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Hindi Medium: Unveiling the Hard Realities of India’s Class Divide

“Is Desh Mein Angrezi Zabaan Nahi Hai … Class Hai”


As someone who is not generally a fan of Indian movies, I remember groaning when my friends told me we were going to watch a movie called “Hindi Medium”. But this was one movie that genuinely hit home and left me drawing parallels with our own class-based Pakistani society. It took me back to the time when I was preparing for the interview of a particular private school and someone advised me to “carry a Gucci bag” and “flash Prado keys” and I would be good to go. Why should a student have to worry about any of that? Or maybe this is what we have confined education to.


Now that I am done ranting, let us discuss the film itself. Hindi Medium revolves around Raj Batra and his wife Mita who go to extreme lengths to get their daughter an admission at Delhi Grammar School. They are well-off and live a comfortable life but they are not well-versed in English and, hence according to the Indian dictionary, not classy enough. Hindi Medium is a true depiction of India’s obsession with the English Language and this is Pakistan’s reality too. It goes to show how we are still bounded by the shackles of colonialism. Instead of embracing and upholding our own language, we have adopted English as a parameter to judge intelligence.


Another underlying theme that I loved in this film is the contrast they have shown between the lives of the rich and the poor. Through the character of Shyam, the movie makes us realize how the poor, despite having lesser, are often so compassionate and generous while the rich are selfish and greedy. While this is a generalization, perhaps this exaggerated transition was necessary to convey the message.


The film does play with logic quite a few times. How Raj managed his business while living in slums remains a mystery. The second half of the film becomes a little dreary too and is just difficult to digest. In a nutshell, the film is thought provoking and it tackles some important social realities. I would say it is worth a watch for its theme and great performances!


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This movie totally relates to LUMS itself. The culture of "us" vs. "them" is seen with regards to NOP students. I was very shocked to see that people look down upon on NOPian students. They talk about their luxuries in front of them without keeping in mind the background they come from. I personally know a guy who just left LUMS because of an inferiority complex.

Another aspect that the movie discussed was English speaking; We can see that in Pakistan too. If you speak English, you are considered elite and intellectual. If you speak Urdu, you are considered less intellectual. If you speak Punjabi, you are considered straight illiterate. "I don't know why people have forgotten that their national…

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I relate to this movie on an infinite level. Given my love for Punjabi, I often start blurting out in Punjabi out of the blue and this has gotten me countless judgmental eyes throughout my life. From peers at LUMS to family members, I have barely seen anyone approving of me speaking in Punjabi even though my family has a Punjabi background. The movie perfectly captures how we are so ashamed of our culture that we try to become someone we are not and this isn't only restricted to language. We tend to give in to what we want and end up doing what the society as a whole deems fit and given the unfortunate reality of our society, only…

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Disheartening to see how the years have gone by and our obsession with English as a measure of intellect and success has not slowed done even a bit!

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This movie comprehensively explains how class stratification can lead to the social exclusion of certain groups and how this exclusion finds its way into education. Another oft-ignored aspect that leads to exclusion is the role of caste. Class and caste play an important role in the context of the subcontinent and other South Asian countries and have become one of the leading factors in exclusion. This social exclusion can lead to self deselection. This means that marginalised groups accept their low position as natural. This prevents them from getting education as the hope for a better future is no longer a prospect. The caste system determines class identity not just by current economic position but the historically occupied status. Similarly…

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