Let Kannada be Heard. And it Shall be Heard.

Are you a Kannadiga who wishes that non-Kannadigas in Karnataka should learn Kannada, but are often confronted with the "How can I start speaking in Kannada when I know he/she doesn't understand it?" dilemma?

Well, there's now proof (if proof were required) from a research project in the Victoria University in New Zealand, which
...found that listening to the sound patterns of a new language set up structures in the brain required to learn a different tongue.

'However crazy it might sound, just listening to the language, even though you don't understand it, is critical,' study author Dr Paul Sulzberger said.

'Our ability to learn new words is directly related to how often we have been exposed to the particular combinations of the sounds which make up the words.

This basically means that you should not worry if the learner is not understanding Kannada. Understanding a language always starts with the state of not understanding. Doesn't it? If Kannadigas persist in talking in Kannada even in front of a non-Kannadiga, unbelievable changes happen in the learner. As the study says,

'Neural tissue required to learn and understand a new language will develop automatically from simple exposure to the language - which is how babies learn their first language'

So go ahead, try it (if you aren't already doing it)! It's not being impolite. It's just being proud and scientific-minded and having the will to carry out your own conviction about the status of Kannada in Karnataka, and to help migrant non-Kannadigas integrate into this great land of ours.

So, let Kannada be heard by them first. Only then shall you have the pleasure of hearing Kannada from them.

Get the Hell out of Here: Marathis to Shiv Sena, MES

While vested political interests coupled with the utter incapability to focus on real issues are making the Shiv Sena and MES invent a Marathi "massacre" in Karnataka and pose as saviors of the Marathi people, the real Marathi people living in Karnataka themselves - under the umbrella of the Karnataka Kshatriya Maratha Parishat - have passed a 6-point resolution at a convention which exposes the truth:
“The Marathi-speaking people who are residing in Karnataka belong to this State and not to Maharashtra. We are not facing any problem in Karnataka. For us, Karnataka is everything and we do not want anybody from Maharashtra to advocate on our behalf.”

The resolution warned against using issues related to Belgaum or Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka for the political benefit of leaders in Maharashtra.

The parishat accused the MES of trying to create differences between the people of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

It urged Maharashtra to accept the report of the Mahajan Commission.

We welcome such moves by these responsible citizens of Karnataka, and urge them to spread this awareness to our Marathi brethren in Maharashtra also. And yes, we urge them to wipe out the MES from Karnataka.

While we are pleased with the responses of the govt. of Karnataka to this issue till now, we believe stringent action needs to be initiated against the MES and Shiv Sena. The MES, especially, whose very name (Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti) connotes "destruction of peace" must be banned from contesting elections in Karnataka in any garb. We also urge the govt. of Karnataka to gather up the political will required to give an ultimatum to the central government for the implementation of the Mahajan Commission Report.

Conquering Karnataka for Dummies - 21st Century Edition

Want to conquer Karnataka in the 21st century? First, migrate. Second, migrate. Third, migrate. Fourth, migrate. Fifth....

This is the story of Belagavi which continues to face the onslaught of Marathi migrants and government after irresponsible government in Maharashtra which goes back on its own word and then encourages its residents to migrate to Karnataka and slowly "conquer" Karnataka, and helps rogue organizations such as MES create tension in Karnataka.

The Truth about Belagavi

If you go back to the days of Sangolli Rayanna who lived in Sangolli in Belagavi district, or to the post-independence days, Belagavi has had a Kannadiga majority. And yes, today's Sangli in Maharashtra was a Kannadiga district originally known as Sangolli.

As recent as in 1924, in the 39th Indian National Congress held at Belagavi and presided by M.K. Gandhi, it was reiterated that Belagavi belongs to the Mysore state. Time and again, several more sessions of the INC across the length and breadth of India have reiterated this fact.

For those who have forgotten or haven't noticed, the Mumbai State Assembly consented to handover Belagavi to Mysore during the first state re-organization in 1956 on the grounds of that being a Kannadiga-majority area.

Maharashtra's volte face on Mahajan Report

However, truth is weaker than politics, especially if the truth's politics is weaker than the lie's politics.

In 1966, yielding to pressure mounted by political forces from Maharashtra, the Centre requested Justice Mehr Chand Mahajan to form a commission and recommend an amicable solution to what Maharashtra had started terming as the "border problem". The commission's decisions were made with four primary principles in mind:
  1. Protecting and Strengthening the nation's unity and integrity
  2. Keeping people of same language & culture together under one governance
  3. Considering financial, commerical & administerial feasibility
  4. Success of national programs and the effect of re-organisation on them.
While both states agreed to abide by this commission's report regardless of the outcome, Maharashtra (unlike Karnataka) failed to keep its word - it refused to abide by the recommendations of the commission.

