Former Prime Minister and Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has strongly denounced the decision by FBC’s Radio Mirchi to use Fiji hindi as the official medium for its programmes.
“One must question the rationale and motive behind this decision to adulterate the official Hindi language,” Mr Chaudhry said.
The Labour Party has received numerous concerns from the public on this issue, seen as an attempt by FBC’s Mirchi station to demean and adulterate Hindi as a language.
“To dilute one’s language effectively means diluting one’s culture because language is so intrinsically tied up with the culture and traditions of a race or group of people, and its preservation.
“Hindi is undoubtedly one of the oldest world languages still widely practiced today. As a medium of expression it is essential for an understanding of our religion, our Holy scriptures and numerous religious practices, of Hindi literature and writings and the arts.
“Indians in Fiji are daily exposed to the use of proper (shudh) Hindi through Indian movies, television shows and serials, news telecasts, the readings of our religious texts and religious practices. It is not a ‘foreign’ or strange language for us.
“Why then formalize the Fiji version of it? One must soundly question the motive behind Radio Mirchi’s decision to use the adulterated form of Hindi as used in Fiji, thereby effectively diluting our culture and traditions?”
“It is a gratuitous insult hurled at the Indians, particularly the followers of the Hindu religion.
“It is not only demeaning, it sounds absolutely ridiculous when one hears Radio Mirchi announcers expressing themselves in this medium,” Mr Chaudhry said.
He called on FBC and Radio Mirchi to revert to the use of proper (shudh) Hindi in its channels.
“The issue may have its roots in Clause 31(3) of the Bill of Rights in the imposed 2013 Constitution which provides for “conversational and contemporary iTaukei and Fiji Hindi languages” to be taught as compulsory subjects in all primary schools.
“ This was imposed without any consultation with leaders of the Indian community, or the people. The clause must be amended to allow schools to teach the proper form of Hindi. This is essential for the preservation of our language, religion, culture and traditions,” Mr Chaudhry said.