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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Let us learn to appreciate all languages

    This true incident happened recently in Chennai, a few days ago. The venue was Chennai Central. A very elderly person, who knew only Hindi, approached a very young person who was seemingly from Chennai for some help. The young person asked the person to speak in English as he did not know the language.

    This irritated the elder person who started giving a big lecture on why everyone should learn Hindi and so on. The young person was very angry and rang up his friends who were just going to the suburban side. They landed and abused the elderly gentleman, literally telling him to better pack off or be beaten up!!

    Even before I could react, a very nice Gujarathi gentleman, intervened and made the elder understand that Tamil is widely spoken here and Hindi is not a language that is commonly understood. If someone knew Hindi they will respond. The lectures do not work here, he clearly explained to the Hindi gentleman. It was then that he realized he did a mistake and said sorry in Hindi.

    In the meanwhile, this gentleman put his arms around the young man and said in pure Tamil, the poor fellow has mistaken you and apologized for the Hindi person.

    All this could have been avoided if the Hindi person had not started his lecture. Language can be a very sensitive issue and to insult anyone is very dangerous. Many others openly praised the Gujarathi gentleman who said that he lived in Chennai for fifty years and knew the local language so well. The four young guys shook hands with this person and even took a selfie.

    We should respect all languages. Hindi may be widely spoken but to expect everyone to know it is very unfair.
  • #644377
    Good posting. Really many people are there in such a way but some of them very understanding. One girl based Marathi got married a Tamil and came to Chennai. After starting living in Chennai she acts as if Tamil is poor language and she used to comment with their people over phone as her husbandside people knows only Tamil. She start commented in Marathi the we people waste our time by seeing Tamil programme. Many people ,not only hindi,nowadays starts likethis as all other languages are inferior their own.

  • #644381
    Yes. We should respect the language of others. One should not agitate and become aggressive if the other person doesn't know his language, that too in a place which has a different language. Once I had a Marathi boss. He never liked two south Indians talking in their own language. He used to say,"You guys, stop talking in your gud gud gud language. Speak in English or Hindi only." All the south Indians working under him were fed up and cursed him. Finally he left the organisation without any promotion as the higher authorities received a report that he hates south Indians and their languages.

    @ The gentleman from the Hindi land should have known little 'Butler English' to communicate with anyone in our country.

    No life without Sun

  • #644384
    This is correct. We should respect all languages and abusing a particular language is not a good quality. I have seen in Tamilnadu and interior of Andhra Pradesh many people don't understand Hindi. When any persons who don't know the local language comes there they feel very difficult in these areas. When the other person doesn't know our language it is better to talk in a common language which is known to both the parties. But when you are in a new place we can't give lectures to others. We are new in that area and we have to mind our job instead of trying to educate or teach other people.
    In Kerala and Tamilnadu we can't manage with Hindi many places. It is better to go with English in these two places. In Kerala, all people speak very good English even in interiors. But in Tamilnadu in interior places, we will feel very difficult if we don't know Tamil. Similarly in some interior places of AP also we can't manage with Hindi and English.

    always confident

  • #644391
    AB sivakumar
    You are absolutely correct.
    We have to appreciate all the languages. Otherwise we cannot survive in this world. I felt knowing different languages are a survival tool sometimes.
    I worked with Germans, I worked with Chinese people, I worked with Dutch, Italians, Russians, Arabs, Koreans…they speak only their language. I only know how much I suffered with the different languages…..

  • #644395
    This thread is about some incident which take place very often in a country like ours. We have a countable number of languages, though similarities are there between some. Actually in the year 1956 there was a division of States on the basis of languages, there still certain areas where some minority speak a different tongue which may seem different from the original language of the state.
    Again there are still many who consider Hindi is a common language and strictly adhere to that. This belief is very often seen when visiting certain northern States. Hindi though followed in most of the northern States, it is not the case with South. Specifically in Tamil Nadu Hindi is not known to the majority. In Kerala, since the same is taught at the school level, many can just follow, though talking is difficult.
    There are some people who believe that their language must be followed by others. Even if they know English they would not speak in English.


  • #644396
    In India, more than six hundred languages are spoken. Out of these, twenty-one are scheduled languages (i.e., major languages). So, we need a common language for communication, which should be English. There should be bi-language (English and mother language) instead of current tri-language formula (English, Hindi and mother-language).
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #644399
    India is a country of diversity and this is what makes it so rich and colourful. Different languages are a contributing factor to this diversity.
    We are all aware of the wise saying, " When in Rome, do as Romans do".
    Our beautiful southern part of the country has its own identity and if we are traveling there, we should be aware of what works there and what doesn't.
    We can't go to someone's house and tell them what to do.
    Let's make an effort to learn a few communication words before we actually go to new place for our own convenience or best of all use Google Translate !

  • #644424
    Wonderful observation by Dipti and all others. In fact, the same Tamilians,if and when get settled in Mumbai or New Delhi or any other Hindi speaking region, quickly pick up the language and speak in it. In fact, sometimes, even far better than the locals in that location. So, it is not a question of language.

    It is a question of imposition or trying to assert the so-called supremacy of Hindi. It has actually happened in Bangalore and elsewhere in Karnataka, where a bank official has abused customers who did not know Hindi. He was almost beaten up. The Kannadiga parties were not amused. They were angry and the anti-Hindi protests against Hindi sign boards in the Bangalore metro, is the result of this insult.

    The aforesaid incident was also reported on you tube and in certain other media as well. It is high time the Hindi speaking people show restraint and learn the local language. They should not expect every single person in so many States to know Hindi or allow that language to be more superior than the local language. In this connection, there was an ugly spat between Ms Jaya Bachchan and the late Shiv Sena leader, who told the former to pack off and go back to her UP rather than staying in Mumbai and wanting Hindi everywhere. He asserted that only Marati will rule Maharashtra. Since he was so powerful, the Bachchans did not argue too much.

