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The talk on Fiji Hindi or formal Hindi

The talk on Fiji Hindi or formal Hindi

By Fijivillage
Wednesday 12/02/2020

FBC to continue using Fiji Hindi on Mirchi FM, Hindi Parishad to decide on their next step (Tuesday 11/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan and Rashika Kumar

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The Fijian Broadcasting Corporation stresses that they will continue broadcasting in Fiji Hindi on their station, Mirchi FM as that is what their listeners understand, want and enjoy while opponents of the change, the Hindi Parishad says they will decide on their next step after their meeting.

Although calls have been made by the Hindi Parishad Fiji for the radio station to stop broadcasting in Fiji Hindi and to use formal standard Hindi, FBC CEO, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they were experimenting with Fiji Hindi on the station more than a year ago and not a single complaint was received from people or any political party or organisation.

Sayed-Khaiyum says only when Mirchi FM officially announced that it was using Fiji Hindi on that station alone that the politicisation of this issue was kicked off with great gusto by the usual suspects with the sensitive and impassioned subject of religion unashamedly being roped in for communal and political gain.

He says the facts are that at the recent Regional Hindi Conference, Fiji Hindi was accepted by eminent authorities in linguistics as a bona fide language.

Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum also says the fact is that the use of standard Hindi has been on the decline for many decades and it’s the duty of parents to advocate the learning of formal Hindi for their children at home and school if they wish to.

He says countless Indo Fijian parents have increasingly not been bothered for many decades now to facilitate the teaching of formal Hindi to their children.

Sayed-Khaiyum says this is the reason why radio listeners have for several years found it increasingly difficult to understand formal Hindi.

The FBC CEO also says the Ministry of Education still offers the teaching of itaukei and standard Hindi for any student that wishes to learn the language.

He says added to that, the Fijian government also has a policy to teach conversational itaukei and Fiji Hindi for the purposes of fostering greater understanding between Fiji’s different communities leading to a more unified country.

Hindi Parishad Assistant Secretary, Vigyan Sharma says the roots of the diverse set of religious beliefs, traditions and philosophy of Hindus were laid during the Vedic age, and most of the religious scriptures are written in standard Hindi.

Sharma says the general feeling of the followers of Hinduism is that Hindi is associated to religion and form an integral element of their identity as it directly connects them to their roots, and therefore must be protected and promoted.

Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the decision to switch to Fiji Hindi on one of their radio stations has been done at the behest of their listeners.

Sayed-Khaiyum says that social media is not the correct indicator of acceptance and there are many factors to consider such as fake profiles and political and group agendas.

He also says it is nonsensical to associate language and religion.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made it clear that the government is not and will not force any Hindu organisation-run school to teach Fiji Hindi to their students.

Hindu organisations like Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha and TISI Sangam have told the media that they will oppose moves by the government for conversational Fiji Hindi to be taught in schools because it is a broken language.

However, Bainimarama stressed to Fijivillage that as the head of the government, he wants to make it clear that these schools will not be forced into doing this.

Bainimarama says the schools owned by Hindu organisations can teach whatever Hindi they prefer.

The Prime Minister says that he also agrees these Hindu organisations should teach formal Hindi even if they speak Fiji Hindi.

 

Fiji is the place of birth of Fiji Hindi - Dr Nikhat Shameem

By: Vijay Narayan and Rashika Kumar

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Acting Director of the Fiji Higher Education Commission and Hindi academic Doctor Nikhat Shameem says Fiji is the place of birth of Fiji Hindi and if it is not honoured and respected in the country of its birth and development, then no one else will do so.

She says the issue with Fiji Hindi is that it is a preliterate language without a standardized writing script which makes it difficult to use as a formal written language.

However while it may not be used as a subject of study, children in Fiji schools and teachers of young primary school children use it often as a language of instruction, discussion, explanation and communication.

She adds that government policy needs to regulate and guide its use in schools.

Doctor Shameem says that it is the policy of any radio station to use whichever variety of Hindi they prefer.

She also adds that if the language is not used, respected and promoted it is likely to shift and move to other domains of use such as the radio or more formal family events will help to maintain it.

University of the South Pacific Lecturer Rajendra Prasad says there should not be a debate about Fiji Hindi being a language or not because Fiji Hindi is a variety of Hindi similar to standard Hindi.

He says there are many varieties and one of them is Fiji Hindi.

Prasad says Fiji Hindi is only spoken by Fijian people of Indian descent and somebody needs to take the onus to actually save the language.  

He also says no Hindi radio station is speaking standard Hindi in the country, there is a mixture of Hindi being used and there is no problem with it.

Meanwhile, University of Fiji Lecturer Salesh Kumar says Fiji Hindi is part of our daily rapporteur and people speak it on various platforms and in the media and there is nothing wrong with that because they are speaking the language of the people.