Why? Because when you lose the game, you want to change the rules of the game. As per the Mahajan report, while quite a few villages were transferred to Maharashtra on the basis of linguistic majority, the town and the taluk of Belagavi were retained in Karnataka. This pricked the ego of some chauvinistic Marathi bodies like the MES (which incidentally finds enough ridicule in the report) which have unfortunately (but not surprisingly in this age where the better politician is the better divider) held enough sway on the politicians of Maharashtra. All these have basically led to the current scene of contention over the Belagavi district of Karnataka. Owing to this the Mahajan commission is pending implementation even after 4 decades!

Before we leave this topic, yes, Kasargod will be transferred to Karnataka as per the recommendations of the Mahajan Report. So much for those who claim that Karnataka is playing a double-game. Nope. We play one and only one game. The game where (we're told) truth alone wins.

What we got in return for entertaining migration of Marathis

Migration of Marathi speakers to Belagavi has exponentially increased from the days of the Mahajan Report up to now. Karnataka is today the top destination for Marathis who wish to leave Maharashtra to find a better life. However, as is common in any area on the border between two linguistic states, migrant Marathi speakers from across the border have always lived together with the Kannadigas and become one with them. There have been a host of facilities and benefits that Marathi migrants have been receiving inside Belagavi which they found lacking in their own state - for e.g., educational institutions, various government bodies, basic supplies, and most importantly the supply of electricity.

But what has Karnataka got in return for this royal treatment of Marathi migrants? Unrest and tension due to chauvinistic groups such as the MES, and yeah lots, lots, lots of water. So much water that many, many Kannadigas and Marathis have drowned and died in it! We're referring to the display of utter disregard for Karnataka by Maharashtra which has recklessly released excess waters from its rivers towards Belagavi and other northern districts of Karnataka.

Migration is twenty-first century conquering

A simple comparison of linguistic census numbers of villages in and around Belagavi during the fifties and sixties (data collected by the Mahajan Report) with the data of the seventies shows that there has been a steady migration of Marathi speakers from across the border. This phenomenon which created Marathi minorities to begin with has already led to Marathi majorities in several villages.

So if the trend continues, it shouldn't come as a surprise if within the next few decades Marathis "conquer" Belagavi and then move on to Dharwad, Raichur, Uttara Kannada or even all the way to Maisuru - especially with the central government having a commission to legitimize such migrations.

The problem is, Nilekani isn't looking outside

Nandan Nilekani has the following to say about English in a recent discussion on a topic well outside corporate governance and software project management:
"Today it is a language of integration."
What Nandan really means is that Hindi can only disintegrate us, but English can integrate (this is something he says in his book, too).

One language can never achieve national integration in India

While it's true that Hindi can only achieve national disintegration, not integration, neither English nor any one language can achieve the integration of India.

English can remain as the language of communication between different states and in the union cabinet in future only under three flawed assumptions: (1) that Indian languages don't have what it takes to get out of the kitchen, (2) Language translation professionals, software and hardware can never do a sufficiently accurate job, and (3) one country necessarily requires one link-language. That all three assumptions are flawed is being increasingly understood by people all over the world.

Hindi, of course, can occupy that office only under one assumption: that Indians are going to remain stupid.

All the national languages of India can and must be used in matters of the central government and between states - just like in Europe. That is the only true integration of the Indian sub-continent which is so linguistically diverse. When dealing with foreign countries, any Indian language must be deemed equally fit. It should come as no surprise if Veerappa Moily talks to Barack Obama in Kannada through either an interpreter or a piece of translation equipment. We mean surprise to Hindi Impositionists or Infoscion Thinkers; Obama won't give a damn whether it's Hindi or Kannada or English as long as communication can take place.

The bigger problem with Infoscion thinking

The question of language entails an issue closer to the hearts of Indians than national integration: food. Here too, Infoscion thinking (which term we now use for "English is all" thinking in general) proves inadequate. According to Nandan Nilekani and his friends who put their hand in the fire for English, English is also the only language of food, the only language of education, the only language of employment, and the only language of globalization. That's the problem with this Infoscion thinking: it implicitly considers India as an English-language call-centre writ large.

English creates a have-havenot divide within each state, and therefore in the whole of India. That divide doesn't exist inside Infosys because of the way Infosys is defined. It exists outside. The problem is, Nilekani isn't looking outside. That divide doesn't exist within the 7% Indians who are proficient in English, but it exists outside. The problem is, Nilekani isn't looking outside. He only seems to be.

Maharashtra's Kannadiga History and Culture

In his famous 1917 work "Karnataka Gatavaibhava", Kannada Kula Purohita Shri Alur Venkata Rao explains how Maharashtra is soaked in the Kannada language and culture not just in history but also in the present:
Many people still believe that Kannada had never entered Maharashtra. But my dear friend Narayan Srinivas Rajapurohit, who has studied this subject very well, has shown with ample proof some revealing facts in an article titled "Maharashtra Va Karnataka" in the Marathi language "Kesari" which is being published from 27 years. Some of those facts are: that the "Jnaneshwari" is full of Kannada words, that Goa's financial documents were in Kannada until a few days ago, that the Sri Vitthala of Pandarapura is mainly a God worshipped by the Kannadigas.

