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Re: Language issue



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Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
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If you have a choice of Vernacular medium school (mother tongue)
or English medium school which will you choose for your children?

It is easy to write stuff like this but not easy to practice it.
what we need is practical solutions that will bring development
and prosperity to 1000's of villages in India. Prosperity in
our villages is necessary for people in our towns and cites
to prosper without practicing *corruption* and stop our business
men manufacture *sub standard* products in the guise of making
them affordable, then only they can compete globally.

>   I totally agree with the sentiment expressed by VenuGopal.
>   Not only in communication with an outsider, even with in households, it
> has become more 'acceptable' to use English, people repeat same sentence
> expressed in mother tongue or substitution of lot of words of english in
one
> sentence. Parents sending children to convent try to speak only in English
> thinking that helps their career. Venugopal has woderfully expressed that
no
> where else people will be so 'apolagetic' about their own languages.
>
> Surprisingly Hindi speaking people seem not to be taken by this Bug this
> much atleast in their household communication. So also others.The malady
> seems predominant in Telugus than any one else to my understanding .Not
with
> Bengalies or Tamils or others where if one tries to use english he will
> rather be 'ridiculed'. So the apprehension of 'wide' acceptance of english
> every where is also doubtful.
>
> If some body wants a solution to language erosion.. probably there is :
> When people are panicking there is Police force to control the mobs.
> Currently what is going on is language 'panic' which again has to be
> controlled both by Govt agencies as well as 'Significant'  groups in
> Society..like arts related, social activity related groups.There shall be
> innovative programs in Media, Schools, even Offices, people speaking pure
> form of language should be recognised and be rewarded . Not just putting
up
> boards which some times show awkward translations. What use it is when the
> people working there prefer to speak some thing else. Imagine -- if the
same
> office 'encourages' by various means pure form
> Of their language. It is just pursuation. Not a force I suggest. As a
> solution, Special efforts are needed just like any special efforts against
> aids, cholera, family planning etc. What if there is an advertisement
> sponsored by local Govt that advises its people to use 'Their language' as
> much as possible. But not in a fanatic manner  as in TamilNad where , even
> on city buses except bus numbers nothing alse is understood.These is no
> tallying Chart displayed in each bustation atleast in English and local
that
> shows busnumbers and destination. Probably this is reciprocated else where
> with same fanatic fervour.That is simply madness.Even a temorary visitor
to
> those Cities is supposed to learn by heart their language !
Ridiculous.This
> is just linguistic fantism having got political approval and Officials
> (beaurocrats') apathy. That does not reflect in itself in language
> appreciation and respect among natives.
>
> In a positive effort to conserve languages,-->
> --There shall be competitions in their languages at every level in Offices
> and schools, clubs.
> --Media (like movies ) should show acceptable personalities of the film
(or
> TVSerial)  speaking their language extensively with out adulteration.
>   Especially when there is adulteration, there should be a scene where it
is
> ridiculed .(But we now find it glorified ! For example in a program on
> telugu songs,
>  SP  BalaSubrahmaniam says a thing (repeat) in English for emphasis  where
> as you do not see same  in TVS Saregama .Just an example !)
> --IT also should be able to be handled in local languages.. to the extent
of
> keyboards in local languages.
> --Group discussions, debates, elocutions and essay writing every thing in
> local language should hold prominence at par with English.
>   I am not saying no English. I am saying don't let the current practices
> kill Indian languages and dialects.Give equal importance and respect.
> --Encourage, by all means educational institutions which teach in local
> language till High School as medium of instruction.I dream of   'local
> language Convents'   competing with english convents, showing equal or
> better results in open competitions.
>
> And Here is a novelty please :
> --Every week competetion among employees to speak for 5 mts on any current
> event topic with not a single word adulterated with non local language,
>  and win a prize. If it is a bank, involve customers also. Just a brief
> break of few mts in weekend like Friday/Saturday, so that regularly not
one
> employee alone wins the prize. This will inculcate respect even among
> employees to speak and help a common man visiting the office for some
> work.Not just 'Boards' with awkward translations I repeat.
>
>
> Parameswar
>
>
> ----------
> From:  venugopal [SMTP:gvvs@nird.ap.nic.in]
> Sent:  Wednesday, November 29, 2000 5:37 PM
> To:  debate
> Subject:  Language issue
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate
> it!
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> The other day I was in Delhi and interacted with a north indian
> social
> worker, who asked me a simple question. He said, " I want to learn
> Telugu. I can devote three hours in a week. Can you tell me where I
> can
> learn Telugu?". I searched around in Delhi and found that AP Bhawan
> does
> not have such programme. There is a Telugu samajam, but they just
> meet
> once at Ugadi or organize some kuchipudi dance once in a while, but
