Hindi etc.

Cyber Maadhva Sangha dvaita at eskimo.com
Thu Nov 28 22:41:43 UTC 1996

> The opposition to Hindi in the South is not limited only to 'DMK-type
> politicos who use that as a vote-generating issue', and its not just old
> stuff. I've spent most of my life in Tamil Nadu and always felt that
> people generally didn't want a language *imposed* on them for *any*
> political reason. They use whatever language is most convenient, and it
> just happens that there isn't much reason to know Hindi in Tamil Nadu,

-- etc.

However, it is a fact that you can speak *only* of Tamil Nadu, even in
saying what you say (which I do not unconditionally accept).  My point
is that it is *at least as wrong* for the anti-Hindi types to
generalize Hindi opposition to all of South India when such is in fact
a specialty of Tamil Nadu, as it is for some Northerners to simply
generalize Hindi as the language of all of India.  Thus, saying that
Hindi is not an all-India language because the South opposes it, is
itself a flawed argument.

Tamil Nadu is a linguistically homogenous state to a much greater
extent than other states of the South are; Karnataka for instance
indigenously has Kannada, Tulu, and Konkani, all with their own
scripts even, and then there's a massive presence of Urdu, made all
the more permanent by the historical influence of Tipu Sultan, et al.
Thus it is that the Tamil people are much more liable than their
neighbors to overreact, see "linguistic imposition," etc., because
they have a narrower world-view linguistically.  However, this should
not be misread as general opposition to Hindi in the South -- it is
only the manifestation of the cultural and linguistic sensitivities
(accentuated by politicians past and present) of the Tamil people.
And I will say that while there may not be much caring for Hindi in
Tamil Nadu, there is no grassroots movement against Hindi as such,
except for the occasional politician mouthing off.  You have not said
anything to indicate otherwise, even.

> It isn't true (in my experience) that Hindi/Urdu is generally better 
> understood than English in the south.

That's 'cause you probably haven't seen much, if any, of it outside
Tamil Nadu.  Look at Hyderabad, Raichur, Gulbarga, Belgaum, etc.


Shrisha Rao

> Gail Coelho 


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