Introducing Mandarin in India! – Would they teach Hindi there?


Our politicians are coming up with new and weird ideas by the day. Kapil Sibal would surely go down in the history of Indian politics as one of the most active education ministers in terms of work. When I say active, I mean that he has continuously come up with new ideas and reforms and made sure these ideas turned into reality.

Whether the ideas / reforms have been successful or unsuccessful is a different question altogether :) Many of his moves like having a single entrance exam for medical students and abolishing board exams have been ridiculed and praised in equal measure.

Mandarin in India

But one of his most recent ideas seem to have reached the limit of stupidity. He made this statement in the media yesterday.

"China is our powerful neighbor and emerging as a biggest consumer of global resources. We cannot wish it away. The best way to introduce China in India is to introduce its language at primary level so that our kids develop interest and knowledge about China”

If anyone thinks that this does not border on ridiculousness, please comment…

Some of the other points mentioned by him include –

  • Training a large number of Indian teachers to acquire the language skills to make it part of the syllabus
  • Making it part of the CBSE curriculum

The only reason he has given to introduce Mandarin is that China is a growing consumer of resources and “We cannot wish it away”.

But there are a lot of reasons which point to the fact that introducing Mandarin in India is not beneficial – There are many more important issues such as Kashmir, Aksai Chin, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim etc. to solve before engaging into such soft diplomacy confidence building measures.

Chinese have always tried to be one up on us whenever any matter is concerned be it international policy issues or outsourcing jobs from the US. Introducing Mandarin in our country is an indication that we are trying to keep them happy even though they do anything they want

Mandarin is spoken by the largest speaking population in the world. For that matter Hindi comes at 5th place in that list. But will China even remotely consider introducing it in their country?…I think not!

Chinese use such tactics to gain access to the whole world and make it their backyard and we Indians are sadly falling prey to this game. Why do we have to be so accommodating and keep pleasing anyone and everyone?

Before introducing Mandarin, Mr Sibal should make sure if not Hindi, at least everyone knows proper English in our country.

Instead of spending tax–payers hard earned money, the Indian government should spend money in the education sector to make the students learn English, Hindi and their local language.

But is anyone listening?

Do you think introducing Mandarin in India is the right move by our government?

P.S- Can anyone tell what is written in Chinese in the image :)

  1. Billavara Viswanatha says

    When an Educational System gets stabilized, stupid people like Sibal appear in the Political Horizon with stupid ideas, which they think is brilliant. our batch of students were victims of such experiment way back in late fifties and early sixties. two schools from Coorg were selected for experimentation from Coorg District Karnataka. The System was named Higher Secondary ( Multipurpose).the School at Mercara Was selected with Science group and ours at Ponnampet was selected for Arts, Agriculture and Fine art group. The idea was to train students to be employed post Higher Secondary (Multipurpose).
    At that time no one thought of their future in terms of technical education. So we, most of us who could not offered fee for private school education were forced to select one or the other course and complete the Higher secondary education with a total of 12 years from class 1. the next experiment was making the middle school education seven years, high school 3 years (SSLC), and two years PUC. The students who were just promoted to class eighth were instead sent to class 9 as there was no class eight, did 2 years in high school and sent to do the present 2 years Pre Uniersity course. that is a total of 9 years in school and 2 years PUC and 3 yrs degree. Mr Sibal is an advocate by profession, who can prove right as wrong and wrong as right. May get a hardened criminal released from the noose by his ability to convince the judges by his arguments for a better consideration. But it seems Education is not his cup of tea. he must leave it to experts on the subject I e EDUCATION.

  2. Indian says

    Before you expect South and everyone else to learn Hindi, do you know Tamil or other south Indian languages? Bitter truth is Hindi has more foreign origin words compared to Tamil or other South Indian languages, lacks the rich literature of Tamil, but yet you prefer to learn English and disinterested in Tamil etc. In that case, you are a foreigner in India. Kapil Sibal should ensure English + Local language is taught and no other requirement.

  3. Lalit Singh says

    I Agree,
    At least we should make it available , though not mandatory.
    Rest on individuals interest .

  4. Aniket Ray says

    @Aseem: You’re missing the bigger picture here, which has already been pointed out in numerous comments.

  5. Yaamini says

    Thank you aseem for pointing out some of these facts . Wat say all ??

  6. Jagannath A says

    AFAIK US and UK are ahead us in this move.

  7. Aseem Rastogi says

    @all – I think all of you are missing the point here. You can read the statement Kapil Sibal made which is enclosed in the box in different font style. Doesn’t it look that he is talking like this to please the Chinese rather than worry 10-15 years down the line as to how it well benefit Indians?

    Yes it may benefit probably ten years down the line. But there are certain points to consider here.

    1. Is doing this currently more important than solving other issues – Mixing politics with confidence building measures may not be good but then when the question comes about India’s standing in the world and China opposing it at every level it makes me wonder whether such moves make a difference.

    2. Isnt the money being spent on teaching Chinese better gonna be used if he provides everyone education so that everyone can learn to read or write English and other languages.

    I am not against learning Mandarin per se. But when there are more important issues to consider why talk about making something mandatory which may not be required in the immediate future.

  8. Abhishek says

    I agree with most in this forum that teaching Mandarin is not a bad idea at all. But yes, this should not be made manadatory. Also for that matter, learning any language will always be a plus and our students must be encouraged to learn the seven official languages of the United Nations.

    Therefore, Kapil Sibal has moved in the right direction, but making learning any foreign language manadatory shoould be avoided.

  9. AU says

    Yeh sare neta log baatein bade bade kerte hein, karte kuch nahi hein. India ki maximum population rural areas mein rehte hein…kitne log illiterate hein gharib hein angrezi bolna bhi sikha nahi paye mandarin ki baatein karte ho..WAH NETAJI!!