However, we will now place before the reader some more facts which have presented themselves during my own research on this subject. I appeal in all humility to researchers of history to carry out more investigations on this line of research and prove what I have reason to believe very strongly - that not only was the present day land of the Maharashtra language being ruled by Kannadiga kings, but also that the Kannada language itself was widespread therein.

The facts which I have discovered are as follows:
  1. Kannadigas will not be left without surprise to hear that the names of places in the Maharashtra language were mainly Kannada names. Kenduru is a place with a pure Kannada name near Pune. Further, Thana, Kulaba and Ratnagiri - which are Marathi districts - are full of villages with Kannada names. For example: Poyanadu, Shirola, Kallamatha, Devarakoppa, Akkalakoppa, Ulavi, Attigere, Mosale, Neruru, Pale, Devuru, Doni, Nirgade, Kanakavalli, Brahmanala, Ganagapura, Kuradivadi, Kalasa are villages in Maharashtra! Shri Rajawade, a prominent historian of Maharashtra recently admitted that more than half the names of places in Maharashtra are in Kannada!
  2. The makaara in popular names such as Annambhatta and Krishnambhatta is a feature of the Kannada language.
  3. The Jains in places such as Satara have been speaking Kannada from the very beginning.
  4. The Kuladevategalu of many Kannadiga families are in Maharashtra. Some examples are: Dhoumanarasimha, Neeraanarasimha, Kohalenarasimha, Tulajaabhavaani, etc.
  5. The very same rites and rituals performed within the borders of Karnataka are to be found in Maharashtra also. My friend Sri Rajapurohit has established the similarity between the temples in Devaragudda and Jejuru. Likewise, the Parashurama-Renuka temple near Chiploon is similar to the Ellamma temple of Savadatti.
  6. The Bombay Gazetter mentions that the Shilahara kings ruling over the area surrounding Mumbai were Kannadigas.
  7. It is said that there is a custom by name "Bisiyoota" in the weddings of the royal family of Kolhapur.
  8. Panchadravida and Panchagouda are types of Brahmanas among Hindus. The Konkanastha and Deshastha Brahmanas of Maharashtra belong to the Panchadravida classification. Why?
  9. The way between Savantawadi and Konkana is called "Dodamarga" (Doddamarga) even to this day.
  10. The Maharashtra language in Konkana contains Kannada names such as Mane and Nichchane.
  11. Temples built by Jakanacharya are found in Maharashtra also. They're also called "Hemadapanti" temples.
  12. What is more interesting to know is that Shilashasanas and Veeragallus of the Kannada language have been found in the very heart of Maharashtra! A Shilashasana of the Kannada language has been found in Masawada in Satara district...
Of course, we don't write this in order to provide reason to annex Maharashtra to Karnataka. We write this to provide reason for Kannadigas to stand united when the territorial integrity of present-day Karnataka itself is threatened by votemongers in Maharashtra. We write this to provide reason for Kannadigas to fathom the magnitude of the darkness in which Kannadigas lived during the days of the reorganization of states - a darkness in which many Kannadigas live even to this day, a darkness which every neighboring state exploits for its own selfish gain.

This is partly an English translation of our
11 Dec 2007 post in ENGURU.

Germany considers scrapping English lessons

The Telegraph, UK reports the move in Germany to stop teaching English to children below 11 years of age:

The country is among many in the world which adopted the mantra of 'the earlier the better' when it came to teaching pupils English.

Poor marks in the international Pisa studies of educational prowess in recent years gave even more urgency to start English lessons – in some cases for children aged as young as four.

But research by the Catholic University of Eichstaett has thrown the educational authorities into confusion. An unpublished study of schoolteachers shows that 95 per cent of sixth formers who had primary school English lessons were no better at the language than children who did not.

Two thirds of the teachers consider English instruction before the age of 11 "completely redundant." "The effect of primary school English is completely nil," said Wolfgang Klein, director of the Max Planck Institute for Linguistics in the neighbouring Netherlands.

Teachers reported in the study that very young children learned many words, but not the grammar to string them together properly.

Researchers said political pressure from Berlin and the EU drove schools to adopt English for children who hadn't properly learned their own mother tongue.

Often teachers have only a basic grasp of the English they are teaching their pupils, the study found.

Germany's 16 individual states are to consider the impact of the Eichstaett study and decide whether to improve the programme for teaching very young children or scrap it altogether.

Germany's move is based on the fact that they have a decent German-medium education system in place - a system in which English is unnecessary for children. Unlike us, Germany is a land of people who don't commit cultural suicide at every given opportunity.

