Hindi: Arunachal’s new mother tongue

Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging ]
Of all the states of Northeast India, Arunachal Pradesh is the only one without a distinct language followed throughout the state.
Assam has Assamese, Mizoram has Mizo, Manipur has Manipuri, Meghalaya has Khasi and Jaintia, Nagaland has Nagamese, and Tripura has Bengali. In states like Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya, English is spoken commonly.
Arunachal Pradesh has 28 major tribes, 100 sub-tribes, and 50 distinct languages and dialects. Unlike the other six states, Hindi is the most commonly used language in Arunachal. Hindi movies and serials are commonly watched in houses, and Hindi songs are very popular among all the tribes. In fact, TV shows like Arunachal Idol, Voice of Arunachal, etc, are dominated by Hindi songs. Hindi is the language of choice for proceedings in the legislative assembly. Hindi is also the main language used for campaigning by the politicians.
This preponderance of Hindi as the language of choice is gradually leading to Hindi replacing native languages as the common language. Today most children prefer Hindi over native languages. In most schools, colleges, institutions and bazaars of Arunachal, Hindi is commonly spoken. Teachers teach in Hindi, doctors converse with patients in Hindi, commuters speak to auto-rickshaw/taxi driversin Hindi, politicians give speeches in Hindi…! The increase in spoken Hindi has also led to names of persons changing over to Hindi names in preference to tribal names.
However, the Hindi spoken in Arunachal is much different from the Hindi spoken in mainland Hindi states like UP, Bihar, Delhi, MP, etc, in both grammar and pronunciation. Grammatically correct Hindi is rarely spoken and followed in Arunachal. In fact,Hindi is spoken with a local accent and with many errors. Important Hindi traits like strilling (feminine) and pulling (masculine) are rarely followed in the Hindi spoken in the state. Pure Hindi scholars may not support our version of Hindi! In fact, it is comicalto hear our politicians giving speeches in Hindi.
The predominance of Hindi may have also led to a higher sense of patriotism and nationalism amongmany Arunachalees. With most national/patriotic songs in Sanskrit, Urdu or chaste Hindi, many Arunachalees understand and assimilate these songs better than other Northeasterners.
The rise of Hindi has led to the decline of native languages in the region. Today a large number of our children speak mostly in Hindi; in fact, many children do not speak their native mother tongues at all. The rise of Hindi has also led to the decline of the English language in the state. The quality of spoken and written English is declining at an alarming rate.Hindi is important; but native languages and English are equally important.
Most mainlanders may not believe that Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar are immensely popular in Arunachal Pradesh. In fact, Arunachal Pradesh is by itself a fully Hindi name! However most natives pronounce it as Orunasol! (The contributor is Retired Group Captain)