There are numerous benefits of being a polyglot, especially if you are a politician. West Bengal Chief minister, who is an eloquent speaker in Bengali, has begun translating her Twitter feed into Hindi, apart from the usual English. TMC leaders admitted that the decision was “conscious, a signal of intent”. After cementing her political position in West Bengal, she is planning to enlarge her national profile. And, after her recent rally at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, she is preparing to address rallies in Lucknow and Patna next week to campaign nationally against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his much-debated move of demonetisation. Language along with diction matters in politics and in our country linguistic indeed plays a pivotal role. Earlier, she spoke Nepali in Darjeeling and tried out Santhal in Midnapore. She is leaving no stone unturned ahead of those rallies in northern Indian which is known as Hindi belt. TMC sources said, the feisty CM is looking for a Hindi teacher and has purchased a Bengali-Hindi dictionary, too. Banerjee acknowledged that as a politician who began her career as a parliamentarian in Delhi, her spoken Hindi has become “rusty”. “I was in Delhi from 1984. First, as a parliamentarian and then as a member of the Union Cabinet. I spoke in Hindi then. But over the years, particularly after 2011, my Hindi has become rusty with lack of practice,” she told The Indian Express.
According to the Indian Express report, Banerjee’s politics is about “instinct”. “Take for instance, Modi expressing sorrow that people standing in queues were suffering. She immediately felt that this was an instance of ‘rubbing salt into wounds’. But she had to ask someone what the exact translation of the phrase was in Hindi before making a statement,” said the aide. Banerjee, the aide said, is also working on a book of poetry in Hindi. Her party, meanwhile, is likely to publicise once again a biography of the Chief Minister in Hindi titled “Meri Sangharshpurnyatra”, which was first published in 2013. Party leaders like Vivek Gupta, TMC MP and editor of the Hindi daily ‘Sanmarg’, are also contributing to Mamata’s speeches, said sources.
Check out CM Mamata Banerjee’s Hindi tweets.
On November 16, Banerjee put out her first Tweet in Hindi, announcing her joint rally at Azadpur Mandi in the national capital alongside her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal. Four days later, she hit out at Modi in a series of tweets, first in Hindi followed by translations in English.
“Pradhan mantri ji, aap har virodhi ko bhrashtachari kahte hai. Aap kya jadugar hai. Janta ki awaz suniye. Unki takleef ko samjhiye. Janta is takleef ko bhula nahi sakti. Janta ki takleef ko mazak mat samjhiye. Aap ki policy se janta ko takleef kyun hoga, rahat honi chahiye. Har state ki, pure desh ki economy tahas nahas ho rahi hai. Janta dukh mein aur aap khushi mana rahe hai (PM, you are equating all opposition with corruption. Are you a magician? Listen to the voice of the people. Understand their discomfort. People will not be able to forget this.
So, CM Banerjee is not only sharpening his attack againt PM Modi but also brushing-up her Hindi. With 2019 is not far away, will we see Mamata Banerjee- the Hindi orator? Only time will tell.