The question is - is Karnataka in a position to follow suit? Make no mistake. The answer is "Not yet, but we need to work towards it."

Although linguistically Kannada is more distant than German from English, we have built a stupid system which negates the importance of Kannada itself in education. This has to be set right first. The Kannada medium education system needs to come up to speed first - as much to speed as German schools in Germany are - before we make the move to drop English from school syllabi.

But why are we speaking up about this when popular English-media rhetoric is to drop Kannada from schools, not English (because our intelligentsia unintelligently considers English as the raw material for success in a Globalized world)? Because popular rhetoric is wrong. And we must set right wrongs for Kannadigas to march into the next century.

For the story in The Telegraph, go to: Germany considers scrapping English lessons

Shall we say "Give us Akkalakote, Jatta, Sangli, Karad, Kendur, Poyanadu, Shirola, Kallamatha...

...and Devarakoppa, Akkalakoppa, Ulavi, Attigere, Mosale, Nerur, Pale, Devur, Doni, Nirgade, Kanakavalli, Brahmanala, Ganagapura, Kuradiwadi, Kalasa....and...thousands of other villages in Maharashtra"?

Karnataka's Minister for Law and Parliamentary affairs, S Suresh Kumar has given a fitting reply to irresponsible wordage employed by a handful of spineless votemongers in Maharashtra which seeks to convert "Marathi-speaking areas in Karnataka" into a Union Territory:
This will back-fire on Maharashtra... if we start talking about it. There are a large number of Kannada-speaking people in Sholapur and Kolhapur and at different places (in Maharashtra). If they are also converted as Union Territories, the issue will not stop anywhere.
Mr. Suresh hasn't given the full list, of course. There are more places in Maharashtra which are full of Kannadigas. The list is nearly endless. Prominent Marathi historian Vishwanath Kashinath Rajwade himself admits that nearly half the names of places in Maharashtra are in Kannada.

Back to the spineless votemongers. Showing that they are throwing stones from within a glass-house, Minister Suresh Kumar...

warned if Maharashtra leaders continue to rake up the boundary issue, Karnataka would be forced to raise "in the same way, its legitimate demands", and also take a delegation to the President and the Prime Minister.

He said competition between the states should not be in terms of "snatching villages" but focus should be on development, administration and governance.
Of course Karnataka doesn't make a claim on the places mentioned in the subject here even though they're full of Kannadigas and their history has been part and parcel of Kannadiga history from ages.

That's because Karnataka realizes that that is not the solution. The solution is for both states to respect the Mahajan Report, recognize that border areas are always going to have people speaking the other language, and to get on with more important things. It's not just healthy competition which needs to exist between the two states as Minister Suresh Kumar opines, but cooperation too. There are lots that the two states can learn from each other and each other's languages. There are lots that both states have to achieve together, including stopping Hindi Imposition on both states.

Shiv Sena wordsmiths invent "massacre", then pose as saviors

The Shiv Sena is now wielding its dirty tongue on a non-issue and trying to gain political mileage:

Shiv Sena leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi on Sunday night gave an ultimatum to the Bharatiya Janata Party to mend its ways with regard to the on going border issue and stop atrocities on Marathi speaking people in Belgaum.

Joshi said that Shiv Sena has taken the matter of sufferings of Marathi speaking people in Belgaum seriously. Any atrocities on Marathi speaking people will not be tolerated, he added.

First of all, while everyone knows that the Marathi people in Belagavi (Belgaum) are living peacefully with Kannadigas (and both are learning each others' languages, too, naturally), was there any need for this bullshit? While it's amply clear that there are no "atrocities" against Marathis, what do we do about the reckless wordsmithy of this irresponsible "leader"?

The best wordsmith award here, however, goes to the Shiv Sena supremo, Bal Thackeray:

"We are happy that Yeddyurappa was behind the `lotus' blooming in the south. But why is he bent on the `massacre' of the Marathi people?"
Which "massacre" is he talking about? Where has even one Marathi been even touched, let alone killed by Mr. Yeddyurappa or his government? This anti-peace and anti-India stance of the Shiv Sena will cost it heavily. Instead of inventing "atrocities" or "massacres" which don't exist, it's high time the Shiv Sena focuses on real problems inside Maharashtra such as poverty-eradication, education and employment. Or is it that that requires a spine?

Karnataka's banning of the so-called "Marathi Mahamelav" which was supposed to have been organized in Belagavi by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) overlapping the Vidhana Sabha session there is not a display of "atrocity" against Marathis. It's what any sensible government interested in protecting law would have done.

Why is the MES, a party whose very name connotes an imperialistic agenda (Ekikaran = Unification) allowed to continue? Why is a party whose very name connotes enemity against states neighbouring Maharashtra allowed to continue? Why is it not yet banned? And why is the Shiv Sena - which is hand in glove with the MES in its imperialistic agenda - not banned?