    There are so many instances like this. I think they start learning local languages or they will become love-to-hate figures everywhere.

  • #644426
    A nice thread bringing out one of the most important issues in the countries where many major languages exist.

    For that matter, we have so many languages in our country that for a frequent traveller within the country this is an amusing experience.

    If we analyse the language pattern in our country we have many regional languages equally powerful in all respect.

    English and hindi are two link languages which are helping people to somehow manage the communication even in the remote places where even the regional language is having a changed dialect.

    So knowing English and Hindi is only a convenience for the people. It is not a compulsion.

    If we observe in deep then we will find that there are two distinct group of languages like hindi, punjabi, haryanvi, bihari, bengali in one group and tamil, telugu, malayalam, kannada etc in other group.

    Now frankly speaking, we must include these languages in our education system in such a way that at a particular place a student should have a subject of language from other group. We may or may not consider it for his evaluation purpose but basically it is for awareness and later he will definitely be respecting that language. He should not be allowed to elect a language from his own group otherwise it will defeat the whole purpose.

    For example a student from Bihar can go for Malayalam or Kannada or Tamil or Telugu.

    When in the European countries it is very common for people to know 2 - 3 languages why can in our country we not do it.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #644428
    I think I am the odd one out here. I do not understand what happened.

    From what I have read and understood, the youngster abused the very elderly person and called his friends, who arrived at the scene and threatened to beat up the poor old man. I have read most of the responses and other incidents illustrated but am still unable to understand why the youngster got angry, and why his rowdy behaviour is not being questioned.

    What am I missing here? Can someone please care to explain this to me.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #644430
    What I feel is - The old man might have used abusive words in Hindi or English to the youngster. Generally, most of the abusive Hindi or English words are known to all. The body language expressed by the old gentleman could be a reason.
    No life without Sun

  • #644432
    What I realized from story is that there is always option to keep patience and try to understand what front person is saying. Even differently abled or mute person convey their messages through sign language. So being human intervene and help others instead of gossiping hatred like stories.
    Life Is Beautiful

  • #644451
    Please do understand. The youngster got angry only when the Hindi person started giving a lecture and one of boys who understands Hindi told the other three that he wants each one of us to learn Hindi. His body language and his anger was something that even the Gujarathi gentleman did not tolerate.

    Please do understand. Even if people do not know Hindi, and the other fellow does not know English or Tamil, there are always people who are ready to help. SuN has understood the situation correctly. It was the way and the manner in which the lecture went on that irritated the young boys. When the Hindi person asked sorry, there was peace all around. And the Gujarathi gentleman counseled patience and explained in very good Hindi that the language is not widely spoken and that it is foolish to expect everyone to know the language. Even before the Gujarathi gentleman intervened, I wanted to cool down the Tamil boys and was trying my best to ask them to cool down.

    This is not an isolated incident. Those who know only Hindi, immediately start abusing the local people as Madrasi and then giving such sermons. On a couple of earlier occasions, at Chennai Central, the people just walked away. But in this case, the young man would not have reacted the way he did if the lecture had not been there.

    Let us imagine this situation. I go to Mumbai and even attempt to talk in Tamil. People will simply think am mad. Language is a very sensitive issue. It cannot be forced on anyone. Partha Sir is correct. Hindi can at best be a spoken link language. However, to expect every single person in India to know and speak it is absolutely ridiculous.

  • #644453
    The last time I visited Tamil Nadu was in 1990s. I still remember the boards at the Railway Stations. The Hindi portion on those boards was painted black, so that nothing in Hindi was visible. Now that Tamilians want an equal respect for each language, I hope that they will bestow the same honor to Hindi as well by not painting the Hindi portion on the boards black.
    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644456
    One can tolerate personal abuse or insult. But no one can tolerate an insult to his/her mother. Tamilians or any other person will treat and respect their mother tongue as their mother, and will not tolerate any insult to their language. We call Tamil as 'Tamil Annai'. The Tamils have more tolerance power than any other south Indians. There is a limit to tolerance. When it goes beyond tolerance, the result will be a thunder storm.
    No life without Sun

  • #644458
    The sequence of events as described in the main post and in #644451 do not tally. They are two different versions.

    I will refer to the first version, in my response, for it was after reading it that I had posted my comment.

    Here are the facts -
    The elderly person knew only Hindi
    The younger person did not know the language

    Granted that the young man was somehow able to communicate to the old man that he should speak in English, despite the latter not knowing another language? However, there are some things about the former's behaviour that are not easy to digest.

    The elderly person started lecturing. How did the young boy know that he was being asked to learn Hindi? The old man could have been cursing his own misfortune for only knowing Hindi. He could have been agitated because he couldn't communicate and get the assistance he was seeking. He could have been suffering from dementia, he could have been senile.

    There are so many possibilities, but the young man understood what was being said to him, without knowing the language. I find that peculiarly odd.

    The young man contacted his friends after the lecturing began (this is in your first version of the story). Why did he do that, could he have not just walked away. He wasn't in a classroom where his attendance was mandatory.

    You walk away from trouble, you do not call for backup and support.

    And whom was the young man garnering support against? A frail old man and his rants!

    So much has been said about the Hindi speaking people, which I find quite offensive, but I'll let it pass, for you have the freedom to voice your views. But, I have a question, where did 'respect' vanish? Aren't youngsters taught to respect the elderly? All the actions mentioned, highlight disrespectful, vicious behaviour. All this tamasha could have been avoided had the youngster just walked away. He gathered his friends with the intention of creating trouble.

