Influence of English has sabotaged Hindi so much that the language is in extreme danger, says writer-poet Ashok Vajpeyi but he believes literature is the key to keep it alive.
"We are a nation which believes in copying. We are copying the West blindly, wearing their clothes and speaking in their language. What the East India Company couldn't do to us while they were here, we managed to do it without having them in our country," Vajpeyi said at the North East and Northern Writers' Meet at Sahitya Akademi.
"The onus is on us to keep it (Hindi) alive. Literature is the key that passes on from generation to generation and can save this language.
We have better writers in Hindi but there are no takers for us. We are struggling to keep up with the changing world because we are still stuck to the roots," he added.
The convergence of writers from Assam, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan at the two-day meet that kicked off Thursday is aimed at providing a platform to discuss, debate and share stories and poems with regional flavours.
Showing his annoyance towards the step-motherly treatment given to Hindi, Vajpeyi sarcastically asked what is the ambition of today's generation, and himself answered: "America."
"Today everyone whose kid is in America or who lives there has achieved something in life. This is what we are aiming it. This is what we are embracing," he said.
Sylvanus Lamare, an English-Khasi poet agreed with Vajpeyi and pointed out India might be a super power in years to come, but would have already been one now if it had respected its language.
"If we had not copied the software in English and instead followed China and used native language to create the software in native language, we would have been a super power by now. The language won't have been obscure as it is today," said Lamare.