It's a defeat of India's constitutional machinery because of which goonda outfits such as the MES and irresponsible and anti-national parties such as the Shiv Sena are even allowed to contest elections.

Karnataka Tops World Bank's Investment Climate List

The Hindu reports today:
The World Bank has developed a new Investment Climate Index to help identify the key challenges and bottlenecks to be overcome in attracting business investment. In a policy research working paper, World Bank analyst Guiseppe Iarossi ranks the investment climate in 16 Indian States, using data from a survey of 4,000 entrepreneurs in 2005. Karnataka tops the list, with Kerala a close second. Tamil Nadu comes in at ninth place, overtaken by Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi.

How Medicine Minus Kannada is Poison

The Times of India today reports shocking results from a study about the harmful effects of Vicks VapoRub, a "household remedy" for cold and cough used in 60% of Indian households as per the report. According to the study, Vicks VapoRub is closely linked with respiratory distress in children. Well, this doesn't come as news to the manufacturer Procter and Gamble India:
Reacting to the study, officials from Procter & Gamble, the company that makes Vicks VapoRub, told TOI from Mumbai that the product's label already advises against its use in children under two years of age. The label also clearly states that the ointment should not be used inside the nostrils but should be rubbed on the chest or throat.

However, many parents continue to use Vicks on their sick children below two years. Rubin said, "Most parents aren't aware of the risks as most people don't read the warning label."
Of course, Procter and Gamble has the warning on the label (we checked). But the problem is - the label is not in the language spoken by users in India! It's in English, a language in which only 7% of Indians are proficient.

While it's common sense that the label has to be printed in Kannada in Karnataka, P&G continues to print it in English - probably to save printing costs while riding on the prevalent inferiority complex about the Kannada language and the slavish glorification of the English language in India. We wouldn't be surprised if there are people who argue that this is proof that everybody should learn English in India - just like some argue that the tail should wag the dog.

However, as this whole episode shows, it's more prudent for P&G to print it in Kannada and avoid earning the bad name which it now has earned. Yeah, we understand that P&G is "clean" because there's no law which specifies that the label has to be printed in Kannada in Karnataka. But being legally clean and subjecting children to serious respiratory distress is not acceptable.

Also, is our government clean in not enacting a law that medicine labels must be printed in Kannada? What is the government doing, if it's not even enacting laws which are required for keeping its citizens alive and healthy? And yes, what are Kannadigas doing? Why aren't we persuading the government to enact such laws? Well, of course we understand that some people may not read the label even if it's in Kannada. But certainly the percentage of readers will increase, and certainly the government will then be clean, unlike now when 80% of Karnataka thinks that those labels are not for them to read. Take a poll of Kannadigas, ask if they know that the English label is meant to be read by them, and you'll know what we're talking about.

For the full news item, read: Vicks can cause respiratory distress in infants: Study

'Translated advertising can never be an adequate surrogate'

Shiloo Chattopadhyay of The Telegraph, Kolkata, writes how advertisements translated from other languages fail to achieve persuasion, even if they achieve comprehension:

The touch point for persuasion does not reside in the language but in what the language envelopes. A language is not merely the letters, the words and their grammar. It is the cultural DNA of a consumer world.

To a Bengali or an Oriya, to a Marathi or an Ohomiya, the soft points of titillation are rooted in their native culture encoded in their own language. Sure, the Hindi ad can do a reasonable approximation but it possibly can never do as great a job of persuasion in Bengal or Assam as it will do in UP or Bihar. Even in these days of satellite transmission, enticing someone still needs tribal idioms. Translated advertising thus can never be an adequate surrogate

Needless to say - ads translated from other languages such as English, Hindi, Tamil, Swahili and Zulu to Kannada simply don't serve the basic purpose. The further the language and culture of the original ad is from Kannada language and culture, the less the translation achieves. There are cases where neither comprehension nor persuasion are achieved.

Excuse us, but does Pamela Anderson's ad in the picture serve the intended purpose for a Kannadiga reader? What the hell do the words "hosa banna" hanging around a naked (yes, that's naked here in Karnataka) girl's navel mean? Amidst a people who worship food (which is already vegetarian on average) and women, what's a cabbage leaf doing around the private parts of a naked girl? What the hell is going on? This one has actually achieved neither the intended comprehension nor the intended persuasion. Kannadigas comprehend something different here, are persuaded to do something different here.

For those of you who have noticed, there's talk of a "Dhanteras" in the papers (both Kannada and English) in Karnataka now. What the hell is that, and why should Kannadigas part with their hard earned money on that crap pouring in from North India? And what the hell is a Chashmish, and why should I go to Titan Eye + for that (read ENGURU story below)?

Isn't it time some Kannadigas saw the point and started decent ad agencies which understand what it takes to pursuade Kannadigas? For one thing, there's lots of money in it. And for another, those agencies fight Hindi Imposition by way of making money. Lots of it.