 

NFP and FLP leaders speak out on use of Fiji Hindi while FBC CEO says issue should not be politicised

By: Vijay Narayan and Rashika Kumar

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National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says he agrees with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that schools run by Hindu organisations should teach formal Hindi even if they speak Fiji Hindi. 

He says that for over a hundred years, Hindi has survived in the country because it has always been taught in primary school and anyone who understands that would not want to dilute the teaching of the language in any way.

He adds that if Mirchi FM wants to continue to defy the listeners who have expressed their views against the use of Fiji Hindi and Fijian Broadcasting Corporation which is funded by the taxpayers, wants to ignore the overwhelming opinion of people then they would be swimming against the tide and they can drown themselves there.

Meanwhile, Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has condemned Mirchi FM’s stubborn determination to continue to use Fiji Hindi as the medium of its programs despite widespread opposition from the Hindi speaking people of Fiji.

Chaudhry says FBC is funded by the ratepayers and it has the responsibility to take on board public sentiment and they cannot simply ignore how people feel about such policies.

He says that he is not impressed with any justification given so far by Mirchi FM in its defence of this position.

He also says what Mirchi FM is doing is effectively, and it seems now, deliberately setting out to dilute the Indian culture.

Chaudhry adds language is an integral part of ones culture and traditions.

He says that as a medium of expression, proper Hindi is essential for an understanding of religion, religious texts and practices and of Hindi literature writings and the arts.

The FLP leader says Indians in Fiji are daily exposed to the use of proper Hindi through Indian movies, television and serials, news telecasts, the reading of Hindu religious texts and religious practices and it is not a foreign or strange language.

He adds to take Mirchi FM’s argument to its natural conclusion, is  it now also going to use the corrupted form of English used in Fiji. Chaudhry also adds that on the same token, a lot of people in Fiji do not speak the Queen’s English, they instead speak a Fiji version mixed with bits of both the local vernacular.

He also says that one would expect FBC to stop discriminating and start using Fiji English in its radio stations. 

Fijian Broadcasting Corporation has stressed that they will continue broadcasting in Fiji Hindi on their station, Mirchi FM as that is what their listeners understand, want and enjoy while opponents of the change, the Hindi Parishad says they will decide on their next step after their meeting.

Although calls have been made by the Parishad for the radio station to stop broadcasting in Fiji Hindi and to use formal standard Hindi, FBC CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they were experimenting with Fiji Hindi on the station more than a year ago and not a single complaint was received from people or any political party or organisation.

Sayed-Khaiyum says only when Mirchi FM officially announced that it was using Fiji Hindi on that station alone that the politicisation of this issue was kicked off with great gusto by the usual suspects with the sensitive and impassioned subject of religion unashamedly being roped in for communal and political gain.

FBC CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the decision to switch to Fiji Hindi on one of their radio stations has been done at the behest of their listeners, and those complaining are not Mirchi demographic listeners.

He also says it is nonsensical to associate language and religion.

The Secretary of the Hindi Parishad Fiji, Jainan Prasad says they are raising serious concerns about Fiji Hindi being spoken on Mirchi FM as their primary market is the youth.

He also says that they want the youth to learn and speak formal Hindi and not get influenced by Fiji Hindi spoken on the station.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made it clear that the government is not and will not force any Hindu organisation-run school to teach Fiji Hindi to their students.

Hindu organisations like Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha and TISI Sangam have told the media that they will oppose moves by the government for conversational Fiji Hindi to be taught in schools because it is a broken language.

However, Bainimarama stressed to Fijivillage that as the head of the government, he wants to make it clear that these schools will not be forced into doing this.

Bainimarama says the schools owned by Hindu organisations can teach whatever Hindi they prefer.

The Prime Minister says that he also agrees these Hindu organisations should teach formal Hindi even if they speak Fiji Hindi.

 

Hindi Parishad Fiji held a successful meeting with FBC CEO 

By: Rashika Kumar

The Secretary of Hindi Parishad Fiji, Jainan Prasad had sent an email to the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation CEO, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum after their meeting early last month that the Hindi Parishad was very grateful to the broadcast organisation for the meeting with the Parishad and having such a wonderful discussion.

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Prasad had said that they are glad that they came and heard FBC’s side of the story and that they understand their position and are in a better position to inform their members and affiliates.

He had also said that they had a good start and hope to continue the discussion.

However, the Parishad has now stressed that they are extremely dissatisfied on the use of Fiji Hindi on the local radio stations and is concerned with the level of public outcry.

When contacted by Fijivillage, Prasad says that he sticks by the statement by the Parishad that they oppose the use of Fiji Hindi and the statement was made after discussing the issue with their members and affiliates.

