'India will blow-up if states are multilingual' - Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

In the previous post, I showed how the states of India adopting their own languages as official languages has not resulted in "the medieval India consisting of a variety of States indulging in rivalry and warfare", which is something Dr. B. R. Ambedkar feared. In that post, I had made only a passing reference to the fact that he was a strong proponent of the idea of linguistic states (a linguistic state is a state with speakers of one predominant language), of which we at Banavasi Balaga are ourselves strong proponents. This post is dedicated to showcasing Dr. Ambedkar's reasons behind his advocacy of linguistic states.

Dr. Ambedkar was very well aware of examples in the world where multi-lingual states had been the source of constant troubles, and believed that India would be "blown up" if its states were multilingual. So, for him the question of carving out states on any basis other than language was ruled out. He writes in his Thoughts on Linguistic States:
"One State, one language" is a universal feature of almost every State. Examine the constitution of Germany, examine the constitution of France, examine the constitution of Italy, examine the constitution of England, and examine the constitution of the U.S.A. "One State, one language" is the rule.

Wherever there has been a departure from this rule there has been a danger to the State. The illustration of the mixed States are to be found in the old Austrian Empire and the old Turkish Empire. They were blown up because they were multi-lingual States with all that a multi-lingual State means. India cannot escape this fate if it continues to be a congery of mixed States.

The reasons why a unilingual State is stable and a multi-lingual State unstable are quite obvious. A State is built on fellow feeling. What is this fellow-feeling ? To state briefly it is a feeling of a corporate sentiment of oneness which makes those who are charged with it feel that they are kith and kin. This feeling is a double-edged feeling. It is at once a feeling of fellowship for ones own kith and kin and anti-fellowship for those who are not one's own kith and kin. It is a feeling of " consciousness of kind " which on the one hand, binds together those who have it so strongly that it over-rides all differences arising out of economic conflicts or social gradations and, on the other, severs them from those who are not of their kind. It is a longing not to belong to any other group.

The existence of this fellow-feeling is the foundation of a stable and democratic State.
He emphasized that a fellow-feeling in the citizens of a state is crucial for the success of democracy, and opined that such a fellow-feeling is difficult to attain unless the citizens of the state spoke one language. He quotes many examples where democracy had failed due to the state being a 'mixed' one - meaning where more than one language is spoken:
[Democracy] cannot work without friction unless there is fellow-feeling among those who constitute the State. Faction fights for leadership and discrimination in administration are factors ever present in a mixed State and are incompatible with democracy.
The maturity of Dr. Ambedkar's thought on the need for "One state, one langauge" is very well illustrated by the clarity he brings on the reasons why the speakers of different languages start "hating" each other. He argued that it is not because of any "natural antipathy" between them, but because of bringing them together in "juxtaposition" and forcing them "to take part in a common cycle of participation, such as Government":
Why do Tamils hate Andhras and Andhras hate Tamils? Why do Andhras in Hyderabad hate Maharashtrians and Maharashtrians hate Andhras? Why do Gujaratis hate Maharashtrians and Maharashtrians hate Gujaratis? The answer is very simple. It is not because there is any natural antipathy between the two. The hatred is due to the fact that they are put in juxtaposition and forced to take part in a common cycle of participation, such as Government. There is no other answer.

So long as this enforced juxtaposition remains, there will be no peace between the two.
In summary, Dr. Ambedkar believed that tension between two linguistic groups is created by forcing them to come together in "common cycles of participation" such as Government. This very powerful insight which Dr. Ambedkar brings has the ability to explain the tension between any two linguistic groups anywhere, including in India. Also, this has very strong parallels with Rabindranath Tagore's thought on Nationalism and Politics. I will come back to this point in follow-up posts.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

lol.. Hoping that same analogy will be soon be applied to colour, religion, cast, gender etc and everybody can live happily ever after..in his/her own country..

-Adi

Jockey said...

@ Adi,

Welcome to human diversity.

