intelligent conversation

Mahendra Verma mkv1 at
Sun Nov 17 07:18:15 UTC 1996

Robert Zydenbos' follow up, and reiteration of the earlier belief about Hindi,
and the further elaboration of it needs a brief response:

1. It seems a fashion from time to time to talk in terms of " Hindi as a tool
of oppression". It may be a legitimate question to ask such a research
question, but totally meaningless to base judgements with no backing of
sociolinguistic research. It is not a question of making a  politically
incorrect statement, but of making statements which are based on impressions
and heresay.Where does the data on 'hate' and contempt' come from ?

2. English does not, and can not facilitate the vast majority of individuals
and communities in India to carry out discourse. The elite and the privileged
only represent a tiny minority of the population. I am not making any claims
for Hindi other than what Barz has done.

3. The verdict on the ability of Hindi speakers to engage in an intelligent
discourse has now moved to the question of its modernity. If in the west they
think that Hindi is "the" modern language of India, it most certainly is
wrong.All the languages of India, in particular the regional ones which have
been assigned the task of education and administration are developing to meet
the demnands made on them. I have not come across a linguist who has made the
claim about Hindi.


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