For the full news item, read: Lost in translation from Hindi

Also read on ENGURU: ಹಿಂದೀನೇ ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದರೆ ಅದು ಕನ್ನಡ ಅನ್ನಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲ್ಲ

German Minister Begs EU to Allow Teaching of German in Germany

Picture this. The Munich edition of Le Pseudo Figaro reports on 11 Jan 2009:
Munich: German looms over EBSE schools in Germany

Government is now working out arm-twisting strategies. The government may deny NOC to schools that may decline to teach German as a subject in Germany.

The German government is now seeking to get the European Board for Secondary Education (EBSE) schools to introduce German as a compulsory part of the curriculum in Germany.

A review meeting held by the German minister for education, Anne Schavon with the department of public instruction officials here on Monday discussed the issue.

The meeting decided to use the no-objection certificates (NOC) that EBSE schools are required to obtain from the German government as a means to make it must for them to teach German. The EBSE board gives recognition to a school only after an NOC is obtained from the German government. "The proposal is at a preliminary stage, we have to discuss the issue with higher authorities and then send it to the EBSE. Our intention is to ensure that the EBSE schools in Germany too teach German to their students," said Schavon.
Are you thinking..."Wait a miniute....what the *&^% are you talking about? Of course German has to be taught in Germany! I thought it's already being taught"? Are you thinking from when the Germans became so weak that the European Union can ensure that students can get away without studying German in Germany itself? Are you thinking from when the German education minister has started needing to beg the European Union for deciding what is taught to children in Germany?

Of course, the news item above is cooked up by us, a joke. There isn't any such bullshit in Germany or Europe. There will be a world war before schools backed by the European Union in Germany gather up the audacity to not teach German. You need to come to the Heaven of Unity in Diversity - this great setup called India, and in that, to Karnataka to read any such bullshit. Read the DNA story of 9 Jan 2009: Kannada looms over CBSE schools.

How deep are the anti-national roots of a system which makes Rashmi Belur report that Kannada language looms over schools in Karnataka? You know what looms over something? Death looms, a terror attack looms, a paralysis looms, a disease such as AIDS looms over something, not a classical language, that too the language of the very land with which this news item concerns itself.

Also, it's an open secret that CBSE schools no longer cater only to central govt. employees. Even if they did, why are they teaching Hindi? What's so pan-India-ish about Hindi that it can be taught even in Karnataka? The pan-India lie that Hindi is the national language of India? When will we get over this?

And how can any responsible citizen (no, we're not talking about those who run the English paparazzi harems) say that the Karnataka Govt. is doing arm twisting? Who is doing the arm twisting? Is it the CBSE schools backed up by lots of ill-begotten money and a central government running on a rusting constitution which openly treats Kannada as inferior to Hindi? Or is it the Karnataka Govt. which is being logical, reasonable and acting like any government anywhere in the world needs to?

If you had any power in your hands, what would you do now?

Speakers of Different Languages Employ Different Portions of the Brain to Do Arithmetic

On June 26, 2006, MSNBC reported that scientific research shows speakers of different languages engage different parts of their brains while doing even simple arithmetic:
WASHINGTON - Things add up differently for native English speakers, compared with people who learned Chinese as a first language.

Simple arithmetic was easily done by both groups, but they used different parts of the brain, a new study shows.

Researchers used brain imaging to see which parts of the brain were active while people did simple addition problems, such as 3 plus 4 equals 7. All participants were working with Arabic numerals, which are used in both cultures.

Both groups engaged a portion of the brain called the inferior parietal cortex, which is involved in quantity representation and reading.

But native English speakers also showed activity in a language processing area of the brain, while native Chinese speakers used a brain region involved in the processing of visual information, according to the report in Tuesday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The difference “may mean that Chinese speakers perform problems in a different manner than do English speakers,” said lead author Yiyuan Tang of Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, China.

“In part that might represent the difference in language. It could be that the difference in language encourages different styles of computation and this may be enhanced by different methods of learning to deal with numbers,” Tang said in an interview via e-mail.

“We believe language plays a role in the calculation,” Tang said. But Tang added that cultural factors may also play a part, such as math learning strategies and school training.
We know nobody has cared to do such a research about Kannadiga brains and English brains, but we have reason to believe that the results won't be totally off. Anybody who has struggled to find the equivalent of "eshtane?" in English won't struggle too hard to get the point.

We Kannadigas are a different people. We speak a different language. We think differently. We look at the world differently. We can build a different world. We understand things differently. We analyze things differently. We have had different experiences in the past, which has shaped our composition differently.

Only, we aren't exercising our unique strengths because the part of the brain which needs to light up on the brain scanner for this realization to happen has suffered a few decades of disuse.

But yeah, we'll get there eventually. We're already lighting up that part of the brain, y'see? It's a different kind of "Hachchaevu Kannadada Deepa" - this time on a brain-scanner.