Nobody is saying that there should be as many countries as you're talking about. After all, nobody wishes to fight with others or maintain armies. But the celebration of diversity must exist even within countries - on all the vectors you talk about. Take Spain for example - Spain is a very diverse country linguistically, and there is abundant decentralization of power. Yet, Spain remains one country.

http://spanish.about.com/od/spanishlanguageculture/a/spainlanguages.htm

Let me put a question back to you: what is your solution to the diversity? Declare that...

White is the National Colour?
Hinduism is the National Religion?
Vaishya as the National Caste?
Male as the National Gender?

....dude, dude, please think about what you're getting into!

Jockey said...

...and in white, which of these: wheatish white or pinkish white or the other endless possibilities?

...and in Hinduism, which of these: Advaita or Dvaita or Vishishtadvaita or the other endless possibilities?

...and in Viashya, which of these: those that deal in cattle, those that deal in sheep, those that deal in currency, those in the stock market, or the other endless possibilities?

...and in Males, those of height above 5'11", those with 6-pack abs, those who can run 100m in 11s, or the other endless possibilities?

LOL!

ರೋಹಿತ್ ಬಾ ರಾ said...

Talking about colour, gender, religion and cast - I re-arranged Adi's words for convenience. The first two are what a man obtains by birth, and quite naturally could be a factor of distinguishing (not discriminating) oneself from another person, if different. Again, as Jockey has interestingly pointed out here, the first of these two gets diluted again with multiples shades of the same "colour" per-se. So we're only left with gender to actually & critically distinguish among people. Well, that is certainly a human (legitimate) requirement - to be able to distinguish humans based on gender. So its but natural that this exist.

Now coming to the second two factors - religion and cast. These are things "created" by humans, initially with an intention to unify people under a sense of belief, and a sense of functional-capabilities/occupation. But with varNa-saNkara at large in societies, belief by itself doesnt stand on steady ground anymore. The very term has become fuzzy, relative and dependent on context - social, economical, political and so on. So has become the state of occupation today, with it losing its capacity to indicate the true functional-capability of a people, or even of one single person.

With this preface, when one looks back at the strengths these factors hold in making a people distinguish (and even discriminate, perhaps) themselves from another, I have to LOL and say nay! they dont qualify to that purpose.

Language, on the other hand, still stands tall, and a strong representative enough of a people. Even to this day, people may change cast, change religion, change colour, and at times even gender, but who has seen a language conversion in India? Which son of a gun has undergone a mother-tongue surgery strong enough to uproot this inherited, inbuilt, (pre-)programmed trait of oneself to hop borders and stand representative of another people?

In summary the question raised by Adi, while in theory indicates a genuine fear, in practice in today's world, hold little water, and fortunately is no reason for fear. But strangely enough, I would like to ask why he wishes to LOL amidst the fear (that is expressed in his words).

Anonymous said...

@Jockey,

Thats exactly my point.We can't have any "one" criteria for states. Currently, all states are multilingual. It is absurd to say states should be monolingual, but nation has to be multilingual.
Strangely though, the article supports the imposition of one language on others for integrity of the nation. In the first para, none of the examples given are "states" but countries. Author might have confused as a country is often called a "state" in academia.
Now one question, do you support the view of ambedkar as mentioned in the article?

-Adi

Anonymous said...

@Rohit,

For the statement "if you can not convince, confuse" you have done a very good job. I give up and i am not laughing anymore, but trembling with fear.

ರೋಹಿತ್ ಬಾ ರಾ said...

@Adi
Please dont take things discussed here personally! Your first comment had a strong sarcastic tone, and that was unnecessary I felt.

In my comment, I wanted to understand your genuine reason to be worried about such multiple identities leading to a breakdown of order in India (hope thats what you meant). Did you really feel (at heart) that that could happen? If yes, why the loud smile?

