Hindi PC DOS announced

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 24 17:07:19 UTC 1997

Sorry for the nitpick, but I notice some very interesting( and
inconsistent) logic being used here....
>Hindi PC DOS announced
> To commemorate the Official Language Day, TATA IBM today announced the
availability of the Hindi PC DOS in India.  PC DOS  is the  first and
only operating system in Hindi. This landmark effort by IBM is in
response tothe commitment of the Government of India to promote the
Hindi language.
In a country where only 5% of the population speaks English, language
ithe biggest barrier to computer literacy. The Tata IBM initiative
willenable the Hindi speaking population of 360 million to have access

I don't think I"m terribly off the mark when I say that the majority
i.e. atleast 85% those who understand English can also read and write
it....while 360 million can understand Hindi, what is the proportion of
the people who can read and write Hindi?( and can thereby use
whatever software is available in Hindi..)

Also, pls note that learning a computer language is not all that
difficult, I've seen that is infinitely easier for people to learn how
to write code than learning to write/speak grammatical English..one look
at the body-shopping industry in the USA and you would know exactly what
I mean...so what is all this talk about not knowing English being an
impediment for not being able to programme?..if people can watch a James
Bond movie and understand it, I suppose they know enough English to
write code.....

 As for the world of programming being made open to 360 million people,
in a place where many of these 360 million people don't get 2 square
meals a day, does IBM really think that this would lead to a spate of
PCs and other IBM stuff being bought?:-)..or do they think that
programming skills would help people locate places where food is
available, as in the joke about Communist Russia( beg to be forgiven by
all Russians and Communists on the net for this)...
Scene: Russian Countryside, sometime in the mid 1980s..a party
propaganda official meets a Russian babushka( grandmother)near Moscow
who complains to him about the lack of food grains since the crops have
Party official( call him "Comrade Talltaleov")to the Babushka:
"Do you realise, old woman! That in the year 2010, we will be so
advanced that each comrade in the U.S.S.R will own his/her own
Old woman: "What would I do with that? I want bread, not helicopters"
Talltaleov: "Shut up and listen to me! Do you realise that in the year
2010, we will be so advanced that each house in each and every village
of Russia will have a phone and that these phones will have efficient
inter-city dialing service?"
Old woman "What would I do with a phone! I want food, not a phone"
Talletaleov( in a voice full of anger and disgust) "Stupid woman! Don't
you get it...whenever there is a shortage of food grains in Moscow, you
can telephone your friends in  Leningrad,Kharkov, Novosobirsk
immideatly, find out where food grains are available, and go there in
your helicopter and bring home what you need to...Can you give me a
better way to solve the food-shortage problem, you old idiot?":-),:-)..
this was meant as a joke, but IBM and the GOI seem all ready to
implement this in India......

 I am also curious to know as to what kind of *grammar* would be used by
software which would be developed in Hindi. A statment like RUN( at the
end of a program) may make sense to an English speaker, but would the
corresponding "dauDO" make sense to a Hindiwallah?( or for that matter
in any other Indian language)...other choices in Hindi would be
"Shuru karo"( start), "karo"(do) etc..not a whole lot better than

>Note this is just note the kind of program that would apper
>computers in their language. This will create a critical mass of
computer literate people who will contribute to the growth of India's
software developer population.

Given the fact that most of the software industry is located in
Bangalore, wouldn't it be good idea to get things going in Kannada?The
critical mass, I'm sure can be achieve faster then, I'd think....or is
this the GOIs effort to bring to fructification Bharatiyars song wherein
we find "Malayalam girls singing Telugu songs" and by analogy "Kannada
speakers programming in Hindi":-)

>September 14th is India's " Official Language Day."  It was initiated
by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first  President of India in 1950, as a
commitmentof the Government of India to promote Hindi as the Official
Language. TheOfficial Language Act of 1949, which makes the use of Hindi
in Central Government Offices mandatory all across the country also
resulted from this commitment.

It was *initiated*( in the most literal sense) by Rajendra
Prasad....AFAIK, the bill for introducing Hindi as the national language
was introduced by Gopalaswamy Iyengar and was voted upon....I believe
that the votes were equally split( for and against Hindi) and so the
then president Rajendra Prasad used his powers as president to
incorporate this into the constitution( this phrase is literally
correct, may not be technically right in terms of
legalspeak)....Rajendra Prasad himself was a Hindi scholar and this may
have been the driving force for his action, not *exactly* the *peoples
 Pls note that I am not a great supporter of English being the national
language( on the ground that it is not the native language,)but as
S.Palaniappan has pointed out, by the same token Hindi is not the native
language of many people; so what do those poor souls do? Getting
non-Hindi speakers to choose between programming/any thing else  in
English or Hindi is like getting a person to choose between the devil
and the deep blue sea.


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