Vital Statistics

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Tue Jan 4 13:04:02 EST 2000


Artur Karp wrote:
>At http://www.censusindia.net/language.html Hindi speakers form 40.22% of
>India's population; an outsider would form a picture of a solid linguistic
>block.

There is an old saying that the spoken language and the taste
of the water drawn from the wells varies every 50 kos. It was also
true in England before the regional variations were erased by
urbanization and standardization.

Lakshmi Srinivas wrote:
>there has been an increasing tendency among Punjabi Hindus to return
>their mother tongue as Hindi.

Khari Boli, the standard dialect, is a close relative to Punjabi
of Eastern (Indian) Punjab. The Hindus of Punjab are often accused
of having disowned their own language. However the language of the
Sikh scriptures is not Punjabi, most Sikh Gurus wrote in a language
that is not Punjabi. The Adi Granth compilation includes  works
of numerous non-Punjabis like Kabir, Raidas even Namdeo. The people
of Punjab never regarded the language of Adi Granth to be alien, old
perhaps.  A good part of  Sikh literature, including by Guru Gobind
Singh, and many authors after him is in a dialect most akin to Braj.

Yashwant



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