Vital Statistics

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 6 15:33:30 UTC 2000

>I wonder what "Power-block" Dr. Abbas has in mind. In India
>power has belonged to a class of people who think English is
>the only respectable language. PM Vajpayee's granddaughter
>can only speak English, it was reported. The educated,
>wealthy and influential young people in India today increasingly
>use Indian languages for talking with their servants and the
>like. Yashwant

Like PM's folks, CM Karunanidhi's grandchildren are studying in
English, and with the rise of English medium schools all over India,
is the position of English strengthening or weakening? Add to this,
the effect of CNN, e-mail and the Web. Note that the Net is still
an infant in India.  Only in the hands of a tiny elite - one can see
from the way they write to others. No longer just the Doordarshan &
Akashvani! In the Global village, as people get educated and
once the visa fence is surmounted, people travel abroad,
speaking C++.

Just looking at the Nagari conjuct-consonant alphabets
in Coulsen's book and in Madhav Deshpande's samskrtasubodhini's list
running to several pages. It was OK in old times when
language education by itself was the "total" education. Nowadays,
language is a mere tool, to master technology and get a job.

Along with the entrenchment of English, hope Indians go for
the Roman script. Germany has moved away from Gothic script;
After all, Brahmi script itself has origins in West Asia.
Passions aside, Roman script for Indian languages will lead to
greater standardization, uniformity, convergence and ease.

N. Ganesan

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