Monday, November 23, 2009

Back to Square One

Divisive politics at its best in Maharashtra.
Politicians in India are very fortunate because when they can't get religion to work, they have languages. When politicians have a go at all the micro identities that they could manipulate, it is a sure sign of them losing their own!
Just felt like quoting Tagore on this one. I think we have to go back to square one again!

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic wars;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action - Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake!

17 comments:

Eeshwari said...

You said it!

Jack the Ripper said...

When I see ingredients on "Godbolyaanche instant khichaDi che paakiT" bought in city like puNe, only in english and when my mother(who is born and brought up in this very soil) cannot understand it and feels inferior and secondary about it just because she does not know a foreign language , I do feel that somebody should stand to stop this painful language transition, cultural demotivation and colonial mentality.
One must come and see things in Europe where everything is written in 8-10 different languages but english(sometimes) and then would he/she understand the importance of language in development and progress of a society.

Saee said...

@Jack
I agree with you. Language is very important in the process of development of society. But India has almost as many languages as the states and UTs. Which is close to 30 or even more. So using a stark rebellion and that too partly to get attention more than to "help" the society would cause nothing but more polarization.
There are some states in the southern parts of the US that have road signs in Spanish because of too many Spanish settlers.
Inspite of so many English tests designed for immigration there are so many people living in Australia who cannot speak English to the basic conversational level. But no one "beats up" a Greek in Australia who refuses to speak in English. No one makes film directors apologize for calling "Mumbai" "Bombay" in their movie and putting an apology on every frame of the film.
Just as religion, language too can be a personal thing or a blatantly public identity. But in any case using it to polarize people is not justified.

Jack the Ripper said...

1.30 different languages in India is not an unusual thing. If you project same geographical area as that of India over europe or africa you would find numerous different languages. So this cannot be an excuse to wipe out the heritage and languages.
2.The path(of violence) can certainly be wrong but the goal to restore Marathi cannot be criticized.
3.In past 60 years the migration had to be controlled by the govt. which was never done. As a result we have massive infrastructure overload over some places as opposed to no development in others. Not regulating this migration is silent and passive form of polarization which has setup many a viscous cycles.
4.You gave examples of english being mandatory for migrants in Aus/UK. Do we have any such thing in India about hindi? Shameful fact is our own home minister cannot speak fluent hindi.
5. Obviously u dont see violence due to some American boards in spanish or some London street names in gujrati or punjabi. The reason is almost 100% of ppl their still respect english. For eg. you wont get blatant no to english on an english customer's face in a bank.
This is like comparing 1st 5 overs of an inning to last 5 overs. Language situation of hindi as well as marathi has reached a do or die stage at least in educated urban class.

Saee said...

1. I am definitely not supporting "wiping" out heritage and languages. India in her own strength is a culturally resilient country. No one can "wipe out" languages and heritage. But using it to alienate people is not right. Moreover using it to attract attention is not right.
2. If one wants to "restore" Marathi, which is a spoken language for close to 96,752,247 in India, efforts should be made at the level of common man. Not by targeting famous personalities to get media attention.
3."Migration" is an issue mostly in metros. Moreover Mumbai because it is the financial capital. But the so called "Marathi manoos" also exists in other parts of Maharashtra. There has been a persistent energy crisis in the state for close to ten years now. Why is that not a priority to help people of Maharashtra? Why is it not an "election card"?
4. P.Chidambaram is a man who has been respected and revered for his intelligence and prowess over financial matters which he does full justice to. His not being able to speak fluent Hindi does not undermine his efficiency in any way. And if Hindi is the "official language" of whole of India why did Abu Azmi get disgracefully attacked in the assembly?

Your last point want not very clear.Languages are a way of conveying information. Most people feel more comfortable expressing themselves in their mother tongue. Some people attach pride to their languages. Some people look at it as a way to get things done. But an any kind of external manipulation with peoples basic emotions associated with language or religion is not justified.

And creating riots is a typical "bully" way to attract attention.

Jack the Ripper said...

1.Thanks for not supporting the wipe out. But thats precisely whats happening.
2.I agree to an extent.
3.Why is it not on election card? Do you really think people think logically while voting? If that was the case then how come those who were shamelessly fighting for the post of CM immly. after 26/11 are again in power? Uftntly. fact remains that elections are won on emotions :(
4.I never doubted the intelligence of P.C., thats digression. And abu azmi was NOT attacked for taking oath in hindi. He was attacked for denying to take oath in marathi. had he taken it in both languages, there wasn;t any issue. But when you deny to speak local language of people from where you have been elected, thats a blatant betrayal.

