Vital Statistics - Hindi

Periannan Chandrasekaran perichandra at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 7 03:16:00 UTC 2000

--- "Mehta, Shailendra" <Mehta at MGMT.PURDUE.EDU> wrote:
> On the points raised by Abbas, Elst, Ganesan, Karp and Malaiya:

> language; 77% said that the language should be Hindi. The breakdowns for the
> latter were North 97%, East 85%, West 75% and South 31%.

The dramatic drop in support for Hindi in the south above figures only
negates your point. Does it not?

>For additional
> details look at the Issue of India Today, 18 August 1997.
> Four other points.
> Naidu was astounded when he watched video clippings of the Lok Sabha
> proceedings. Even the party leader in the Lok Sabha, Yerran Naidu, was at a
> loss as he could not understand or respond easily in the national language.

There is no such thing as *the* national language of India and there will never
be one unless India is split into multiple sovereign states. There are nearly
15 *national languages* as recognized by the Constitution of India.

> The glamour girl of the party, Jayaprada, was the only exception. She made a
> long speech in the Rajya Sabha in Hindi and even kept notes in Devnagari.
> Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi is another Telugu Desam MP who has shown
> marked improvement in Hindi."
..> assert their identities as Indians, they regularly speak to each other in
> Hindi,
>in corridors, in hallways and in the labs - cutting across regional
> lines.  Hindi films, and Diwali and Republic Day functions (which too are
> almost exclusively based on Hindi-film linked programs) bring them together.

:-)) How scientific is this "survey"?

> 4. One consequence of the earlier Southern Opposition to Hindi, and the
> antagonism thereby generated, has been that the literature and thought of
> the South has not really made a mark on the North.

It is more important to preserve the furture of the native langauges and narrow
their scope than to kill them and sell their corpses to a larger audience.

> to be Jnanpith Award winners. As a result, even treasures of the South such
> as the Tirukkural and Kampan Ramayana are literally unheard of in the North,

Kamba ramayana has made its mark in the North; accorindg  to UVS Iyer in his
book "piRkAlattup pulavarkaL" a compendium of "latter day poets", Thulasidas
got inspired by kumarakurupara swamikaL's lectures on kampa rAmAyaNa  at the
varaNasi caiva mutt (which he established with the financial assistance of a
muslim ruler) to compose his version of ramayana.

And even Valmiki ramayaNa's Skt. version owes quite a bit to the Southern
tradition. From "The Poems of Ancient Tamil: Their milieu and Their Sanskrit
Counterparts" by George Hart, University of California Press, 1975, ISBN
0-520-02672-1" page 278 ("Tamil Elements in Indo-Aryan"):
"In the Ramayana and the Buddhacarita, these southern themes become quite
prominent, a fact partly responsible, I believe, for the Ramayana's
conventional position as the Adikavya, the first Sanskrit kavya. In my opinion
the relative newness of the southern poetic elements in the Ramayana and the
Buddhacarita accounts for their clumsy treatment in those two works, and, since
they are quite important for the effects the authors wish to achieve in those
works, this accounts at least in part for the inferior poetic quality of those

And under what compulsion did these influences take place?

If Indians truly care about India's cultural and political future, they should
stop imposing one langauge and one culture on unwilling and unneeding people.
There is such thing as cultural ecology just as there is biological ecology.
Let us preserve the germ plasms of different heritages of the world.
Let Indians undersatnd that unity is different from  uniformity.

> Shailendra Raj Mehta



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