1 Cristhian Stuani celebrates his goal against Brighton in their 1-1 draw Middlesbrough are back in the Premier League following their 1-1 draw with 10-man Brighton at the Riverside.There will be no perilous play-offs for the hosts this year thanks to Cristhian Stuani, who opened the scoring.Brighton needed to win to seal automatic promotion, but a poor first half display meant it was a big ask to turn things around in the second 45 minutes even after Dale Stephens briefly gave them hope.However, his red card made it difficult in a game Boro should really have had wrapped up by half-time.Supporters were bemused prior to the game when manager Aitor Karanka left Jordan Rhodes, with 16 goals in the Championship this season, on the bench, but it was justified in the end even if Boro could have scored three or four.The Riverside was rocking before kick-off and referee Mike Dean had to be alert as the tackles were flying from the start and it took the hosts just 20 minutes to score.Gaston Ramirez’s looping cross to the back post was knocked down by David Nugent, taking out goalkeeper David Stockdale to leave Stuani with an open goal from three yards.Cue scenes of exuberant celebrations.Stuani almost double the lead five minutes later, but Connor Goldson’s superb goal line block kept his side in it, but Brighton did not appear capable of scoring and it was left to Boro to keep attacking, with Ramirez going close when his chip looped over Stockdale and onto the roof of the net.Brighton were poor, but the saving grace for manager Chris Hughton when Dean blew the whistle for half-time was that it was only 1-0.And there was hope for the visitors in a crazy five-minute spell shortly after the restart when Stephens equalised, but was also sent off.The no.6 was there at the back post to head in Anthony Knockaert’s free-kick before a reckless tackle on Ramirez left the Boro player with a nasty looking cut on his leg and in need of lengthy treatment.In between the chaos, Nugent had a glorious chance to restore the hosts’ lead, but was thwarted in the box by Gordon Greer.As the game headed towards the end, Brighton fans willed their team forward and the home support held their collective breath when it was revealed there would be eight minutes of stoppage time.However, Boro came through it and will join champions Burnley in the Premier League next season, and as Brighton’s players trudged off at full-time with the play-offs to look forward to, jubilant Boro fans engulfed players on the pitch to celebrate.
India is a land of different languages, religions, ethnicities and cultures with a variety of food items and clothes. If anything should make India proud in the global forum, it is this diversity which has existed here for ages. It is not that there are no countries in this modern century that pledge for diversity. Obviously, there are many countries with a rich linguistic heritage. But, India is among the rarest of countries in this world, which has inherited a long history as a civilisation of flourishing cultures with an incredible linguistic and cultural plurality. Not to mention, even in Europe, the continent known for its liberal values in modern times, there were wars in the name of the language, creed and religion in the last millennium — with instances of different factions of Christianity engaging in war among themselves for supremacy. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyRecently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, on the occasion of Hindi Diwas, courted controversy by iterating on Twitter that there should be a language in the country which will act as the identity of India. Shah didn’t stop and continued further to say that if there is any language, it is Hindi which can be the unifier of the country. Although, following criticisms, he clarified later that he didn’t mean Hindi imposition and that he believes in the importance of propagating every mother tongue. Also Read – The future is here!However, despite clarification, the meaning of Amit Shah’s statement still remains the same — that India needs Hindi as the mediator language — which cannot be supported. The wording of his tweet was very clear on that, particularly given how it was written on the occasion of Hindi Diwas and that too in Hindi. This one language theory only undermines the strength of India’s linguistic plurality that has already become its identity all over the world. The proponents of Hindi always argue that it is the most widely spoken and understood language in the country. Undeniably, this is a fact. Around 41 per cent people of the nation speak Hindi. As far as the question of understandability of Hindi is concerned, the figures are higher than speakers. One of the reasons for Hindi’s propagation is Bollywood, or the Hindi film industry and also the dominance of the Hindi entertainment channels in Indian television. But that doesn’t mean it is the medium of communication all people in the country. One shouldn’t forget that every language has its own culture. So, propagating one language will only undermine the other existing cultures that are not related to that tongue. One must not forget that Hindi is only 300-400 years old. There are many languages which are even older than Hindi. Tamil, which is spoken by 90 per cent of denizens of Tamil Nadu, is the oldest widely spoken language in the world, like its contemporaries – Sanskrit, Hebrew and Latin are almost lost in the pages of history. Tamil is considered being in existence for the last 2,000 years and the majority of its speakers live in India. So, no doubt, this ancient existing language is definitely a feather in India’s diversified lingual culture. The example of diversified linguistic culture can be known from the different existing versions of the Ramayan, one of the two epics of Hinduism which undoubtedly has emerged in the years as one of the prominent cultural symbols of India. The text originally written by sage Valmiki in Sanskrit, historically dated around 7th-6th century BCE, exists in many versions across the country. It has been written in many regional languages over time with each version having its own respective cultural flavour. The first regional Ramayan is the Kamban Ramayan, written in Tamil around the 12th century, which is quite different from the main text — both in spiritual concepts and in respect to the storyline. The same goes for the other Ramayans like the Shri Ranganath Ramayan written in Telugu (14th century), Kumendu Ramayan, a Jain version, written in Kannada (13th century), Saptakanda Ramayan written in Assamese (14th century), DandiRamayan written in Oriya (14th century), the 15th century Konkani Ramayan of Goa and the Bengali version called the Krittivasi Ramayan written in the 15th century. It must be mentioned that all these Ramayans were written much before the 16th century Tulsidas Ramcharit Manas written in Awadhi, which is widely regarded as the Hindi Ramayan. They are also Ramayans written in other languages like Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, etc. Although the main story remains the same, the regional ones carry their own traditional taste with them. This history of many Ramayans only throws light on the rich linguistic heritage of the country which has been strongly rooted for thousands of years. Not to forget that the eight northeastern states, which although are smaller in areas with a reduced number of population, have many spoken languages within itself only. Arunachal Pradesh is one of the main samples with many distinct native tongues — which is also considered as the richest linguistic region in Asia. So, propagating Hindi as the language as a unifying thread is not ideal as it undermines the spirit of those non-Hindi cultures of south, west and the east, including the most varied north-east. That’s also the main reason for not naming Hindi as the national language by the members of the Constituent Assembly, who drafted the Constitution. Instead, India’s constitution has officially 22 recognised languages. Only because Hindi is spoken and understood by most of India’s population doesn’t present it as a reconciler of the country’s varied lingual society. India’s traditions have always been defined by its pluralistic features and this has been the strength of the Indian culture. As far as the medium is concerned, English presently does that. It would be unfair to look English only through prisms of slavery as the truth that it is currently the dominant tongue in the global forum cannot be ignored. That doesn’t mean that the Indian languages should not be promoted. They must be but not in the present form. Hindi must not be promoted as a unifier language as it has the potentiality to ignore the other regional Indian languages, which have their own rich heritage. Also one must not forget what happened to our neighbour, Pakistan which lost East Pakistan (modern Bangladesh) in 1971 due to the former’s imposition of Urdu on the latter’s largely Bengali speaking population, which also dealt a big blow to Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s much prophesied two-nation theory.(The views expressed are strictly personal)