Jack the Ripper said...

5.About my last point. You cannot compare the situation of negligible amounts of foreign language intrusions in US or UK to complete dominance and aggression of foreign languages in India.
5a. Languages cannot be merely a way to convey info. Thats the difference between humans and robots. Those who do think that way have not experienced the state of lingua-cultural transition and not gone through the pains of the same. That generally is our so called elite "urban" class primarily living in metros and cities, who neither understands its own colonial Stockholm syndrome, nor is capable of understanding the grave dangers it inflicts on the rest.

Also, MNS never targeted to get hold of whole of Maharashtra in 3 years. That would have been a stupid strategy. So they focused on Mumbai & on one of the most painful issues mumbaikars are facing. And the strategy has proven its worth in the electoral result. I would not like to defend MNS at all. But here if we have a guy who promises to take efforts on restoring maraThipaN in maharashtra and work for well being of marathi maaNus why not give him a chance? As it is we already are suffering from false promises by other parties. The real test(& taste) of MNS would be after it comes to power. But for that it should at least be given a chance.

Jack the Ripper said...

And about P.C. He is intelligent and all, no doubt. But an ex-Italian(who BTW is your leader) comes here and learns hindi. And you being born and brought up in this very country cannot speak hindi. Now isn't that shameful? Look at vladimir putin or nicholas sarkozy.

Saee said...

I agree with you completely where you say Elections are won with emotions in India. There is a great deal of unnecessary drama associated with "winning the hearts" of people.
What happened with Abu Azmi is a classic case of polarization.
When a Hindus start feeling more Hindu, the Muslims feel more Muslim too. And it is very tiring even to observe these tirades when it is given that India is a Secular nation with 30 different languages.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/How-ideologues-manipulated-masses-is-unparalleled/articleshow/5265656.cms
This happened when I was about 9 years old. Now I am 26, but this still haunts us in various ways.
If you look at it with a clear logical perspective, not thinking with any religion. I find it ridiculous that someone goes back to "being square" by hurting sentiments for something that was done 400 years ago!!
All this noise over everyday Marathi. But there is degrees to a language too. Every language is full of rich literature and wisdom and the people who reach out to that do that irrespective of their origins.
Languages are also santuaries for a lot of people. And a few people who are ashamed of speaking Marathi or refusing to learn it cannot make a huge difference to the people who really want to pass it on.
When you say "wiping out a language" it either has to have very few people speaking and writing it. Almost 9 crore people speak, read and write it in India. It has been used since Sant Dnyaneshwar and we still sing his poems. They are stil revived. Schools still teach in that language. We have many different dialects. So if you step out of Mumbai you will realize that it is impossible to wipe out Marathi.

And Spanish influence in America is most certainly bigger than North Indian influence in Mumbai.

All of this is just to grab attention which in turn leads to loss of innocent lives.

Jack the Ripper said...

1.Elections on emotions syndrome is not specific to India but almost entire planet. But this is digression, so i wont go in it.
2.Religion is stupidity so, ppl on both sides of mandir-masjid are idiots. I urge you to watch this and its subsequent parts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HKHaClUCw4

3.As far ur argument that marathi is safe because it has been spoken by so many people for so many years, I'll write on it when i get some time.

Jack the Ripper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack the Ripper said...

In case you are still reading my comments, kindly read the third & fourth paragraph of following:

http://72.78.249.125/esakal/20091207/5687456161310654999.htm

where I presume you understand "marathi".

Saee said...

yes, read it..but it is equally provocative in some ways. There are very few people who have a "balanced" approach on this.
And I can read, write and soak myself in Marathi. :)
http://unhalyachisutti.blogspot.com/
I will get back to this if I get time as I am flying to India tomorrow.
Cheers
Saee

Saee said...

yes, read it..but it is equally provocative in some ways. There are very few people who have a "balanced" approach on this.
And I can read, write and soak myself in Marathi. :)
http://unhalyachisutti.blogspot.com/
I will get back to this if I get time as I am flying to India tomorrow.
Cheers
Saee

Jack the Ripper said...

http://72.78.249.124/esakal/20100122/5262832371834610384.htm

Jack the Ripper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
saaf.baat said...

saee, u r in possession of beautiful mind.