    Also, the elderly man did not abuse any language, if that were the case the author would have mentioned it.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #644459
    Gypsy Sir, I wish to point out some facts. Please do come to Chennai or any other place in Tamil Nadu. You will see the name boards in Hindi too, at all stations.

    Kindly understand, We, the people of Tamil Nadu, only want others to respect us. For us, Tamil is more supreme. You cannot force us to learn your language Hindi. Just like we cannot force you to learn our language. If you can survive with English, as hundreds of thousands of IT fellows do, fine. No issues. In fact, such guys are always respected because they never expect us to or force us to talk in Hindi. Kindly understand, Hindi is a foreign language to us.

    If someone asks us why we learn English, let me explain that it is our bread and butter. We can pass the CAT exam. Our children can pass the IIT JEE examination. GRE and GMAT examinations are still conducted only in English, Sir.

    It is the true international language. Do you know that INSEAD, France,ranked among the best MBA B Schools in the whole world, teaches the MBA course in English? Please do appreciate, there is a big world apart from Hindi, which happens to be the mother tongue of millions like you. We never want anyone to dominate us. None can force us to learn the language.

    The incident was only one recent such incident. I have seen it get repeated so many times. This is because of the derogatory expression, "Madrassi" and all that. Naturally, some one from here hits back saying "Hindiwallah".

    With the patience shown by the Gujarathi gentleman, everything was solved. Do you know that there are at least three hundred thousand Gujaratis, Marwaris, Sikhs, the Hindu Punjabis, Bengalis and even Napalese who have made Chennai their home and take pride in speaking Tamil?

    If this is not unity of India, what is?

  • #644462
    Juana Madam, I have clarified what happened, word after word. I hope you see how the problem started. Naturally when we start a thread, we cannot narrate the full story. However, I have tried to clarify.

    Please do understand. The respect that we show to anyone is not small or meaningless. The Hindi person's lecture did the damage and hope you will understand this. Kindly note that when people are humble, even if they do not know Hindi, people in Chennai somehow manage to communicate and even use sign language. Please do go to the small kirana shops and check for yourself.

    Please do note, we are not against anybody. I tried my best to calm down the boys. You see, when they feel offended, nothing can stop them. The same kind of crowd, made Modi give in on the Jallikattu issue. I have narrated another instance in Bangalore and elsewhere.

    Do you justify this too? I only hope wiser counsel prevails on the Hindi speaking people. Hundreds of non-Hindi speaking people, who also know nothing except their mother tongue and are not good in Hindi either, also face huge problems. Over a period of time, they learn Hindi.

    I do hope I have managed to clarify. Yes, am not for the behavior of the boys. But boys and boys. You cannot expect them to be patient.

  • #644474
    I do not see how it is 'natural' to not be able to narrate the full story on the onset. When you are discussing a people and labelling them, it becomes imperative that you get the facts right, when you begin.

    And I believe that the first version is always correct, subsequent versions are always tailored to adjust to the situation.

    "We people", I see this as regionalising the people of the country. I think that normal citizens should shun this compartmentalisation of people, 'we vs. them'. I see every one of us as an Indian.

    Any incident you narrate is isolated, it cannot be generalised. You cannot paint all people speaking a certain language with the same brush. You may have had bad experiences, but this approach is not going to resolve anything. I can narrate incidents where my daughter faced severe discrimination, in a school run by a forward community. Her board result was such a slap in the face for the teachers. But, I don't carry my experience and categorise everyone from that forward community as being bigoted. That would just spread hatred.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #644480

    It is good to know that the times have changed and so have the people in Tamil Nadu. They have signboards in Hindi too. I have a cousin in Tiruppur, who has been staying there for around 30 years now. Just now I talked to him regarding the same. He confirmed that now there are no signboards with Hindi painted in black. In fact, businessman in Tiruppur want their wards to learn Hindi. It has become a necessity for some, since they travel a lot for business in the Northern belt. Some people come to Delhi for some professional course and they feel handicapped if they do not know Hindi. In fact son of a friend of my cousin in Tiruppur has joined a fashion designing course in New Delhi last month only. He doesn't know Hindi and is facing a lot of problems. So, he has started learning Hindi and so has his father in Tiruppur.

    I find it strange that you find the term 'Madrassi' as derogatory and in the same breath use the term 'Gujarati'! I am a Punjabi Delhiite and I do not find it derogatory when someone says so about me. Even if someone addresses me as Delhiwala, I do not feel offended. Is 'Hyderabadi' a derogatory term? If no, then how come 'Madrassi' is derogatory? Dear friend, it is how you take it. Please get out of the mould and think logically & rationally.

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644483
    Yes Madam. Very well said. It was a true incident. Word after word. I do hope you will atleast appreciate that such incidents happen.

    What you have narrated is very unfortunate. There is no categorization. In fact, I have attended love marriages of Gujjus settled in Chennai with girls and vice versa.

    I do hope you understand the intensity of the matter. With whatever little Hindi i know I have myself gone to the lodges hotels and even tourist spots to help so many people who knew only Hindi. I had even asked one friend who knows Hindi so well to show them around.

    Yes, such instances are rare. But when they happen and the use of the derogatory word "Madrassi" starts, all problems start. Yes, the old man did not use this word but his body language was peevish. One of the three guys understood Hindi. I have not spoken untruth. I should have described the entire detail in one go.

    I do hope that use of such derogatory words stops. In fact, the IT crowd is growing day after day. Hopefully, things will become far better.

  • #644487
    Gypsy Sir, the person will learn Hindi. I managed with few words and sign language for thirty days in New Delhi. Yes, many are studying Hindi on their own. My own son is an MBA from the world class ISB Mohali campus. The Hindi he speaks can match that of a UP person. We are never against the language.

    The social conditioning through a huge number of Hindi movies calling us Madrassi is partly responsible for our thinking it is very derogatory. Years ago this movie called Coolie in which Amitabh Bachchan acted had so many derogatory references. The Tamil guys hit back with equally horrible references. I think all this should stop.

