Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Metro, which is yet to be inaugurated, has opened its arms to four languages. The signboards are displayed in Telugu, English, Hindi and Urdu (as city has a large Muslim population) at metro stations which are ready.
While Hindi signboards in Bengaluru has Kannada activists seeing red, Hyderabad seems to have no problems with it.
Shiva Kiran, a local resident, said, "Hyderabad is a global city and we have always welcomed people from all over India. If our regional languages are given importance, then Hindi, there or not, becomes non-issue for us."
For decades, the multi-lingual and multi-cultural identity has defined the spirit of Hyderabad and has made the city a conducive place to live in for people across the country. Not only this, the heritage city is also a popular tourist destination.
"The charm of the city is that it embraces multi-lingual identity. People speak multiple languages in Hyderabad. Along with our local language Telugu, if Hindi is used, there was never a problem. In Telangana, many people speak in Hindi,” Venkatesh, a local resident, said.
There is no strong resistance to Hindi in Hyderabad but many oppose any forceful imposition of Hindi language.
Kancha Ilaiah, writer and activist, advocates two language policy. "I oppose imposition of Hindi in all south Indian states and south should completely reject it. Two language formula is best. Hindi is nothing but hegemony of Brahmanical north."
Avula Manjulatha, former vice-chancellor of Telugu University says, "We do not oppose any language. We respect and accept all languages. But the question is why the Hindi-speaking states don't allow other language. Like we learn Hindi, why don't they learn south Indian languages? The three language police should be implemented in north states also if implemented in south."
Multi language sign-boards, including in Hindi are common in Hyderabad, due to the demographic profile and history linked to the city.
Senior TRS leader and Rajya Sabha MP Keshav Rao, said, "No language can be imposed and we also oppose that. In Hyderabad, Telugu is our language, English is global language, Hindi is spoken by many people here and Urdu is our second language. So what’s wrong in having all together.”
Welcoming the four language sign boards in Hyderabad Metro rail, BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said, "We welcome the move in Hyderabad to have four languages. People from all over country travel to south India. Hindi is a mainstream language and it becomes easy for them to understand. We are one nation and multiple language. We should not limit ourselves to regional language."
"There is no pressure or forceful implementation on Hindi by Centre. The language war is purely political and regional parties make hue and cry over it. They fear is if Hindi becomes accessible to local people there, then national parties can permeate", he added.
Krishank, Congress leader said, "When we have places in Hyderabad like Gujarati Galli, Parsi Gutta, Sikh Village, Jain Market, banning Hindi is not correct. But this thought is only provoked by the treatment meted out to the South Indians by elite north political class.”