Under the sun

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The National Language

Aandavar comes out of the white Merc, wearing his typical black shirt, walking his typical walk with that typical shoulder posture. Check out Aandavar at the World Malayalee Conference here [click on the relevant link to watch the video]
He starts off in Malayalam, a few lines and rounds of appluase later, confesses that his Malayalam's a bit rusty and says "I ask your permission to switch over to our national language......... English"

Are our Northern brethren listening?


  • I just lauded the post in the Hub.

    I remember a few years back when Advani opened a film fest. Kamal was one of the invitees in the dias. Advani said something to the effect that "he was happy that Bollywood was helping the spread of Hindi throughout the country which strenthen national favric blah blah".

    I thought Kamal would come back on stage. But (perhaps sabai mariyaadhai karudhi) he contained himself to films.
    This statement of his great. People of Kamal's stature should keep saying this as often as possible in public fora to get the idea across.

    By Anonymous msp, at Thu Aug 17, 02:16:00 AM  

  • kekkave romba sandhoshama irukku.
    indhi ozhiga. :D

    By Blogger Viji, at Thu Aug 17, 10:09:00 AM  

  • It is always difficult for a northerner to understand why Hindi is not the national language.
    One reason why I really don't care for the Congress or the BJP is their Hindi chauvinism. And it is also high time some actors started saying loudly that Indian cinema is not bollywood cinema alone. There are atleast seven or eight other languages in the countries making movies round the year and often better ones too.

    By Blogger Sridhar(mutRupuLLi), at Thu Aug 17, 10:17:00 AM  

  • To put it in a different way, it's diffct for the southerner to understand why Hindi *is* the national language. After all, it's understood in over 90% of the country.

    Agree with cinema part.

    By Anonymous ttm, at Thu Aug 17, 10:38:00 AM  

  • hmmm I also believe that English is our national language..Not that i disrespect hindi..But with education system and press(even news channels) all over the country is primarily English..There are hell lot of languages in our country..Whatever,yenga Aandavar sonna thappa irukadhu pa..kaetukonga!

    Aana there is also some sense of irony in that..Shashi tharoor(critical author who writes in english) recently had an artice about the "national language"..He said 50% of the whole country do not understand the language(hindi).And india is the only country to have such a 'national language'.Interestingly tharoor is India's choice for UN Secretary General.

    By Blogger thilak, at Thu Aug 17, 02:32:00 PM  

  • And I thought (although he thinks otherwise) he was fluent in malayalam.

    By Blogger thilak, at Thu Aug 17, 02:35:00 PM  

  • All,
    No matter how much %age understand Hindi, it shouldn't be forced on the pretext of being the National Language. ppadi paatha Thamizh is an international language and hockey is our national game. So?
    Moreover, pluralistic democracy does not mean dissolving the minorities into a major whole....
    Enga thevayo anga pesina porum enbadhu en karuthu...

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Thu Aug 17, 04:17:00 PM  

  • @All especially Mr.TTM,
    To put it in the right way, Hindi is one of the official languages of India used by the central administration. Neither the constitution nor the laws of India accord the status of "National Language" to any language in India.
    And there are 21 official languages recognized as official languages by the Constitution of India in addition to English and Hindi.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_languages_of_India

    By Anonymous Stewie, at Thu Aug 17, 07:39:00 PM  

  • ttm:
    ahaa, enna logic adhu ? If we take it to it's logical conclusion, it's a sure recipe for ending all diversity. For instance, since the majority of indians are non-vegetarians chicken biryani could be declared as the national dishu ;-)

    I am not entirely comfortable with English being the national language. Inglees, Bindi idellam link languages'nu sollalaam - I don't have a problem with that.

    good point

    Kudos to Kamal and Mamooty for having the guts to speak their minds. I am pretty sure that Mani Ratnam will never say anything remotely similar.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 20, 05:41:00 PM  

  • thalaivar vaazhga! :D

    By Blogger Mythreyee, at Sun Aug 20, 05:42:00 PM  

  • err.. post-oda main matter-aye maranthu thalai-ya pathi enthu aayiten!!!

    why do we even need to declare something as a national language in a country like india, where each n every state has a language and culture of its own? rooba note-la avalo languages-la ezhutha theriyarthu illa, athe maathiri oru-oru ooru-kum avanga avanga language-a valarka chance kudukanum... forcin hindi on ppl as a link language is ridiculous.. i dont mind english bein the link language at all... even the sundal-vikkara boy and poo-vikkara girl in besse beach know enough english to be able to sell their goods. and everybody knows how much english beggars these days know...

    By Blogger Mythreyee, at Sun Aug 20, 05:47:00 PM  

  • Oh!

    This fight of tamizh v/s hindi is too hackneyed.

    What's the difference yar? Hindi and tamizh are both national languages. There's no point of anyone being superior over the other. And no one is forcing any one on anybody else today. So, peace!

    By Blogger mysorean, at Fri Sep 01, 02:53:00 PM  

  • Here is one model you might want to adopt
    since Hindi has already spread.
    The following is my suggestion:
    Amend the constitution and
    (a) Make all Indian languages National
    languages as a token of acknowledgement of
    the rich diversity of the sub-continent and
    equality of all cultures
    (b) Declare English as the recommended
    Official link language (But leave the choice
    to the states)
    (c) Make Hindi the recommended cultural link
    language (But leave the choice to the
    states to veto policy - However since hindi has
    reached critical mass, it will keep on spreading:
    there may be no need to teach it in schools) *
    The government then modifies educational
    syllabi across the country to teach the
    greatness of all languages just
    as it teaches the greatness of all
    * Hindi enables poorer people across India
    to communicate with each other since 40% of
    Indians speak Hindi versus
    5% english , but that is about it : as a
    written language hindi is almost dead
    outside of the Hindi belt. In my opinion
    people need to learn the mother tongue first
    followed by English and Basic Hindi
    (optional). Hindi is is mainly useful the
    wholesale , retail trade and the
    entertainment industry and for some amount
    of emotional bonding. It not only imposes
    load on some states but gives more
    preferences for 4 states with repsect to
    job) and some states
    States , of course get to
    decide their own cultural policy . This
    (a) Role of the mother tongue
    (b) Role of English
    (c) Role of Hindi
    (d) Role of other Regional languages
    This will ensure that the local culture gets
    first preference.
    We need to encourage a Unity in Diversity
    model . I however support a basic knowledge
    of ONE Indian language throughout the
    i.e Hindi (as English requires a formal
    education). It but let the realization come
    voluntarily, let it not be imposed. Ideally
    a neutral language such a spoken Prakrit
    would have been
    better but now that Hindi has already spread
    throughout most of India , it will keep
    spreading based on the Law of supply and
    demand .
    We can no longer avoid it.
    Several formulas are also available to judge
    languages based on Historical significance,
    Cultural importance, uniqueness, number of speakers etc ( A lot
    of research has been done of this in the
    past few years and while maintianing
    national integration, such formulas can help
    determine the budget spend on other Indian

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Oct 12, 10:53:00 AM  

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