    I dont watch movies at all now. I do not know what is going on. Please do understand body language also counts. Anyway, let us salute the minimum three lakh Gujjus, panjabis, Sikhs and others who speak and even write Tamil. It might surprise you. A huge percentage of people now like to settle down in Chennai since it is far more peaceful. If you come to Chennai,please go over to OMR and you can see hundreds of such families. Naturally their children speak Tamil so well. In fact, OMR will soon have fifty storied buildings too. This sort of integration, I guess, will slowly dissolve all bad experiences.

  • #644489
    Well I find fault with both. Firstly the elder person has come to a such state which hates Hindi, but people appreciate the Hindi films to which there is no answer. Secondly the boy should not gone so serious, as he should have politely excused and vacated the place. Here the war of supremacy of the language between Hind and the Tamil has taken place and boys had the reason to abuse the elder. But again at the same time why the lecture has to be started as to learn the language called Hindi and irritated the youth Normally Tamil speaking people wont mingle with others nor they get cozy. When I was travelling to Chennai alone, opposite my seat there was husband and wife and a small child of three years. Since I was having the window seat, the child was keep coming to me and sit and I was obliging. But their parents scolded the child not to mingle with fellow passengers at his will as he may be kidnapped . That irked me and replied them in Tamil that I am not a Boochandi.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #644497
    Mohan Sir, it was a really hilarious incident that you have described. Well, the fact of the matter is that Hindi movies and Hindi songs are record hits here. I guess when the movie goes beyond language, and has a superb story, it becomes a huge hit. Witness what happened to "Sholay". The audiences loved every bit of the action of those days. Language is not a barrier.

    Well, I do not know if you know the seriousness of the issue. The trouble is not Hindi. It is Hindi imposition. Suppose a person in say, Khammam, who does not know Hindi, is forced to write in Hindi, what will happen? We are afraid this will happen to us. The Bangalore incident was quoted on You tube and referred to by some political party. Such instances only show our lack of tolerance. Those who at least learn a few words of the local language have no problem.

    The problem only starts if Hindi is made to appear superior. I read an article some couple of years ago. Mulayam Singh Yadav was the Defense Minister of India(lucky we are safe till now!!) and this comic character wrote a letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala in Hindi, demanding a reply in Hindi.

    Do you know what happened? The CM was not amused. He wrote back in Malayalam.

    I only pity the millions of very poor Hindiwallahs who are employed in the most unfortunate circumstances in even small pockets of Tamil Nadu. It is blatant exploitation. They are paid much lesser than the normal wages paid to the Tamil guys. Since the latter do not do such jobs and go after white collar jobs, these poor Hindi guys work for wages that are some sixty percent of the actual wages. The so-called " free accommodation" is absolutely horrible. They are given the twenty kilograms of wheat that is got from the ration shops. In fact, I have helped a few of these guys to get trained in some technical skill so that they can take up better jobs in terms of content as well as money, In Chennai.

    Many of them do not even know that they are exploited. The "agent" is all powerful. Local thugs sometimes threaten them. They speak Tamil over a period of eighteen months. One feels sorry for them. All this exploitation is only because they do not know English, they are not graduates. Those who are graduates and know English, from Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Meerut and cities in the core Hindi heartland are all happy in BPO jobs in Chennai and Bangalore. I have myself recommended so many of them.

    How will the bigger issue of the language problem be solved? One really does not know. The pathetic standard of education in the Hindi heartland is a huge problem. Not many politicians talk about this. They are more bothered about cows and politics around cows.

  • #644504

    First & foremost, stop addressing me as 'Gypsy Sir'. I am fine with 'Gypsy'. From a few things in this response, I can judge your age and let me say that you are few years older than me.

    Secondly, looks like you did not pay attention to the last sentence of my last response (64448306 ). I said that you should get out of the mould and think logically & rationally. I think you are from an era when it was stamped on young gullible minds that The Central Govt was trying to impose Hindi on the southern states and that is why the signboards with Hindi were painted black. It might have been the case in 1960s or 70s or even 80s. But it is not the case since last two decades, I am sure. Then why do you think like that even now? I think you are still in those 60s/70s/80s. You should discard that notion now, at least. You should break that mould now. You should see who is imposing Hindi on you. Who? Nobody, I think. Then why do you keep on saying what is irrelevant now?

    Thirdly, you did not answer my question that if 'Hyderabadi' is not derogatory then how come 'Madrassi' is derogatory?

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644505
    Ok I shall call you Gyspsy. I have not heard this word, "Hyderabadi". May be, over a period of time, we will get over this "Madrassi"thing. I do not know if you have seen some of the Hindi movies. I have only one name I remember and that is "Coolie".

    Yes Sir, we do understand this imposition thing is not very active now. However, if there are some attempts like what has happened in Bangalore and elsewhere in Karnataka, am afraid that will spread to Tamil Nadu, through some politician.

    Forget you and me. What answer do you have for the unfortunate Hindi heartland souls who work for such poor wages? Will they ever move out, if they found some decent avenues for employment? Why is their education so badly neglected? These are also some issues that need a huge amount of discussion and debate and some solid action. Am afraid this is a huge issue and is part of the language problem. The likes of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawathi think that Hindi is just too good for their food and careers.

    Who will answer this? Yes, we will get over this "Madrassi"tag over a period of time.

  • #644506

    Why are you diverting your own thread from the main topic? If you want to discus other issues, then you should start new threads for them.

    By the way, Mulayam Singh and Mayawati are just nobody and are not worth my time.