For the full news story, read: Chinese, English speakers do math differently

Manege Maari Pararige Upakari Attitude of Industry Repelling Kannadiga Actresses?

The Times of India today reports Kannadiga actress Haripriya's near-humiliating experience in the Kannada Film Industry:
Her next film, E Sambhashane, is slated to release this month. However, she reportedly didn’t attend the music launch of the film. “Since I’m part of the movie, it’s my duty to be part of the promotion. But I was not even called for the function,” she says.
On how difficult Kannadiga actresses find it in their home industry, while non-Kannadiga actresses are treated like spoilt kids:
“Local girls compromise so much on the sets — it’s difficult for us to even get make-up artistes. But actresses who come from outside and don’t know the language get flown down, accommodation, great treatment and a lot of money. It’s hardly surprising that local heroines are vanishing from the industry”
Well, well, well. Do we need more reasons why Kannadiga actresses are being repelled from the industry? Why this non-Kannadiga heroine-worship?

Is this just an extension into the film industry of typical Kannadiga attitude in every other industry? Have Kannadigas become their own enemies? Is there something wrong with Kannadigas because of which they think a hundred times about forwarding the resume of a fellow Kannadiga inside their companies (before deciding not to), while they forward the resumes of non-Kannadigas in a jiffy? Is Haripriya a victim of this very same attitude?

What can we, as Kannadigas, do to change this attitude in the Kannada Film Industry in particular and in Kannadigas in general? Pour in your ideas.

For the full news item, read: ‘Local girls have to compromise so much’. Haripriya picture courtesy Times of India.

Globalize or die. No third option.

It has become a fashion to blame the world (read: globalization) for the underachievement of Kannadigas. Some Kannadigas fly Emirates all the way from the Bengaluru airport built mainly by Germans, go to Doha on an aircraft built in the USA, obtain funds for the ticket from people from Karnataka in Qatar, enjoy Italian Coffee served by French-lipstick laden Arabic air-hostesses, eat Punjabi food on the plane, and at the first opportunity to speak to an assembled audience, claim at the top of their voice in Kannada using a microphone made in China:
As a result of globalization, our culture and the growth of our language is likely to face setbacks.
What crap! It's not globalization which creates setbacks for the Kannada language or Kannadiga culture. What does is impotency. What does is not having the courage, never-say-die attitude and the killer-instinct required to rise and shine in a competitive environment.

The great kings of the Vijayanagara Empire - under whom Kannada and Kannada culture shone brighter than ever before or after - never complained like this, did they? They even went to the extent of exchanging travelers, craftsmen and businessmen between Hampi and Lisbon (for e.g.) so that they could make the most of what's already known in the wide, wide world. Why didn't they complain like some do now of globalization? Simple: because they had the courage, never-say-die attitude and the killer-instinct required to rise and shine in a competitive world, and at the same time the required patriotism and scientific outlook towards Kannada language and culture.

Even now, we Kannadigas have two and only two choices: either acquire what it takes to rise and shine in a globalized world, or just enter our graves with bowed heads. The option of justifying impotency just doesn't exist.

And yes, acquiring what it takes to rise and shine in a globalized world is something Kannadigas as a People can achieve only with Kannada. To merely "manage to get up" and "exist", English will suffice until American universities invent accurate text-to-speech (TTS), speech-to-text (STT) and improve the quality of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. That's just round the corner, and when that happens, we'll have to just drop the telephone receivers, return home and go back to sleep forever. Unless Kannadigas make those inventions - we mean those little Kannadiga children with innocent smiles scattered all over Karnataka, with running noses, wearing torn knickers or skirts, with legs colored with the soil of this land, and speaking that ancient tongue called Kannada - there's no hope of survival.

And yes, they can't make those inventions if you cut their mother-tongue and try to attach a different one. Children with a cut mother-tongue bleed silently, helplessly, profusely. They bleed pure Kannadiga blood, blood that has the strength to conquer the whole globalized world. Let's not waste that blood. Let's not tell our children the lie that their blood is weak, so weak that one tiny world can give it "setbacks". Let's not cut away their mother-tongue. Let's not tell our children the lie that their mother-tongue is weak and needs a transplant, so weak that one tiny world can give it "setbacks".

Imagining India or wishing it away?

In his new book Imagining India, Nandan Nilekani documents his thought-process on the reasons for urban India's serendipitous success, but unfortunately and wrongly imagines it to be the success of India at large.

The book also attempts to document some ideas for improving the circumstances of not just urban India, but of the whole of India. While we highly appreciate the author's efforts in meticulously researching and codifying India's (read "urban India's") status quo today, we give the book a thumbs-down in terms of providing ideas or thoughts which can lead India in the 21st century. That sort of thought-leadership material is completely absent in the book.