> they
> do not have wherewithal to organize this kind of effort. ( I shall
> be
> more than glad if somebody can prove me wrong, as my friend over
> there
> is still waiting to learn Telugu). New Delhi is a lovely city, where
> you
> can learn German, French, Russian and so many languages. All
> languages
> in the world are good and have beautiful literature, no doubt. But
> here
> the point is that in New Delhi, there is no place where somebody can
> learn  a south indian language. There are more than thousand places
> in
> Delhi where you can learn computer languages. And may be about 500
> places, where you can learn spoken english.
> This illustrates that there is no market in indian languages. 'It
> does
> not pay to learn indian language'.
> Second point to be noted is that language is power. If I request
> something from  a clerk across the counter in a government office
> and
> speak to him in indian language, there is sometimes reluctance to
> part
> with information. But if I use English, the guys thinks I am great
> or
> that I could put him to trouble and does the job without much
> hassle.
> Thus, growth of English or Hinglish or whatever is making public
> services more available, of course, very gradually, to english
> speaking
> people and gradually excluding others.  Now, is it possible that we
> can
> ever have the 'beautiful' day when everybody in this country is
> 'nicely'
> educated in english, who can appreciate Shakespeare and who conduct
> themselves with English manners? For the vast majority of our
> people, we
> are not able to teach their own languages in terms of reading and
> writing. How can we ever conceive of teaching english to the masses?
> Therefore the conclusion is that it is ok, let the masses not have
> it,
> but middle class and upper class people will have English. From the
> point of rising incomes of these people, it may be ok, but the
> inequalities in the society would be  widening, by the gradual
> decline
> of indian languages. I have no case against IT. But, we cannot say
> that
> thousands or a lakh of people getting employment in Information
> Technology has contributed to development of the masses.
> Thirdly there is something about a nation's honour. What makes
> somebody
> tick as an indian, if one cannot converse with the masses in their
> own
> language? Nowhere else in the world are people so apologetic to be
> speaking in their own mother tongues, as you find here in India. Was
> it
> possible that Gandhiji would have been able to bring the entire
> national
> consciousness together, had he not communicated in indian languages?
> If
> social mobilization and participation are increasingly considered as
> real tools for development, would it ever be conceivable to use them
> without indian languages? Could even Kaun Banega Karorpati become a
> success without Amitabh Bachchan using Hindi?
> Fourthly, there is a treasure of ideas and history of understanding
> and
> reforming our society through great works of various people
> throughout
> the country, apart from sheer beauty of literature and poetry. In
> Andhra, for example, you have Vemana, Kandukuri Veeresa Lingam,
> Gidugu
> Rama Murthy, Gurajada Appa Rao, Sri Sri and so on. Similarly, you
> have
> the works of Jyotiba Phule in Maharashtra or Fakir Mohan Senapati or
> Gopinath Patnaik in Orissa.  Decline of usage of indian languages
> would
> mean that the next generations would be deprived of the valuable
> lessons
> of history,  however efforts one might make in terms of translations
> to
> English.  Instead of building upon the social capital  which  such
> people have contributed over generations, we may be aping the west
> for
> a quick buck now, but perhaps we as a nation would not be able to
> reach
> farther, as definitely the vast majority of the people are not
> included
> in this journey through english language.
> Fifthly, there are many indian languages, especially tribal
> dialects,
> which are  not recognized as languages. There have been
> anthropologists,even foreigners,  who learnt tribal languages and
> tried
> to understand them, bringing unique insights and valuable
> understanding
> of their societies. There is a need to protect and promote such
> languages too, if we are interested in our collective progress as a
> pluralistic society.
> Sixthly, there is no factual basis to think that children in India
> are
> getting unduly burdened, as they are made to study a number of
> languages. There are studies which have shown that for a small
> child,
> the more opportunities it has for varied communication, it is the
> better
> for its overall mental growth and skill absorption in later life.
> I conclude by saying that it is ok for some or many people to learn
> English, as they have inherent  individual liberty. Of course,
> English
> is a good link language for communicating between people across
> different States. But,  growth of English should not be at the cost
> of
> decline of indian languages. Vigorous efforts need to be made at
> Government level and also by the society at large, to protect and
> nurture indian languages, which are now facing a severe threat of
> extinction. This is the only way to promote cutural plurality and
> diversity, which is extremely important for the overall development
> of
> the society.
> I wish we had the means of sharing this piece  with the IPI members
> in
> any Indian language. The absence of such facilities illustrates
> further
> the point I tried to make here.
>
>
>
>
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> This is the National Debate on System Reform.
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>
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> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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