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644511
    Yes I appreciate to the aditors to bring this kinds of questions. It is really important to give respect to all the languages. Because every language will carry some meaning beyond it. We should respect and give importance.
    By Determination one can Accomplish anything

  • #644543
    Sivakumar, I agree with the views of Juana and Gypsy. What made the youngster angry is a pertinent question. You must not expect a person from another state coming to Tamil Nadu to learn Tamil. It would be a difficult proposition because we travel across states and nations. You can't learn all the languages.

    I am annoyed by the attitude of the young man. He should have behaved appropriately.

    'Any fool can know. The point is to understand."- Albert Einstein

  • #644547
    Yes Sir. I myself did not approve the behavior of the young man. The friend of his who seemed to understand Hindi incited him saying that the old man was trying to give a lecture that we should all learn Hindi. Gypsy has also emphasized that Hindi is not sought to be imposed now. However, the "only Hindi" policy of the Hindi State rulers is doing more harm than good. In my opinion, the non-matriculates or just matriculates, being left out of any white collar employment is a very serious issue, intimately connected to the language issue.

    Yes, even in my thread I had mentioned that I tried to intervene. However, the Gujarathi gentleman intervened and solved the problem. The Hindi gentleman also apologized. When am free to raise a thread (the 15 restriction is there now), I have a suggestion to educate these poor souls who are unfortunately exploited for low wages in many parts of South India. May tomorrow I would like to point out this.

    Thanks for your observation. Juana Madam is also perfect in her observation. The young fellows out here are very emotional and do tend to become violent. I guess the family background is also very important. Those who have some exposure to Hindi never behave the way the youngster did.

  • #644551
    "Let us learn to appreciate all languages" Your post is not about appreciating "all" languages. It has more to do with 'not' appreciating Hindi.

    You brought in different aspects into the discussion, that somehow demonstrate your aversion towards another language, particularly Hindi. You have gone to the extent of calling it a foreign language. I understand the context, but how does it illustrate your appeal to "appreciate all languages".

    There is so much hate being spewed, let us for once learn to be tolerant. You do not like a language stay away from it. This is akin to instigating people; there is no need for such clarion calls in a one-off incident. Rowdy behaviour cannot be justified as emotions of the people.

    I want to add that you mentioned your angst against the youngsters' behaviour after I brought it up. It was nowhere in the description. Also, can you clarify when the friends of the youth appeared on the scene? There are so many anomalies in your narrative(s).

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #644552
    Madam, I guess you live somewhere in Chennai. How much of Tamil do you know now? Can you please clarify?

    I was referring to the importance to be given to all languages. Among thousands of others, I do respect that Hindi can be a link language. But to expect everyone to learn it is absolutely ridiculous. I repeat, I stand by whatever i have described. It was a true incident. May be, am not so skilled to make a very accurate description. All the while, I only wanted to avoid any confrontation. The Gujarathi gentleman settled everything. I have hundreds of friends from the Hindi heartland as well. They speak very good English.

    Madam, I have also referred to hundreds of thousands of Sikhs, Gujarathis, Rajasthanis and other people, including Bengalis, who now speak Tamil even better than me. They have settled in Chennai. In fact, while working in the TVS group, I used to meet them daily, as they are the main vendors. I used to converse with them in broken Hindi. They would joke and revert me back to Tamil, which they know very well.

    This is what we call as respect for all languages. We are not averse to learning any language, if the need arises.

    There is a huge, huge difference between voluntarily learning a language and compulsorily learning a language. If those from the Hindi belt stay here for a long time, there are expected to learn the local language, be it in Chennai or Trivandrum or Hyderbadad or Bangalore. I do hope this is what we call respect for all languages.

    Yes, please tell me, how much of Tamil do you know? Can you converse with the local kirana fellow?

  • #644553
    This could be the situation to understand

    Old Man: Hare boy! Adyar Jaane keliye Raastha Bathao. (How to go to Adyar?)

    Young man:(who doesn't know Hindi) English English, No Hindi, Tamil Tamil.

    Old Man; Kya, English, Angreji, Hindusthan me Rahke Angreji kyom bolte ho. Hindi seeko, Hindi seeko. Aap Tamilnadu vaalom Hindi kyom nahi seekthe ho.

    Young man: Enna, enna, Ennayya solre, Enakku Hindi Theriyaathu. Englishla sollu (What, What, What are you telling. I don't know Hindi. Speak in English)

    The third man(who knows a bit Hindi): Avan unnai Hindi padikka solraan. Tamilkaran yaen Hindi padikka mattukkiran enru lecture adikkiraan. (He is telling us to learn Hindi. He is lecturing why the Tamilians are not learning Hindi in the Hindi land)

    Youngman: Appadiya solraan intha kilavan. Ivan yaarada nammalai Hindi padikka solrathu. Ivan inge varuvatharku mun Tamil yaen padikka villai. Intha kilavanukku nalla Paadam Karpikkavendum (Is it from this old man? Who is he to tell us to learn Hindi? Why can't he learn Tamil before coming to the Tamil land. Why can't he learn Tamil before coming to Tamilnadu. We should teach him a good lesson)

    Old man: (kept on repeating his words with inappropriate body language)

    The young man annoys and calls his friends.
    The Gujarathi gentleman intervenes and settles the issue.
    (ABS Kumar watching the scene helplessly as he is not capable of speaking good Hindi to convince the oldman)

    What is your good understanding please?

    No life without Sun

  • #644554
    Sun Sir, you have literally brought it out so well. It is as if you were there. Something similar was said, though I did not follow the full Hindi, which seemed the UP variety. I only wish I had my son there. He would have helped him all the way!!

    Even before I could react, there were curious onlookers. Getting into something where I do not know how to convince the old man was my real problem. I told the boys to be kept but they kept saying "neenga chumma irunga"(Sir, you please keep quiet).