 

Mirchi FM to continue using Fiji Hindi - Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (Monday 10/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan and Rashika Kumar

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Broadcasting Corporation for one of their radio stations, Mirchi FM to discontinue broadcasting in Fiji Hindi while FBC CEO, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says that as a commercial radio station, they have made a commitment to try to connect to as many people as possible because all Indo-Fijians in Fiji speak Fiji Hindi.

The Hindi Parishad Fiji Assistant Secretary, Vigyan Sharma says they are extremely dissatisfied on the use of Fiji Hindi on Mirchi FM and is concerned with the levels of public outcry.

Hindi Parishad Fiji is made up of various faith based Hindi speaking organisations. These include Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, TISI Sangam, Gujarat Society, Hanuman Chalisa Pariwar, Hindi Writers Forum, Hare Krishna Movement, Sai Sanstha, Fiji Sevashram Sangha, Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, The Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Fiji, Shree Sanatan Dharam Brahman Purohit Sabha of Fiji , Ramcharitmanas Fiji , Fiji Hindu Society, and Hindi Teachers Association.

They believe that Fiji Hindi is a spoken dialect which is spoken informally in social settings and at home and on any formal platform, individuals are prompted to speak in a standard language. 

They say that Mirchi FM did not consult any Hindi language stakeholders nor any public consultations were held.

They also say that it was very disappointing to note that FBC’s talk back show, Aaina on the 21st of last month only featured a panel who were in support of Fiji Hindi and callers were deliberately cut short or interrupted.

The Parishad also say that they are very concerned about the growing tensions on social media and are distancing themselves from any form of racial, political or hare statements made by any individuals.

Vigyan Sharma also says the roots of the diverse set of religious beliefs, traditions and philosophy of Hindus were laid during the Vedic age, and most of the religious scriptures are written in standard Hindi. Sharma says the general feeling of the followers of Hinduism is that Hindi is associated to religion and form an integral element of their identity as it directly connects them to their roots, and therefore must be protected and promoted.

FBC CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the decision to switch to Fiji Hindi on one of their radio stations has been done at the behest of their listeners.

He says the station started to experiment Fiji Hindi more than a year ago and during that year, they did not receive a single complaint in regards to this.

Sayed-Khaiyum says that social media is not the correct indicator of acceptance and there are many factors to consider such as fake profiles and political and group agendas.

He says that at the Regional Hindi Conference, Fiji Hindi was accepted by eminent authorities in linguistics as a bonafide language.

Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says it is nonsensical to associate language and religion.

 

Number of students taking up Hindi subject drastically decreasing in Fiji (Tuesday 04/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan and Rashika kumar

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The number of students taking up the Hindi language as a subject to study is drastically decreasing in schools in the country.

According to the Ministry of Education, 969 students took Hindi in Year 10 in 2015 while only 20 students took Hindi in Year 13 last year.

Speaking at the Regional Hindi Conference at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Hindi lecturer at the University of the South Pacific, Rajendra Prasad said there are many students who are giving up the subject right from year one.

He says when he asked students why they did not choose Hindi as a subject to study, he was told that they believe that the field does not have enough job opportunities, the subject is too difficult, classes are not interesting, their parents do not want them to study the language, teachers told them to take up other subjects instead and the teachers themselves do not know Hindi.

Hindi language scholar, Nemani Bainivalu says to encourage students to learn the language, a simpler from of Hindi should be taught in schools.

He also says that there are literature and teaching material available with the Indian High Commission and it should be utilized instead of the difficult learning materials in schools.

He also says that conversational Hindi should be taught in predominantly I-Taukei schools while proper Hindi can be taught in predominantly Indo-Fijian schools.

Pundit Bhuwan Dutt from the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji says that students need to be asked about what they want to learn in class to learn the language.

He adds that there is a need for specialist teachers in schools and simplified Hindi education material for students to study.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made it clear that the government is not and will not force any Hindu organisation-run school to teach Fiji Hindi to their students.

 Hindu organizations like Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha and TISI Sangam have told the media that they will oppose moves by the government for conversational Fiji Hindi to be taught in schools because it is a broken language.

Govt will not force any Hindu organisation-run school to teach Fiji Hindi to their students - PM (Saturday 01/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan

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Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made it clear that the government is not and will not force any hindu organisation-run school to teach Fiji Hindi to their students.

Hindu organisations like Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha and TISI Sangam have told the media that they will oppose moves by the government for conversational Fiji Hindi to be taught in schools because it is a broken language.

However, Bainimarama stressed to Fijivillage that as the head of the government, he wants to make it clear that these schools will not be forced into doing this.

Bainimarama says the school is owned by these organisations so they can teach whatever Hindi they prefer.

The Prime Minister says that he also agrees they should teach formal Hindi even if they speak Fiji Hindi.

 

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