Reflections

Linguistic fanaticism in India

One unique thing about India is its immense diversity. The people and their culture, their language, the way of dressing, the food habits and so on differ from state to state. On top of this, there are innumerable castes and almost all the religions of the world. Occasionally, clashes breakout between different castes or between religions but as a whole there is a binding force, which keeps the flock together. Language is a potential troublemaker. There was a dim hope that the people would accept Hindi and English as the link languages, but in due course, other languages had to be accommodated. It is quite natural that a country as big and diverse as India cannot manage with a couple of languages for the purpose of communication but it should be for a limited purpose. For example, some members of parliament would be at home if they speak in their own mother tongue. May be it was with this in view that as many as 22 languages are listed in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution but when it comes to exams conducted by the public service commission it should not exceed two or three languages. Besides this, the languages which are included in the 8th schedule will have to be accommodated in the currency notes as well! As of now, there are as many as 22 languages that come under this category. Now, there is fresh demand to include 38 more languages in the 8th schedule and the government has kept mum on this issue. What we see now is linguistic fanaticism and not love and respect for one’s mother tongue as such. If those who put forward such demands are really in love with their languages, they should encourage their people to come out with brilliant literary work in their languages and get them translated into other languages so that their mother tongue will gain more popularity.

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.

One Commnet on “Linguistic fanaticism in India

  1. I liked the final punchline… “[If the fanatists are] really in love with their languages, they should encourage their people to come out with brilliant literary work in their languages and get them translated into other languages so that their mother tongue will gain more popularity.”

    Every one speaks of fanatisism, but seldom do we see such cool ideas to battle it out amicabily – in manners that attrach admiration and not hatered toward these minority languages…

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