    When the Gujarathi gentleman intervened, I was happy that something good is going to happen. Juana Madam has not understood the crux of the issue. Let us look at the larger context. How is that this Gujarathi gentleman who has settled in Chennai, knows Tamil so well and was proud to calm down all tempers? In fact, his Tamil was so good that he seemed to be more of a Chennai person. I know hundreds of educated Hindi people from UP and Bihar. After staying for 60 months, the only word they know is "thanni" (water). Since they are educated, they get away with English. But the poor souls who do know English suffer so much. They gradually learn some Tamil. You can see them in Chennai in every hotel.

  • #644556
    You are a good dialogue writer; that's all!

    But, if you had read the transcript, you would have included the biggest piece of 'evidence' in the dialogues - the 'phone call'. The friends arrived after the phone call. What transpired before that? It is very important for the facts to come out when you build a story.

    I am no fool.

    Don't dump your failure on me and blame your inability to give straight answers, on my lack of understanding.

    I asked questions based on your narrative and you haven't given a single worthy response, instead, you went on a tangent on other aspects, changing the narrative and are continuing to spin yarns. I have already mentioned that there are a number of anomalies in your story.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #644557
    "You should see who is imposing Hindi on you. Who? Nobody, I think"
    Have you seen recent version of irctc website. Please check it and get to know who is imposing hindi.
    Do you know the recent incident happened in a bank branch in karnataka? If you don't know please google it.

    No one hate Hindi in TN and they are hate only imposing Hindi.

    "Normally Tamil speaking people wont mingle with others" - This irrelavent and false statement. Also nothing wrong safegaurding their child from unknown person.

    "You must not expect a person from another state coming to Tamil Nadu to learn Tamil."
    You must not expect TN people should learn Hindi just for visitors. Why most of the north indians expect south indians should learn their language but they wont learn a single word from other languages.


  • #644558

    Who is forcing you to learn Hindi now?

    Secondly, so many Hindi speaking people have settled in Tamil Nadu now, can you tell me why have they learnt Tamil? It is not just to converse with kirana man, or just for ordering food in a restaurant etc. They have learnt or are learning Tamil to know what you natives talk among yourselves, about the other people etc.

    If you expect others to respect your sentiments (like they respond back in Tamil, when you ask something in Tamil), should you also not respect sentiments of others (by responding back in the same language in which they ask you something)? With so many Hindi speaking people settled in Tamil Nadu now, don't you think it is imperative for you to learn Hindi as well, at least now?

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644559
    Thanks for your good comment on my dialogue writing. I tried my best to explain the situation. What transpired exactly cannot be predicted by me. Since Mobile phone facility is available, he could have phoned up to his friends who were few yards away in that crowded central station area.

    No life without Sun

  • #644562
    So many south Indians are settled In North India and they are speaking very good Hindi. don't you think it is imperative for you to learn all / any one of the south Indian languages as well, at least now?

    Why it should be one way only

    They settled in south india because of their necessity and no one asked them. So they need to learn it. It is applicable for South Indians as well. if they are settled in Hindi belt then they should learn Hindi.


  • #644563
    This thread has taken a different turn now. Can't we accept the fact that Hindi is a language that can be used for conversing across the Country? Why the aversion? If English can be spoken, why not Hindi?

    And I am surprised by some responses that say that Hindi is being imposed. Isn't it our choice? It is entirely my choice to learn a language or otherwise. If a person from Gujarat lands at Chennai without knowing Hindi, can we take it back to a situation where a South Indian goes to someplace in the North without knowing Hindi or English? How would you manage? We learn the language of the place we are in. The migrant labourers from Bihar, Bengal and Assam in Kerala have learned Malayalam. It is a question of survival. There is nothing to be worried about. We should not ignore the fact that Hindi is a common language.

    Suresh Kumar at # 644562, haven't you seen people from the North settled in Chennai speaking fluently in Tamil? Please note that Hindi is not a regional language as Tamil, Malayalam, Assamese or Bhojpuri etc.

    'Any fool can know. The point is to understand."- Albert Einstein

  • #644564
    Suresh Kumar,

    You too need to get out of that mould now. Just visited IRCTC website. Looks like you are pointing out to the language options. There are just two options - English & Hindi. Looks like you are trying to say that Hindi is being imposed on you since there is no option for Tamil on the IRCTC website.

    Suresh, according to Wikipedia, 53.60% of Indian population speaks HIndi (either as a first language or as a second or as a third language) and merely 6.49% of Indian population speaks Tamil (either as a first language or as a second or as a third language). What do you expect from IRCTC?

    53.60% of Indian population speaks HIndi
    12.18% of Indian population speaks English
    6.490% of Indian population speaks Tamil

    Why do people of Tamil Nadu oppose Hindi which is spoken by more than half the population of India? Why are the people of Tamil Nadu ready to embrace a foreign language - English- spoken by just 1/8 population of India?

    I think that those who are opposing Hindi, now, still have the mindset of the people of 1960s & 70s.

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644565

    The thread has not taken a diversion. The point being discussed now has been the core point since the beginning of the thread.

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644566
    Juana Madam. I respect you for whatever you have mentioned. I stand by whatever I have narrated as a true live incident. Maybe, i should have put the entire thing on video. You are yet to reply to one question: how much of Tamil do you know? If your answer is yes, i guess you would have respected all languages and in particular, Tamil. Gyspy pl note many people speak in Hindi. Even I do when i meet someone. However, to insist that we speak only in that language, when am in Tamil Nadu, is pathetic to say the least. Hindi is sought to be imposed in one way or the other. Yes, people are learning Hindi everyday. If they speak in it on their own, like my son does, no issues. We need to wait till this happens. Yes, i do agree that the degree of imposition is far less today. Let me close all discussion now as some people have even started questioning my integrity. I think i will never raise any thread like this for a lifetime.

