Since the last couple of days social media, specifically Facebook, has been flooded with memes and trolls targeting the English and Hindi accents of several political leaders of Assam.
Not just the members of the ruling party, but even the leaders of the opposition have jumped into this ugly game of mudslinging.
So, what is the big deal if my English and Hindi accents are not as per the "standards"?
Both these languages are alien to me and for this particular reason, my accent is not "fluent". When I am okay with it then why do you need to create a fuss about it?
When I speak "reason" and "region", they both sound the same. But what should matter the most is the context in which I use the words.
The message I am trying to convey should matter and not how poor my pronunciation or accent is. I understand that the wrong pronunciation of words can pass a wrong message. So, if my pronunciation is wrong then instead of laughing at me, why don't you help me by sharing the right pronunciation?
People (read most Assamese people) laugh at me loud or they giggle when I speak Hindi. I am pathetic at Hindi and I admit it. So, what is the big deal?
We go gaga when a non-Assamese bureaucrat posted in Assam or a foreigner speaks broken Assamese, why?
For us, their "Assamese is cute", then why can't you consider my Hindi to be cute?
India has 22 separate official languages, a total of 121 languages and 270 mother tongues, and Hindi is just an official language of the country. Then why is it that we are obsessed in love with "just" an official language?
Okay, leave Hindi, how many of us know to speak other local languages of Assam apart from Assamese? I am ashamed of myself as I don't know any of the languages. Are you ashamed?
When the residents of the five South Indian states are least bothered about their English and Hindi accents, then why do the Assamese people are so much bothered about it?
The obsession with Hindi has pushed several local languages and dialects to the verge of extinction in the northeast. Are we aware?
I am not against any language. Knowing several languages is always beneficial for us. But even if we know to speak ten other languages, we seldom would be able to perfect the pronunciations.
Calling the wrong accent funny only goes on to reveal a person's ignorance and my dear friends, such ignorance is not bliss!
Yes, my English and Hindi accents are not standard, but in no way they are funny. Before laughing at me, look at the mirror first and question this- Are my English and Hindi accents perfect?
Partha Prawal (Goswami) is a Guwahati-based journalist who loves to write about entertainment, sports, and social and civic issues among others. He is also a published author.