  10. Madhav Shivpuri says

    I totally agree with @Sudanshoo and @mdanuz. I believe that language and partiortism/ foreign affairs/ diplomacy have nothing to do with common and business sense!

    We learned English from the British so we could communicate with them. In South India students learn English, Hindi and their state language in school. In addition through interaction with their friends and colleagues we learn languages from other states – we make friends, do business and enjoy life all with the help of languages. Language is a tool to communicate. It is not tool to dominate the world!

    Look at Japan. (I am in Japan for last 10 years so I will make a few statements about it.) The country encouraged English language in schools for many decades now. Still the students can’t even say “Hello” properly – they say “ha ro”. True that a handful have gone abroad or work in MNC’s here… that is really less than 1% of the population.

    But guess what? Chinese businesses has encouraged their staffs to learn Japanese! Dalian in China is centre of Japanese business offshoring. (Why not Bangalore or Gurgaon?) You go to Beijing or Shanghai, you will have salemen talking to Japanese tourists in their language. On the other hand, Chinese staff sell Japanese cameras and goods in the Akihabara in Tokyo (the best place for electronic goods in this world?) to both Chinese, Japanese and English speaking customers!

    Moral of the story? Learn a language so you can communicate.

    Whether Indian Govt. should mandate it? probably no. But should we encourage our children to learn it? I think so. And while at it, teach them Spanish too – b’cos your child can talk to any body from all of South America (except Brazil where they speak Portugese), Mexico and Spain. Open your mind to possibilities.

    1. says

      I totally agree…Its not foolish idea or concept…

    2. Rajarshi Som says

      Excellent analysis.

      Thinking along the same lines as you, I have been learning German and Spanish for the past 1 year.

      Mandarin was my first choice but the absence of teachers was the only reason I settled for German instead (as Mandarin can’t be learnt from books alone).

  11. Abhilash Kushwaha says

    @Yaamini: Why are you learning English when no one in the English speaking world is learning Hindi? China the 2nd biggest economy in the world. It will not hurt to learn that language.

    Chinese may not be learning to speak Hindi but they sure can sing our songs :) –

    1. balaji yadhav says

      I dont know why people here in Trak are so worried about the introduction of Mandarin in India. Im a proud Japanese speaker and i have immense pride when i watch japanese movies and anime (which is my sole reason for learning japanese)
      Just introduciing Mandarin will not make Indians China friendly.We need to do business with China which is fast becoming one of the largest exporters of the world.
      Learning Mandarin will go a long way in doing business with them.
      Learning languages will only help us it will never become a liability

  12. Yaamini says

    I completely agree with Aseem on this issue. He has a sopoinr here. Honestly i think its sheer stupidity to introduce Mandarin learning in India. Come on guys do u think they ll learn our langauge. I will comletely agree to learm Mandarin if they learn our language. It makes to learn Mandarin if one is employed or a resident in china otherwise it makes no sense. And just because china is emerging as the biggest consumer of global resources, it does not mean that we adopt their means of living or learn their language

  13. Yaamini says

    I completely agree with Aseem on this issue. He has a point over here. Honestly speaking i think its sheer stupidity to introduce learning Mandarin over here. Come on guys are they going to learn hindi over there in their country. I would totally agree to learn Mandarin if they learnt our langauge. It makes sense to learn Mandarin if an indian is employed in china or a resident in china, otherwise it really makes no sense. And just because China is emerging as a biggest consumer of global resources it does not mean we adopt their means of living or language

  14. Sun says

    First, the Chinese you quoted is incomplete. If it is complete, you omit one key word which is “teach”. So the complete sentence should be ?????????!
    It means “teaching mandarin in India, ridiculous! Btw, ?? is used in Taiwan mainly, not in China mainland.

    There are more Japanese, Russian, American and Europeans learning Chinese than Indians. How can Indians compete with them in a globalized world in the future? China is India’s number 1 trading partner now and will remain in that place for a very long time if there is no war breaking out between them.

    By the way, unlike india’s diverse languages, learning mandarin will enable you to communicate with people not only in China but also in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Not to mention Singapore and other south east Asian countries. So even in pratical perspective, it’s a very useful language.

    Please Indian friends, don’t let geopolitics influence cultural exchanges between the two great cultures. Period!

  15. Altaf Rahman says

    I may not agree with most of Kapil’s policies, but I heartily welcome such a move to introduce Mandarin in India.
    China in order to over come its weakness in English is importing Indian English teachers to teach its children. With English learnt from us, they are competing with India in IT / Software exports to west. What do we do to counter that? Nothing till now.

    With this move of Kapil may be 10-15 years down the line, we will compete with their Software exports (in countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong or even in Main land China).

    It will be a small compensation for the loss of business loss in the west.

  16. Rohit says

    as per some reports, they are already teaching Hindi in china including an initiative by Indian govt at Indian embassy too

  17. mdanuz says

    I Agree with sudhanshoo , I guess Kapil Sibal is thinking in very long term say 10 to 15 years from now .its not just employment even doing business with them will be more open and communication will not be a problem, every one keeps saying china and India will be the next super power , they are not just saying that for the sake of it , If you travel to china you would get a clear picture and would agree to it.
    One more thing is , its not necessary that china should follow us and teach Hindi,I think if you know English it easy to get your work done .Teaching Hindi will help only in few places in India .mostly in north that too , India is not just north India.

  18. sudhanshoo says

    Completely disagree with you. I think teaching Mandarin in schools is a good idea. Simply increases employability of our people in the world’s largest factory. Has it not helped people to read English? Who knows Mandarin becomes a commercially important language down the years. Whats the down-side anyways of such a move? Hats off to Kapil Sibal

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

who's online