In the light of the fact that urban India is getting increasingly divorced from rural India and even speaks a different language (of which divorce the author is an advocate even if unawares), and the fact that the author does not display understanding of the ground realities of rural India or for that matter the role of mother-tongue in education, the book fails to give any sort of solution for the "whole of India". This utterly restricted view of India makes one question if the author really wishes away India at large and originally wanted the book to be titled Imagining English Language Call Centers in India.

Fairly accurate first part but disappointingly restrictive in idea of India

As already mentioned, the retrospective analysis of urban India's post-independence success is fresh, fairly accurate and bold - as long as it's not confused with the success of India as a whole - which confusion the book is full of. Anyone concerned with India as a whole tends to be disappointed with the lack of insight into what must be done in order to ensure that the serendipitous urban success reaches far and wide, and more importantly, in order that it sustains.

In the first part of the book, called "Ideas that have arrived", Nandan documents six things - or rather the "evolution" in the way we think about them - which have in his mind propelled India's growth in the recent past (in reality, it's only the growth of urban India). They are: population, entrepreneurship, english, technology, globalization and democracy. In short, Nandan believes that we've started considering population as an asset instead of a liability; entrepreneurs as respectable members of the society instead of hostile; english as the language of "social and economic mobility" instead of as the language of oppression; technology as an enabler of growth instead of as a threat to labor; globalization as aiding India instead of harming; and democracy as something which has matured instead of something India wasn't ready for.

We believe this analysis is fairly accurate if not complete, except for the fact that none of this applies to more than a tenth of India's population (barring perhaps the infatuation with English in which non-urban India blindly but understandably imitates the urban).

Other three parts are a let-down

The other three parts of the book lack the fresh analytical juice to be found in the first. In them, Nandan lets down those who might have looked up to him as an influential thinker whose thoughts and ideas for the future have the power to transform India; he merely documents what went on, what's going on, and a bit of what can be almost mathematically derived from the foregoing two if we let the engine run by itself with folded hands - what may happen. Clearly, that's not thought-leader material.

The book has some factual mistakes too, which stem from the author's distance from ground realities and inexperience in extra-corporate matters. While the author feels that Hindi Imposition is a thing of the past, we know and you know that that's far from reality. We invite the author to have a look at some of our blog-posts both in English and Kannada on this matter and ascertain for himself how rampant Hindi Imposition is even to this date.

Slighting the role of India's languages is unscientific and disastrous

The author's slighting of the power of India's languages and their role in education, and the implicit and unscientific assumption that English has what it takes to pull the whole of India out of misery is a glaring, unforgivable mistake which is central to the book's thesis. We expected the author to have been more scientific than that. Also, instead of dry documentation of how English was regarded as a language of oppression and has now become the language of "economic and social mobility" (the very concept of social mobility due to a foreign language stinks of British oppression), what one expects from a leader is answers to difficult questions with respect to English.

Leaders in India must dare to ask these questions: What should English be tomorrow? How should we plan the role of English in India tomorrow? How do we see to it that we neither loose quick BPO bucks, nor regard with neglect the latent talent of the majority of Indians to whom English is a foreign language? How can we build a system which taps the inherent talent in India's children instead of imposing a system which neglects everything they are from day one at school, but at the same time make sure we don't lose easy money from the Infosyses of India? In not even asking - let alone answering - these and other difficult questions, Nandan Nilekani completely disappoints the reader.

Is the RSS Committed to Education in Kannada?

The chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, K. C. Sudarshan, is of the opinion that English is creating a slave mentality in Indians. Recently, he was quoted as saying in Patna -
'We are not only exploiting our children by giving them English education but also causing the birth of slave mentality in them,'
Sudarshan is right in saying that English education is exploitation of our children because it's easier for them to learn stuff in their own language - e.g. Kannada for Kannadigas. He's also right when he says that English education is giving birth to a slave mentality in our children because right from childhood, repeating after the teacher, mugging up even without understanding becomes the norm since English is a foreign language.

We'd like to add, however, that English education also creates a "master mentality" in students who successfully get past the post. That was in any case one of the intentions of the British - to create a clerical class which is considered superior from the rest of the people just because they know English. This master mentality successfully divorced the "masters" from the real India then, and it continues to do so even today.

However, complaining that English education does this and does that doesn't solve the problem. The problem is solved only when education in the language of the land is really taken seriously and implemented all the way up to higher education in a phased manner. We cannot rule out the importance of English in education as things stand today, either. What we need is a solid plan to ramp down English and ramp up Kannada slowly but surely in education.

With the BJP in power in Karnataka and the RSS behind the BJP in spirit, can we expect the RSS-BJP combine to give thrust to education in Kannada? Do the two realize the importance of Kannada in the education of Kannadigas? Is the RSS really committed to solving the problem of education in Karnataka?

For the full news article, read: English education causing slave mentality: RSS chief