Vital Statistics

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 7 17:02:40 UTC 2000

NG>> Apart from the Western dominance, Roman script's
NG>> simplicity is also an important factor.

Where is the simplicity ? If most Roman alphabets  have to be given
diacritical marks or many have to be combined to indicate sounds
absent in European tongues, their number in practical usage goes
above fifty as with Indian alphabets. The problem is not of the
script but of the sounds. If they are more in Indian languages,
then there is more to write also no matter in what way.

  The simpliity is in the samyuktaaksharams. Also, the nAgari
lacks the "puLLi" concept of tolkAppiyam, hence there
is a problem whether there is an inherent "a" in a consonant or not.

It is simpler for a European to read Hindi in Roman script and for a
Hindian to read English in Devanagarii. But the pronunciation in both
cases suffers and has to be corrected by the ear. The issue hence in
not of convenience but ONLY OF DOMINANCE.

Take the case of Greek. Why have the Greeks not given up their script
and changed to Roman script ? It is not just a matter of identity, it
is also losing accesibility to ancient texts. In making the script
simpler for modern Greek there is aready a damage. The accents or
rather the tones or svaras have been lost and thus pronunciation has
been affected.

  If Indian grammars along with Roman script is taught, I fail to
  understand how our pronunciation will be lost.

  In India too, the problem of dominance exists and it is not
  usually the roman script.

  For international commerce and communications, the 3% of
  Indians controlling 80% of its wealth use roman script at an
  increasing phase.

NG>> Sanskrit or Tamil texts routinely appear in academic publications
NG>> in Roman script with diacriticals. Without diacritical marks,
NG>> the Harvard-Kyoto convention is used for the entire
NG>> Monier-Williams dictionary and the Cologne scheme has the entire
NG>> Tamil Sangam texts online.

This is for the sake of western Indologists not for the Indian people,
lay or scholars. Laboratory agenda is not for people. Far from Roman,
not even Devanaagarii  can be prescribed for the whole of India.
Things are best left to a healthy growth and evolution.

  When Indians adapt to Western science, technology & money, why not
latin script that will integrate many scripts into one? Besides, all
the computer developments will be directly applicable, no need for

   The Govt. of India definitely imposes the naagari. Take for
instance the grantha script where many sanskrit texts were originally
written, is destroyed. Kanchi Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati always
said that people must read Sanskrit in Grantha script. Any pointers
for a PC Grantha script? Sanskrit books can be published in
1) Nagari 2) Grantha and 3) Roman.

N. Ganesan

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