And what I wrote was to show how the factors you mentioned couldn't actually serve any divisive purpose, and compared it with ability of language to unite people. Your confusion w.r.t this would have arisen from your lack of seriousness in this regard. That I cannot help, my friend; at least not online.

Jockey said...

@ Adi,

The states are not multilingual, they're mostly multi-dialect (and yes, in Karnataka, including the Havyakas:-). Don't let only cities like B'lore, Chennai, Mumbai blind you. There's more to states than these cities.

Besides, much of the multilingual-ness which exists in states is because of a bad job done during reorganization of states. If parts of Northern Maharashtra, North Eastern Tamil Nadu and North Kerala were properly included in Karnataka, Kannadigas wouldn't be minorities in those states. There is still time to remove these screw-ups. Since Karnataka was cheated during that time, majority language speakers have imposed their language on Kannadigas there.

And, hear ye all - the mouth that speaketh 'We can't have any "one" criteria for states' itself advises that Hindi be imposed on all states!!!! What consistency!

Don't you see the point, Adi, that there is definitely more diversity at the India level than there is at the state-level? How can you be okay with Hindi imposition?

the article supports the imposition of one language on others for integrity of the nation

I don't see where. Point out where.

Ah ha - so you now see why people call a state a state? Yes, the states in India have to be compared with countries elsewhere. That's the whole point. Karnataka has to be compared with Germany, with Turkey. Comparing India with them is a mistake of astronomical proportions.

Now one question, do you support the view of ambedkar as mentioned in the article?

Yes, I support it. It is correct to carve out states on the basis of language, thereby having one predominant language per state (and its dialects). Of course there is always going to be some overlap. In such cases, the states must accommodate for them. And in any case, they also have the option of relocating to that state where the speakers of their language are in a majority - the Indian constitution provides for free movement across India. Any such movements and adjustments should be minimal. It shouldn't be that Karnataka is defined in such a way that 90% of Kannadigas don't belong to it. 90% is just a number I'm throwing to drive home the point. Today, millions of Kannadigas are left outside Karnataka because of the cheating which happened during the relocation of states.

Jockey said...

Okay, I meant southern, not northern Maharashtra. And add western Andhra to the list.

Jockey said...

Sorry again. I meant North Western Tamil Nadu, not North Eastern.

Anonymous said...

@Jockey,
Why call havyaka dialect? You did not answer my question in earlier post. Sorry to tell you but no, havyaka is a language. We have started to declare that as our mother tongue in census. Besides that, do you think Konkani, Tulu, Kodava, Urdu, Marati, Malayalam etc etc are "dialects" of kannada or not at all spoken in karnataka???

by "one state, one language", Ambedkar meant "one country, one language". Whole paragraph, when you read by replacing "state" b "country", makes sense. Otherwise, it is meaning less, like "democratic state", "state will blow up"..

Last paragraph clears it all. Ambedkar clearly says if ppl of different languages participate in governance, there will be problem. only 2 ways to stop this, (1) Secession from India (on language basis) (2)Imposition of one language on all other. By supporting his view, you are advocating either of the two.

I would also appreciate if you clarify my questions before raising any new ones.

-Adi

Anonymous said...

@Rohit,

Sorry if it sounded harsh, I did not mean to be rude or harsh, and nothing personal.

I am not worried about India breaking, I am so selfish that I won't worry even if India breaks up as long as nothing bad happens to me ;D. As you are aware, India has too large degree of diversity and accommodating everything borders near insanity and completely impractical.

Secondly, I am utterly surprised to see that nobody is getting my point. In academic writings, people usually call a country as "nation state" or simply a "state". In that respect, Ambedkar is actually advocating exactly oppsite of wat author of this blog is suggesting. From entire collection of quotes, I cud nowhere find Ambedkar suggesting "sates" based on language. All the examples given in the quotes clearly suggests Ambedkar meant "nation" not the sate like kar, mah etc (like giving examples of USA, Spain etc, words like democratic state and other things).

