Showing posts with label Hindi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hindi. Show all posts

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hindi Vs Tamil (in 1960s)

Anna Durai and Co's rationale:
A staunch opposition to the 'imposition' of Hindi as a sole National language. The rationale for forcing Hindi to become a common language because was 'it is spoken by the majority'. Anna replied that the mere number should not count in such decisions: We have more number of rats than tigers, more number of crows than peacocks - so why should tiger and peacock be made as national symbols. He added "since English is already being taught in many schools in India, why not that be the 'common' national language? Why do the Tamils have to study English for communication with the world and Hindi for communication within India? Do we need a big door for the big dog and a small door for the small dog? I say, let the small dog use the big door too!". This was what Anna told in his 1962 address in the Parliament.

Other snippets: It is to be called 'Anti-Hindi Imposition Agitation' and not 'Anti-Hindi Agitation'. Rajaji, who supported the initial 'Hindi-common-language' principle in the late 1930s, later opposed it. Big names like Periyar, Annadurai, Rajaji, EVK Sampath - all were part of this movement. In 1950, Hindi was made the official language of India, pushing all other regional languages to a secondary status. This is the main starting point of the agitation - spearheaded by Dravidar Kazhagam and Periyar.

I had a discussion (read:argument) with one of my friends here in XLRI about the same. A discussion between him and me is as follows:

He:Look at countries like France, Germany, South Korea, Japan - the main reasons why they have developed is the common language in those places
Me: They would have achieved this development because of various other things. You can't attribute a particular event and a result just because the event is true with respect to the result. Language should not be seen just with the objective of development, language is part of the culture. It is part of the religion, it is ingrained in people's life.
He: China also developed for the same reason. We are quite similar to them
Me: I have read somewhere that there hell a lot of variations in Mandarin, hell a lot of difference in the Politics as a whole between the two countries, culture etc., so again a wrong comparison
He: If any French minister goes to a foreign country, he would address in French; same is true with a German/ENglish Leader; If an Indian leader goes abroad, there would not be any uniformity - some would address in English, some in Hindi, some in Tamil...
Me: That is the beauty of India. We have read all along, "Unity in diversity"
He: Your own leaders like Rajaji and EVR supported the Hindi establishment in Tamilnadu (He was wrong EVR Periyar did not support the Hindi establishment at any time)
Me: They appreciated the concept that people in India should know Hindi also - they saw the benefits. But I doubt whether they supported Hindi at the cost of Tamil which I guess was the proposition when they opposed.
He: Hindi is the national language. If Hindi is made compulsory in all parts of India, people from south can come to north and people from north can come to south.
Me: Hindi is the main language in 4-5 states: UP, MP, Bihar, Haryana - In most other places, it is spoken just because of the size. In each of the other places where Hindi is predominant, there is also a regional language pushed to the background like Marathi, Gujarathi etc.
He: You know Hindi is a progessive language? Tamil is not..
Me: What do you mean by progessive? Number of people or the growth in literature?
He: Both
Me: If you consider the literary wealth, Tamil IS progressive.
He: Even Gandhiji vouched for the benefits of a uniform language
Me: He wanted development all round the country and unity. He thought language would create that unity. If you see, the 4 south Indian states are probably the most wealthy ones along with Maharashtra and Punjab (again another two places where Hindi is not the language of the land), then the Hindi speaking people should learn the southie languages. In a democracy, nothing should be forced on people. If people feel the benefits, if people find the need, they themselves would learn the language. I feel, it is absolutely USELESS to learn Hindi for the sole purpose of communication. One would understand and speak better Hindi by watching TV/Movie and spending a year or two in Hindi mainland. An advantage that I could have had was, in Chennai had I had spoken-hindi fluency, I would have got a lot more pretty girl friends!! (Are Tamil girls less prettier than their North Indian counterparts --- another fresh argument should have come up but for the Business Law class)

For more detailed information on the topic, refer to the Chronology of Anti-Hindi Agitations