Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Linguistic Patronage - a thin line between over zealousness and ridiculousness

How does a government promote a regional language?

In various states be it Maharashtra or Karnataka or Tamil Nadu (to name a few) we have seen the government using the following means however controversial or not:
  1. Make the language compulsory in school upto x/y/z class as 1st and/or second language
  2. Ensure shop boards in local language and no English or Hindi
  3. Ensure street names in the local language and no English or Hindi
  4. Drive out migrants (blue collar/ while collar ) from other states in the name of promotion of local language and interests
  5. Intimidate other linguistic communities
  6. Reservations in schools and colleges for certain linguistic communities/natives
  7. All communication (official) in the particular language and public criticism of use of any other language
The Municipal corporation of one of the major south Indian states has gone a step ahead. It has apparently budgeted for 6500 gold rings at the cost of appx Rs 2000 each (Rs 1.30 Crore )* to be presented to babies named in classical tamil in the next year! What an innovative method (sarcasm intended)! Who said corporators lack imagination especially when it comes to spending public money? What is a new born baby going to do with a gold ring I wonder? How will they ensure the name is not changed later? Wouldn't it be better to spend this in a more resourceful way on promotion of literature and education in that language? We really need to think about the people we vote into power !!!

(* Refer :


Madhoo said...

Oh man this is yet another way for the politicians to make money in the name of tamil literature. Hope pple raise there voices against such aimless campaigns...

Kiran said...

I get a feeling that we are reaching a state of fascism in our country - we are somehow not able to stop (protests though are dime a dozen, much ado but no result) any of the stupid initiatives taken by the so called elected govt. Tomorrow, even if they pass, say all Forward Castes should take a voluntary 10% pay cut - there is nothing to stop them.

No way out - any which way you look at it. Corruption's seeped too much and what's more, they are now blatant about it.

Divya Shankar said...

Gosh ! I didn't know when this happened .. but with gold rings for new born I was pretty sure it had to be Tamil Nadu even had you not mentioned classical Tamil names. Have to call it total over zealousness .. complete farce in name of linguistic patronage.