Thursday, 27 April 2017

FB Discussions - Local Languages

(from a thread on Komakkambedu Himakiran's wall on questioning Hindi imposition)
Komakkambedu Himakiran Local sensitivities
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Radhika Rammohan Local touchiness IMO
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Komakkambedu Himakiran Touchiness? Cmon now, in no country will emphasising on the language be considered touchiness!
Of people who have the most tolerant attitude in the entire subcontinent? Of people who have a few thousand years of international trade experience?
Radhika Rammohan somehow felt like an overreaction to me.
Like · Reply · 47 mins
Aparna Krishnan Claiming local identities, through all the details of local languages, local culture, local clothing, local gods is what will restore a sadly denuded local confidence and pride. This holds in general.
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Aparna Krishnan Hima. I only wish English was challenged as strongly as Hindi is !!
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Komakkambedu Himakiran English feeds us while we feed Hindi, literally.
Like · Reply · 1 · 40 mins
Radhika Rammohan Indeed. To me it seems that culture and language is getting eroded *way* more by sheer globalization -- ways off food, mindless consumption patterns which basically translates to western cultural dominance.
Like · Reply · 39 mins
Komakkambedu Himakiran Again isn't that more due to the policies of Delhi parties which decide to put us into the WTO, decide what education we should get, decide what content is allowed in the media. The same people impose Hindi as they want homogenization of the people into one big market. That's why except for Tamilnadu other states don't get advertising in their languages from these "national" brands.
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Aparna Krishnan "That's why except for Tamilnadu other states don't get advertising in their languages from these "national" brands." - means ?
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Aparna Krishnan yes, English feeds. And it also feeds a sense of inferiority. That is a larger perspective we need to keep in mind.
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Komakkambedu Himakiran These companies just use Hindi or English in other states, but here they have to use Tamil. We are a powerful market because we adopted English for economic reasons and not Hindi. Essentially it's an alliance of sorts to combat Hindi domination.
Unlike · Reply · 3 · 30 mins
Komakkambedu Himakiran If we really are concerned about local languages, we should be dismantling Hindi which is actually an artificial construct. There are close to 23 languages that Hindi has subdued and make into its dialects!
Like · Reply · 2 · 28 mins
Aparna Krishnan still english is beyond just a functional language. Along with the benefits it confers, it extracts its pound of flesh. Many countries have built themselves without English fluency, and without bowing to that language. Thats where we need to get. More and more local language power, sans Hindi, sans English.
Like · Reply · 25 mins
Komakkambedu Himakiran For us to promote local language education, the threat from CBSE schools needs to be quelled first. Education was moved to concurrent list by Indira Gandhi during emergency. BJP will criticize Indira for the excesses of the emergency but I dare them to undo those excesses. They won't as it suits them to have more power in Delhi.
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Aparna Krishnan yes.
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Raja Duraisamy Komakkambedu Himakiran I am shocked to see , people asking to challenge English? English feeds us , we cannot live without English in this global village? HINDI? Who needs it ? HINDI is simply an RSS agenda and nothing else, This is common when ever the HINDI party BJP comes to power .
Like · Reply · 1 · 17 mins
Aparna Krishnan Raja, English is a language of the colonizer, and has vast baggage attached. At one stroke it makes every telugu-speaking person, oriya-speaking person, kannada-speaking person feel inferior to the english-fluent person. And also the power of the english fluent person if far far greater than that of the telugu fluent person in every way. This is what we need to question and overturn. Today if English feeds us, we need to pay homage to it, I agree. And yet we need to work toward spaces where a Telugu speaking person has the same opportunities as an English fluent person. that is my only submission. i also teach my village children English today because 'it will feed them'.
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Sanjay Maharishi Many years ago, in a train in Keral, I heard some college going boys singing hindi film songs. Many years before that in Mauritius l heard people speak in hindi and asked them where they learnt, they said Bombay films. What the film industry was doing so effortlessly, the imbecile sitting in Delhi started imposing. And that never works.
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Aparna Krishnan all languages have to come into their own. every 'wood'.
LikeReply11 hrs
Rajesh Mehar Aparna: It seems from your comments that Hindi is on the Indian languages 'team', trying to supplant English. However, the others seem to be saying that Hindi is actually on the English 'team', trying to cannibalize other Indian languages.

The answer 
would be to see how Hindi is 'promoted', as the central government claims. Did Hindi replace English in the kilometer stones in Tamil Nadu? No. It replaced Tamil. Is learn Hindi positioned as part of "don't learn English"? No. Is the amount of money and resources spent on 'promoting' Hindi compensated by a denial of similar money and resources to promoting English? No.

From empirical evidence, it definitely looks like Hindi (as the central government is using it) is on the colonizing team. Not the colonized team.
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Aparna Krishnan I am only suggesting that our-with-hindi be expanded to out-with-english-and-hindi, and we work towards creating equal oppertunities for those fluent in local languages wonly !
LikeReply111 hrs
Rama Subramanian adding to this thread, something that will be seen as connected i hope without rubbing people the wrong way - i have 2 students just now from a reputed institution up north undergoing masters programme in 'development', doing internship with us. like we always do, we had given them a week to observe our training programmes and activities and then to make a presentation on what they felt they could do. full of confidence of their knowledge from academia and processes they have learnt. in a 10 minute presentation, they not only summarized our institute, what it stood for, what were our weaknesses and strengths, etc., but, also gave a proposal for 'developing' a village as part of their internship with several tools and methods thrown in. at the end of which, i asked them what was their mother tongue, they both said, "hindi". so, i requested them to please make the same presentation in hindi with the same slides. it took them 25 minutes and they struggled through the presentation as several terms they had so confidently used didn't have any local equivalent, so, 'sustainability' became 'self-reliance' in translation and several other terms used those terms that were culturally more local in nature. at the end of this presentation, the students confessed that they felt less confident and even guilty at some point as they could not explain 'development' related issues in their own mother tongue. i suggested to them that wherever there was a conflict between not finding the 'correct' word in hindi, whatever term in hindi is there shold precede over that of english. i also suggested to them that they should try to replace as many terms in english as possible without using it literally. 
a day later, they presented the same to us in hindi completely (i should tell you that among those who listened to them except myself, no one had hindi knowledge) and their presentation had changed completely! it had less of 'tools' and 'methods' and more of 'local knowledge', 'tradition' and 'culture' factors integrated. they both agreed that it now looked to them a lot more 'bottom up' and what they had presented earlier looked 'top down'. 
this for me is the power of local languages. 
every language in its local form evokes the spirit of the locality, tamil is for tamilnadu, similarly for other places. while english has served us well for commercial purposes, it cannot serve us for cultural purposes. and nothing wrong in learning more indian languages.
UnlikeReply311 hrsEdited
Aparna Krishnan brilliant !
LikeReply11 hrs
Kannan Thandapani Best way to make the big consultants to go out of business. Shallow tools and jargons always get exposed when they get translated into the language of the common man.
UnlikeReply211 hrs

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