Udhayanidhi Stalin Welfare Association Tharamangalam)

It is pertinent to note that Dravidian parties including the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, DMK have been peddling the trope of so-called “Hindi imposition”. As part of anti-Hindi rhetoric in the state, it has been fanning anti-Hindi sentiments among the state residents with campaigns like ‘Hindi Theriyadu Poda’ (Translation – I Don’t Know Hindi, Get Lost!)”. Dravidian leaders and its supportive ecosystem have been notorious for making derogatory remarks about North Indians, particularly in the Hindi speaking belt, referring to them as “vadakkans“ (the term being used as a slur for North Indians), “panipuri sellers”, Toilet cleaners, etc. 

In December 2023, DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran said “Hindi speakers clean toilets.” Former DMK MP Senthilkumar, inside the parliament, referred to Hindi heartland states as “gaumutra” states.

Meanwhile, after R Ashwin batted for learning Hindi, several X users lauded him for his remarks while some started targeting him for his views and hurled labels at him to cast aspersions on his character. Some X users made anti-Hindi remarks. It is pertinent to note that Ashwin hails from the Tamil Brahmin community. The Dravidian parties have been deriding and vilifying the community.    

In his book, R Ashwin states, “I can read and write Hindi, but the Hindi spoken in the world outside Tamil Nadu is nowhere close to what we are taught in textbooks.” He also elaborated on how he faced the issue of a language barrier during the initial days of his cricketing career. 

Nonetheless, R Ashwin launched his book, ‘I Have the Streets: A Kutty Cricket Story’ on 10th June. It is published by Penguin Random House India and it highlights Ashwin’s journey from playing gully cricket to striving for excellence in the sport. For his book, he has collaborated with Siddharth Monga, a cricket writer from ESPN Cricinfo, who helped him transcribe his voice notes and shape the narrative.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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