  • #644568
    South Indians should learn Hindi when they go to North India and South Indians should learn Hindi when north indians come to south india. What logic is this?

    Learning language is individual choice but why you are imposing on them when they don't have any necessity/interest. Recent example for Hindi imposition is irctc website. I think Hindi version of irctc also available, but why Hindi is in english version of irctc as well? Why so much of tax payers money are diverted towards promotion of Hindi but not other languages?


  • #644569
    This is absolutely ridiculous to say that we should all learn Hindi. Why should we learn Hindi? Is it a national language? No, it is not the national language. It is one of the official languages. If more people speak Hindi that doesn't mean that all should learn Hindi. We are learning English as it fetches bread and butter for us. Can anyone say here that Hindi can fetch bread and butter for us? Then we are ready to learn it. If Tamil fetches me bread and butter, I will learn Tamil Also.

  • #644570

    Quote - So many south Indians are settled In North India and they are speaking very good Hindi. don't you think it is imperative for you to learn all / any one of the south Indian languages as well, at least now? Unquote

    What a strange logic you have! South Indians settled in Hindi belt have learnt Hindi, because it became a necessity for them, just by learning Hindi they will be able to communicate with 53.60% of Indians. Similarly, Hindi speaking people settled in Tamil Nadu have learnt Tamil, because it became a necessity for them.

    But if I am not settled in South India, then how does it become imperative for me to learn Tamil, for example? That logic is beyond my IQ level.

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644571
    The Tamils don't hate Hindi, but love. Approximately 75 percent of Tamilians don't move out of Tamilnadu. Therefore, there is no need for them to learn Hindi or English. Also, the Tamils don't like imposition of a language to learn. They learn it on their own. The good old man encountered the young man who might be an illiterate knowing Tamil and a bit of English only, and cannot tolerate someone asking him to learn Hindi in an aggressive tone.
    No life without Sun

  • #644572

    Is someone forcing you to learn HIndi?

    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new!

  • #644573
    There seems to be the misunderstanding in between the young gentleman & the elderly guy. There is no video recording inhere & so we got with our own perceptions in context to the story. I don't believe that the elderly guy had immediately came up with his aggressive stand that the other guy didn't know his language. I don't like the reactions of the other members wherein the decisions were made & being biased to one side. I want each one of us to put themselves on the circumstance & the position of the elderly guy & only then go ahead with your decisions. Remember that you later on got threatened by the young gentleman along with his friends too.

    If I was in the place of that young gentleman than I would have calmly ignored the elderly guy if confronted by any unfairly behavior instead of calling other friends & started & abusing the elderly guy. This is because this hasn't been taught to me & this is not my culture or in other words I am not that much weak from within to lose my cool instantly that I want to break others.

  • #644574
    I never said Tamil anywhere. Why you are diverting Tamil Vs Hindi? As per you, only 53.60% are speaks Hindi and remaining people don't know it.
    I am not pointing out language options in irctc. I/we don't have any issue with separate version of Hindi and all government websites have Hindi versions as well. My point is why Hindi in English version of irctc as well? This is called imposing.
    Both Hindi, English are same for South Indians and they are prefering English than Hindi because they can survive any where in the world with English which includes North India. But what to do with Hindi?

    If you agree or not, but as per Central Government statistics Non Hindi speaking states are more prosperous than Hindi states (like GDP, Human wealth Index, Industrialization etc). So what is need of learning Hindi?

    Language debate won't have any conclusion. India is not a country like china to have a single language. Each part of India have their own history, culture, language, etc. Central government have the responsibility to protect everyone and everything. Unfortunately many people forgot "Unity in diversity" and tries to dominate on others.

    Better to stop here.


  • #644575
    What does it convey with your statement @644558 "With so many Hindi speaking people settled in Tamil Nadu now, don't you think it is imperative for you to learn Hindi as well, at least now?"
    Lot of Telugu people have settled in US, can we ask all the Americans to learn Telugu?

  • #644576
    It is not your business to know my command over languages. I am not being discussed here. Don't divert the conversation at will. Stick to the discussion.

    The discussion is purely on the thread you raised. There were inconsistencies in your narrative. Can you explain them? Do you have answers to the questions I asked?

    But, let me show you how irrational your question to me is, it is explained in your comment "how much of Tamil do you know? If your answer is yes, i guess you would have respected all languages…"

    You do not seem to have answers to pertinent questions that I raised, about the flaws in your story, and are only tying yourself in knots, in trying to divert from the main issue.

    One frail old man has stirred up such strong emotions!

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #644577
    Kindly post your conclusive responses to bring an end to this discussion. Indeed, we had a good discussion.

    My conclusion:
    "One should be cool while communicating with others irrespective of their age and language and the place. It is good to learn other languages."

    No life without Sun

  • #644582
    A thread on languages in India has garnered 53 replies. Well done. Few things from my viewpoint

    1. Even when a person does not know the language, one (the local youngsters in this case) should be out to help the visitor and if nothing at least respect the old gentleman for his age.

    2.We may be united, educated and have strong feelings about a particular language. But we need to have common sense, when we are in a new place, a different state, one should be careful not to stir up emotions of the wrong kind. This happens with language and interactions with people. Once we have a a group or a mob arguing with you, then there is a real chance of physical harm. Why put ourselves in this situation in the first place?

    3. One is free to learn any language and speak any language. This should not be imposed upon. If we move to a different state to earn a living, then I think, it's fair to learn the language of that state (not to the expert level) at least to talk and read enough for day to day life.

    4. Lastly, I keep travelling to 2-3 states often, in my experience, the section of the crowd (in the bus stop or railway platform, the hawkers, the transport staff) and their views do not necessarily reflect the true views of the rest of the people of that state. I have had people in confrontation mode and the opposite, people helping me out with directions and guidance on the same day at various places in a different state.

