Let us learn to appreciate all languagesThis true incident happened recently in Chennai, a few days ago. The venue was Chennai Central. A very elderly person, who knew only Hindi, approached a very young person who was seemingly from Chennai for some help. The young person asked the person to speak in English as he did not know the language.
This irritated the elder person who started giving a big lecture on why everyone should learn Hindi and so on. The young person was very angry and rang up his friends who were just going to the suburban side. They landed and abused the elderly gentleman, literally telling him to better pack off or be beaten up!!
Even before I could react, a very nice Gujarathi gentleman, intervened and made the elder understand that Tamil is widely spoken here and Hindi is not a language that is commonly understood. If someone knew Hindi they will respond. The lectures do not work here, he clearly explained to the Hindi gentleman. It was then that he realized he did a mistake and said sorry in Hindi.
In the meanwhile, this gentleman put his arms around the young man and said in pure Tamil, the poor fellow has mistaken you and apologized for the Hindi person.
All this could have been avoided if the Hindi person had not started his lecture. Language can be a very sensitive issue and to insult anyone is very dangerous. Many others openly praised the Gujarathi gentleman who said that he lived in Chennai for fifty years and knew the local language so well. The four young guys shook hands with this person and even took a selfie.
We should respect all languages. Hindi may be widely spoken but to expect everyone to know it is very unfair.