Wed Apr 16 16:20:47 UTC 1997

           Re: Languages of India

Hindi and English operate in two completely different
domains. South Indians resist Hindi because of the real
fear of losing their linguistic heritages. On the other
hand, English is the language par excellence for today's
science and technology, especially anything to do with computers.

In US universities, for engineering PhD qualifying
examinations, another European language like German
used to be a requirement. With major and varied scholarly 
writings coming out in English, that requirement 
is slowly going away nowadays. If this is happening
to German and French, it is hard to push down the throat
of any Indian, Hindi or any other language.

About the three language formula, people used to explain as:
a) use regional language in the state b) use Hindi 
for communicating with others c) use English elsewhere.
C. N. Annadurai quipped, "We build only one doorway from our
home to outside. Why a small door to go to a neighbour,
and a large one to elsewhere?"

When they told that Hindi is the majority language, so
it becomes the official language of the Central Government,
his reaction:"We choose the national bird for its beauty.
Is it not? Crows far outnumber peacocks".

In her desperate desire to establish family dynastic rule,
Indira Gandhi concentrated many powers towards the center.
It is unfortunate that education was added to the joint list
between state and central governments during the Emergency.

In the current political climate, politicians at the Central 
government are on the run and are not interested in imposing anything. 
But, the bureaucrats at the Center are different so far.
Many are Tamil-speaking, but they have been advocating/implementing
the use of Hindi for years. Hope they change looking at
the ground realities. Look at old Russia. Baltics, Central
Asia do not speak Russian anymore. Even Slavs like Poles, Czechs are 
eagerly learning English, rather than Russian, a Slavic language.
Why? "Big Brother" approaches tend to backfire.

With the current technology's pace, we don't have to get rid of
any language or script. South Indian grantha script is beautiful
for printing Sanskrit books. I hope it is not sent to gallows.
Adhisaiva Sivacharyars, in Saivaite temples get the Saiva Agama
editions of French Institute of Pondichery, photocopy it and transcribe
it in Grantha script. Agamas are their tradition anyway!
Dr. S. Kalyanaraman's earlier suggestion for Roman scripts for
Indian languages is excellent. First, Central government
has to start implementing it.

By the way,  e-mail in Tamil script (called Murasu Anjal, originating
in Malaysia) has been downloaded 18000 times for PC and for Unix, 10000

SUMMARY: One Script and One language is bad for India.
India's 5000 year history always supports variety and diversity.

N. Ganesan

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