  • #644584
    My conclusion:

    1. This debate should have taken place 30 years ago.
    2. Now, more than 75% people of the country are educated. And so, all the 75% people know 'tooti-footi' English. In Chennai, the percentage of literates is above 85%.
    3. So, while communicating with people from other states, let's polish our 'tooti-footi' English. After all, all of us (irrespective of our respective mother-language) send our children to English-medium schools to learn English.


    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #644588
    Juana Madam, you have literally started using the word "story". This is so sad.

    I thought I had clarified so many points. But since you seen to be even doubting whether the incident happened or not, let me put this in the total perspective.

    1. The incident happened between platform 10 and platform 11. The time was around 12.35PM. The Arakkonam passenger was scheduled to depart only at 1.10PM. I was seated in the train. The old man who presumably knew only Hindi, asked the youngster for help. The young fellow simply said "English, English" and used one full sentence to repeat the same in Tamil. "Englishlaa pesunga". By this time the old man started gestures and all I could understand was the use of the word "Rashtrabasha" at least six times. I guess this annoyed the youngster, who could have understood what this meant.

    2. He called his friends over cell phone. All the while, even when the old man was continuing to say something like why everyone should compulsorily learn Hindi( this is what I understood), the friends came to the scene in less than twenty seconds. After all, platform 13 is so near by. Between themselves, they were seen talking in Tamil that this old man is giving us "upadesam" ( literally means advise). Even in the thread have said, "before I could react". I did not want to enter in the beginning because I did not know what the old man was saying. But when the boys turned up, I did say to them, "vittu vidunka appa" ( please leave it). Even when the whole thing that lasted for 90 seconds or so, was on, the Gujarathi gentleman appeared on the scene ( he was just sipping water a little away) and pacified the old Hindi man.

    3. Specifically, I have made a mention that this old man apologized, "Maffkardeejiyee". One of the boys said "athu". By this time, the boys struck a big conversation with the Gujarathi gentleman, and it became clear that he had settled in Chennai for 50 years. The conversation ended there. The old man went his way, further up the platform. By this time, a few others had gathered. They simply thanked the Gujarathi gentleman, who merely said that the poor old man knew only Hindi. But he could have asked someone else and closed the topic.

    4. This is all the absolute truth I remember. If you do not believe this, it is up to you.

    5. Now the question as to whether you know Tamil or not is not to question your right to know or not to know any other language. But if you are averse to learning it, in spite of being in a place where the language is so widely spoken and is the pride of this land, Tamils have every reason to being averse to learning the language called Hindi.

    6. I have pointed out time and again, we are not against Hindi. But only against its imposition.

    7. There are so many instances where the Hindi speaking people try to converse only in that language ( in spite of knowing English as people like you do) and literally abuse those who are unable to speak in that language.

    8. While I close this thread, with a rather heavy feeling on questions about my integrity, I will never ever raise such a thread at all. Just like you are entitled to your views, am entitled to mine. Thanks a million.

  • #644614

    This thread is eating into a lot of my time, but I will respond as you have addressed your post to me.

    To begin with, any incident that is narrated becomes a story. I use the word in a broader context.

    My response is not an attack on you, but I will make interpretations because you choose to address a post to me.

    Firstly, I wouldn't have been able to hear a conversation between two people on a platform, while I was seated on a train. Not that I am hearing impaired, it is just that the din, at the railway station would have made it impossible for me to catch snippets of conversation.

    The irony is that an old man is being blamed here, while the aggressive behaviour of youngsters is being justified. How menacing could the old man's tirade really have been? If he was really as forceful and antagonistic as he has been made out to be would he have meekly apologised? Would he not have walked off in a huff; after all his forceful behaviour had agitated a youngster enough to have him call for backup. He was so threatening just 90 seconds ago!

    Coming to the personal remarks that you directed at me.

    You have no clue about the kind of life I lead. And are no one to judge whether my not knowing a language has something to do with my being averse to it. You are passing comments on my personal life, which you know nothing of. I would advise you to not cross those boundaries with me. Keep the discussion relevant to the topic.

    You can have your reasons for being averse to Hindi, it doesn't really bother me. I am not imposing it on you, nor questioning your command over the language. But, don't drag me into the choices you make. ("But if you are averse to learning it, in spite of being in a place where the language is so widely spoken…Tamils have every reason to being averse to learning the language called Hindi"). Do what you want because you want to do it, not because I or someone else is not doing what you think we should.

    "in spite of knowing English as people like you do" Please desist from making personal remarks, you do not know me, to comment on me.

    You introduced various elements in the course of the discussion, each pointing the deficiency, as it were, of people from the North. You have done nothing but berate a people - "many instances where the Hindi speaking…literally, abuse those who are unable to speak in that language". Talk of the pot calling the kettle black!

    I wouldn't judge people based on their religion, or the colour of their skin, or their caste, or the region they belong to, or their wealth or the language they speak. I have neither the time nor the energy to feel such hate against a race. I do not have it in me to be a racist.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #644617
    Dear Members,
    This thread has exceeded its limit. I wanted members to conclude this thread by posting their concluding remarks. Partha and Natarajan concluded beautifully.

    I humbly request the Author ABShivakumar, Juana, Gypsy and others to post few concluding remarks/advice and put an end to their discussion.

    Om shanthi Om!

    No life without Sun

  • #644618
    The author in his final conclusion go on saying with an addition of few of the lines like, …. The old man who “presumably” knew only Hindi….. By this time the old man started gestures and all “I could understand”…” I guess this annoyed the youngster”…………….” ( this is what I understood),”….. I did not want to enter in the beginning because “I did not know what the old man was saying”……..

    The whole of the words shows the unsurety on behalf the author & so just abide by his perceptions & nothing.

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