Vital Statistics

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Jan 4 01:21:28 UTC 2000

Artur Karp wrote:
> What for convenience sake is called Hindi linguistic area has several
> centers and unstable peripheries. Historically, each of the components of
> this continuum, whether they are treated as dialects or languages, is linked
> to its own local center of political power, usually in control of a regional
> or trans-regional market.

I am anxious to know if in ancient times the same situation prevailed in the regions
(Madhyades'a, Udici, Pancaal,Magadha etc.,) now controled by Hindi and its variety.
What was the bhaas.aa/praakita situation then ? Was there rivalry between these
languages (Aavantika, Maagadhii, Ardhamaagadhii, etc,  to control political power and
market and in what way ?  If not, why so ?

> Is it really possible to build a Hindi nation just by stabilizing the
> constellation of Hindi dialects/languages around one fixed model of
> linguistic expression?

I do not know if even the most fanatic proponents of Hindi believe or want a "Hindi
nation". They have undoubtedly ask for much of the space that is controlled by English
in education, administration, and business for "linking" the country. English still
understood by 2.5 percent Indians keeps most Indians (of all languages out).
Linking can be only in standard expression (as film and TV have proved beyond doubt for
Hindi) and it does not go against literary prizes being given for Bundelkhandii,
Chattisgarhi, Brijbhaas.aa or Avadhii or Rajasthaani and a dozen other bhaas.aas.

> P. S. I have always wondered why so much more attention  old-style Indology
> devoted to what divides people than, rather, to what makes them want to be
> together.
> Is it possible that some people responsible for the language policies in
> India (and in Pakistan) got their education in schools with a history
> program similar to the one taught in mine?
Very gently and euphemistically put ! Indian states were made by Indians following the
post eighteenth century  model of European nation states carved largely on language
basis. Most Indians refuse to recognise that the Indian linguistic states are now
defunct but instead demand further division on linguistic basis rather than for economic
or administrative needs.

I would like to ask Indologist to comment if any 19th century  Indian would have said
that he /she is Tamilian, Maliyali, Bengalii, or Hindi-bhaas.ii? Did bhaas.aa make up
identity as of now ?

EU has now chosen English (standardised)for linking, then why has Hindi been regarded a
demand that shall subsume other Indian languages and dialects ?

Bharat Gupt

[admin note: changed date from Fri, 4 Jan 1980 01:21:28 +0000]

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