SV: SV: Vital Statistics

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Jan 4 01:08:23 EST 2000


Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

> As for English, this is most certainly true, and as for Hindi, certainly not
> impossible. But English is not being promoted as the EU's "national language",
> and its preeminence is first and foremost due to the enormous economic and
> cultural impact of the United States. Without the US, the EU might be opting
> for French rather than English, given the traditional cultural prestige of
> French. Thus, the promotion of Hindi is a political affair, whereas English
> promotes itself through its sheer force and the advantages that come with it.

EU is post-nationalistic, and globalistic under US impact as you admit, hence  the
appelation of national language does not matter any more. Nationalism like discarded
technology still works in the Third World. And within the national frame, Hindi has
always chosen by its proponents as for its "force and advantage", hence Dayanand wrote
in Hindi as did even the musicologist Bhatkhande. Till the forties supporters of Hindi
came from all over India.

It may also be seen that now even in India, Hindi proponents are not worried if it is
called "raasht.ra bhaas.aa" national lang or Raaj official lang or even if it is
promoted as link language Samparka bhaas.aa, it NOW means the same thing as pragmatism
has triumphed.

While Tamilian Brahmins alone have taken to Hindi after being thrown out of Tamil Nadu,
Keralite lower and middle castes have happily acquired Hindi-Urdu to take jobs all over
India and in the Gulf. It pays to be Hindi-friendly.

Hindi opposition comes most from Anglophones, whose space Hindi threatens and they have
been responsible for instigating the other language speakers. As Anglophones were
powerful in Calcutta and Madras most under colonial legacy, the opposition to Hindi was
severe. In Punjab, it had was a tactic to boost to Sikh identity, despite the fact that
Granth Sahib is an excellent example of Hindi variety. The benefit has gone most to
Anglophones as they were able to keep middle and higher education and bureacracy in
their grip. Now this elite has begun to approach Hindi as Hinglish ( OK Yaar, lagaaon
one chakkar and post this letter for me, come back jaldii), a creole or urdu, for
home-talk, shopping, servants, and TV. This is a softer strategy towards accomodating
Hindi and its market. It is the McDonald  with mirchii.

Liberalising Indian economy and privatisation shall change the language politics very
severly as the state shall not be the Great Employer. In pragmatism, Indian languages
shall find their equations. Hindi has a market too, as  Microsoft knows it better than
most us.

Bharat Gupt

[admin note: changed date from Fri, 4 Jan 1980 06:08:23 +0000]



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