Caste location and ideology influence our views on language greatly.
I’m a native Bhojpuri, originally a non- hindi language, but now subordinate as mere dialect of Hindi.
LINGUISTIC AUTONOMY and ANNIHILATION CASTE- GENDER BASED DISCRIMINATION are the fore front topics in BAHUJAN public sphere in Bhojpuri region. Bhojpuri Bahujan MP’s had asserted for Bhojpuri autonomy in Indian Indian Parliament.
Within the Bhojpuri sphere, Bhojpuri speaking forward caste hail Hindi as Nationalist, while Bhojpuri Dalit Bahujans saw Hindi as colonizer, which displaced their native tongue.
COLONIAL PAST :
Brahminical elites has always perceived Bhojpuri as language of Dom’s and Dusadh’s ( lower caste), thus incapable of greatness.
In Bengal presidency( Bihar, jharkhand, West Bengal) Brahmin + Savarna’s of Bihar and Bengal shaped the colonial and post colonial Bihar.
Bihari Forward caste’s had full control over the material and culturally valued resources , and Bengali forward’s controls bureaucracy. Thier nexus made lower caste biharis to remain helpless and languished under the fiefdom and tax regimes of Brahminical elite’s. Also, they monopolised education, exclusive education for own Upper caste kith and kin. This proved to be extremely detrimental to Bhojpuri and it’s people.
HINDI EDUCATION SYSTEM AND BHOJPURI :
With great enthusiasm and with prominence, such elites set up Benaras Hindu university , promoted various Hindi program, held and led important PhD. research in Hindi, all to ensure Bhojpuri to remain a mere dialect of Hindi.
Various Upper caste Hindi professors had protested against the inclusion of Bhojpuri in 8th schedule of Constitution ,citing it as LOWLY LANGUAGE as it has hardly authored any classical text.
One can also go through Verancular education comission reports of late 19th century held under Grierson to see how lowly bhojpuri was considered by brahmins.
In Bihar, the ALL HINDI we learn today were shaped by few hundred Kayastha men!! who shaped Hindi through their works, they often served HINDUISM with Hindi too!! They along with other upper caste, shaped Hindi in opposition to Urdu and persian, barricading government jobs for themselves in gangetic plains.
Now, NOTE : In all this, Brahmins never let the development of Bhojpuri as an language and also keep it excluded from modern life and public institutions. They institutionalise Hindi hegemony and silently also ensured that all other languages in HINDI IMPOSED STATES were keep reduced to RURAL CULTURAL ARTEFACTS and GENDERED KITCHEN LEXICON.
This ” backwardness ” of Bhojpuri and other such non Hindi language is the reason of the region backwardness in Hindi imposed states. The dismal number on several human development scores are intimately linked to what done to the “medium” of communication in the region.
CURRENT SITUATION :
TRAGEDY IS THAT, Hindi speakers don’t have the slightest note that they’ve been colonised by Brahmin – Aryans and thier native is being erased under the weight of Hindi !!
Bahujan reassiance arrived very lately a d sliwly in Bhojpuri sphere, and is still in nascent stage. Already the Brahmin – Bhumiar- Rajput and kayastha alliance had heavily dented them.
We Bhojpuri ppl. forms the largest chunk of so – called Hindi speaking people. Our autonomy would mean a drastic fall in number of official Hindi speakers. Same thing applies to Magahi, mathili, awadhi..etc., so called hindi dialects.
DISADVANTAGES AND PROBLEMS WE FACE :
As told earlier, hindi supermacist never let bhojpuri to have its own script or written system to oppose hindi opposition, We lack fundamental resources i.e,exsistence of written words, literate population, that makes Bhojpuri difficult to share an equal platform with other non Hindi languages.
We Bhojpuri ppl. are also legitimately NON- HINDI SPEAKERS as Malayali, tamils, bengali or punjabi are. Hindi has snatched our access to all modern spaces, that’s why we are in such condition today.
A detailed debate is needed nation wide on Hindi hegemony, federalism and sovereignty in the light of caste and gender perspective. Excluding caste – gender from analysis to ignoring and leaving helpless to a large Bahujan majority!!