Pushing usage of Hindi language in Indian banks…killed local origins?

One just read this recent press release from RBI:

With a view to encourage Hindi in Bank’s publications, Reserve Bank of India conducts Bilingual/Hindi House Magazine Competition for Public Sector Banks and Financial Institutions every year. RBI has released the result of the competition for the year 2015-16.

As you click on the results, you get list of awarded banks.

It was interesting to see  names of Indian Overseas Bank, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank win awards for Bilingual/Hindi Magazines. All these banks started from Southern India- Indian Overseas Bank from Madras and Canara Bank & Syndicate Bank from Coastal Karnataka.

It is highly unlikely that Hindi was the preferred medium for these banks during their inception. They would be conducting much of their business in local language and at most using English for interacting with regulator and government.  Much of their growth in that period was due to how they appealed for deposits and credit to the local people. There were hardly any NPAs as well as the banks pretty much knew the community in and out.

Post nationalisation, all this must have started to change and intensified following adoption of promotion of Hindi as Rajbhasha in central govt departments/organisations. The banks gradually lost touch with local reality and just became similar across functions. Earlier, they knew ground realities but it was hardly the requirement now.

Is it any surprise that how the highly successful banks of yesteryears have become just a pale shadow today? Do they even release similar magazines in local languages?


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