In Rajnath home, West is best

When it comes to his home and children, BJP chief Rajnath Singh does not seem to have much problem with English or Western ways of life. He had sent his younger son, Neeraj, to study abroad, and his daughter Anamika worked in the United States. While his criticism of the English language has not gone down well within the party, it was endorsed by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday. “This is an illusion that English is the only means of progress. This is not true,” Mr Bhagwat said and then went a step further by claiming that the “maximum cases of corruption and irregularities are done by such educated people”.
Mr Singh’s and Mr Bhagwat’s remarks have upset the English-speaking media faces within the party. Fingers are now being pointed at Mr Singh by his own party colleagues for maintaining two different faces.
It was revealed that the party chief, who apparently is not too pleased with Western culture and the English language, had sent his younger son, Neeraj Singh, to London for higher studies. His daughter Anamika, too, worked at an MNC in the United States. His elder son, Pankaj, who is in politics and likely to contest the 2014 elections, is also fluent in the English language.
However, when contacted, Pankaj chose to reply in chaste Hindi to all questions asked in English. While admitting his younger brother had studied in UK, Mr Pankaj Singh denied “proper knowledge” about his father’s remarks on English. “Maine theek se dekha nahin (I have not seen it properly),” was his only reaction to his father’s severe criticism of English.
Somewhat out of sync with the winds of change, Mr Singh had said: “The English language has caused a great loss to the country. We are losing our language, our culture, as there are hardly any people who speak Sanskrit now.”
This sudden outburst by the party chief caught the BJP’s English-speaking media faces off guard. “There was no need for such a remark at this juncture,” an English-speaking BJP leader said. It was also pointed out that some of the other top BJP leaders’ children were sent to study abroad.
Unlike the Congress, earlier there was an acute shortage of “English-speaking BJP leaders”, a senior party functionary said. However, over the years the party had brought in and promoted leaders who are equally fluent in Hindi and English. Some of the BJP’s top leaders, like Mr Arun Jaitley, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad , Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Mr Varun Gandhi, are known for their command of both English and Hindi. Former BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu and party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, however, are more comfortable in English. Other young faces, like the party’s national executive member, Mr Siddharth Nath Singh, are among others who could be seen debating on television in both languages. Union minister for information and broadcasting Manish Tewari virtually hit the nail on its head when he said: “On one side their political vision document is outsourced to people who don’t speak any language other than English. Is this medievalism or hypocrisy?”

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