Language is code, it is a tool – its purpose is to connect – and NOT cause people to drift apart. We must have a Common Language in India and make it stay COMMON in all sphere of our social and political lives.
There is no point in looking back at history and saying, we never should have been together in the first place, that Punjabis and Kannads are as different as the Brits and Italians (Vikram).
Fact is, we already have had sixty years time together – having decided to stay married and be a NATION. So it makes sense, if we do play along and stick to that tryst we had made with our combined Destiny.
Language is a resource. Yes. Most importantly – though – it is a TOOL. It is something to be USED for the larger, more important goals of living – safely, well and happily.
Staying together does help – history has proved it again and again.
It would perhaps be unwise to regress to the old ‘little worlds within a world’ of yore. Progress to the one world idea – would entail finding a Common Language – for one thing. People got to be able to talk to each other – share ideas, know-how, dispel fear, build trust and get working together.
There are ways to do this. Lets talk about those – oftener – instead of whining about all that is wrong. In fact, if we DO know what is wrong why not simply set down the rights – that needs be done? And start practising in our little worlds on our own, by ourselves, in class, with children, with blog mates, with our blogs, and more importantly staying TOGETHER – nurturing whatever strengthens the solidarity.
*As TOOL Language would evolve. A language would disappear as soon as it fails to serve it’s purpose (not cultural, but business, transactions, life enhancing, life-saving activities). We must accept that! Language isn’t an entity in itself. Do we ever regret the going of that great bog gen1 Computer that looked like an elephant?!
*Hindi isn’t killing any other language. Then Chinese might have killed English long back! One language doesn’t kill another. We give up using one in favour of the other as per our NEEDS.
*As for Culture, that totally depends on how it is passed on and nurtured. again it is hardly static and fixed. It is changing every minute of our active lives. What is valued today as an idea or practice, (say, knowing Bangla to remain Bengali) may not be tomorrow. If I didn’t speak Bangla, I would not be less of a Bengali! I could still access all the thoughts, ideas, practices related to Bong way of life through – people, media, mass media, education – albeit through the medium of a foreign language.
What do you say to that?
I do not want to be embroiled in the academic and political/administrative differences debate of what is National and what is Official. As long as I get to be me, an independent Indian citizen, am not rendered helpless in my own country, can negotiate my way through the streets of any Indian city, I would not bother, if I have to learn and accept and adopt a third or a second language.
Provided am taught that, when am small enough, and not be expected to learn it when, at age forty, I happen to enter your State and need to read the signs there. I like to be prepared. Simple. I do not want to have to learn languages every time I change State. It is a waste of time and resources I think.
“the culture of migration has a generalized effect upon the social atmosphere in which certain types of life choices and social interactions occur.””the choice of a course of study is made not on the basis of how interesting the individual finds it or even what the job opportunities (in India) are, but on the possibilities of future migration.” Also in your UP-TN post you mentioned migration, how it contributed to social value.
Migration and mobility is increasingly becoming a common way of life due to transfers, choice, defense forces mobility, business, politics, movement of resources. In this context, a COMMON language would have to be looked at seriously. To turn a blind eye to that reality is to regress.
The star-marked paras are mainly to address Odzer-‘s apprehensions expressed earlier, here, in comments. I, personally, completely stand by cultural conservation, provided it doesn’t slide into conservatism.
With every political, administrative and social measures adopted, I expect MY life as a citizen to get easier. I expect to be able to get wider choices, better access, more people in my life (philanthropically meaning of course) and more mobility. Thanks.