Lastly, ppl are saying hindi shud not be imposed on kannadigas, but asking kar govt to impose kannada on non-kannadigas like me. When we say we are not kannadigas, they come up with this dialect and other theories which are completely void of facts. Isn't it hypocracy??

-Adi

Jockey said...

@ Adi,

I'm surprised by your statement about not worrying about India breaking up. People here - who advocate for linguistic diversty and the recognition of all Indian languages as official - are concerned about the unity and integrity of India. Surprising, really surprising you should advocate for Hindi imposition when you don't give a damn about India's unity and integrity. It's like "my Hindi, right or wrong"!!!

Anywayz, regarding your feeling that Ambedkar meant India instead of Karnataka, Maharashtra, etc, you just need to follow Ambedkar's prose correctly to understand that he's talking about states, not India. Here's Ambedkar's summary from the "Thoughts on Linguistic States" link which might help you get over your confusion (note the plural in the bold statement):

http://www.ambedkar.org/ambcd/05C.%20Thoughts%20on%20Linguistic%20States%20PART%20III.htm

For the sake of the reader I summarise below the principles which should underly the creation of Linguistic States which are already enunciated In the foregoing pages but which lie about scattered. These principles may be staled as below :

(1) The idea of having a mixed State must be completely abandoned.

(2) Every State must be an unilingual State. One State, one language.

(3) The formula one State, one language must not be confused with the formula of one language, one State.

(4) The formula one language, one State means that all people speaking one language should be brought under one Government irrespective of area, population and dissimilarity of conditions among the people speaking the language. This is the idea that underlies the agitation for a united Maharashtra with Bombay. This is an absurd formula and has no precedent for it. It must be abandoned. A people speaking one language may be cut up into many States as is done in other parts of the world.

(5) Into how many States a people speaking one language should be cut up, should depend upon (1) the requirements of efficient administration, (2) the needs of the different areas, (3) the sentiments of the different areas, and (4) the proportion between the majority and minority.

(6) As the area of the State increases the proportion of the minority to the majority decreases and the position of the minority becomes precarious and the opportunities for the majority to practise tyranny over the minority become greater. The States must therefore be small.

(7) The minorities must be given protection to prevent the tyranny of the majority. To do this the Constitution must be amended and provisions must be made for a system on plural member constituencies (two or three) with cumulative voting.


It's a pity you think you're a non-Kannadiga. Havyakas are as much Kannadigas as people from Dharwad or Mysore. I have pointed to many sources which have further information. I can't help your identity crisis any more than that! And in case it is established that Havyaka is a different language, there is no reason why Kannada should be imposed on you. It is childish of you to argue that "since Kannada is being imposed on my, let Kannadigas go to hell due to Hindi imposition". You should be mature enough to stop both types of impositions! And again, I maintain that Havyaka is a mere dialect - whether you deny it or not. I care for what linguists say, not what you say here. Sorry about that - we need to have our references right!

Jockey said...

Actually, I can help you more than that regarding your identity crisis. Here goes:

1. http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/plc/kannada/grammar/KGBIBLIO.htm
2. http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1555200
3. http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Havyaka
4. Search for "Grammatical Relations By D N S Bhat + Havyaka" on google books
5. http://www.kud.ernet.in/PG_Deparments/Arts_Departments/Folklore/Shalini%20Raghunath.htm?id=848
6. http://www.ciil.org/Main/Announcement/MBE_Programme/paper/paper28.htm

Or better - show me one scholarly article by any linguist which claims that Havyaka is not a dialect of Kannada, and is a separate langauge.

Anonymous said...

@Jockey,
Ambedkar's thoughts (this is from same chapter quoted in this article)
"We therefore want linguistic States for two reasons. To make easy the way to democracy and to remove racial and cultural tension.
In seeking to create linguistic States India is treading the right road. It is the road which all States have followed. In the case of other linguistic States they have been so, from the very beginning. In the case of India she has to put herself in the reverse gear to reach the goal. But the road she proposes to travel is well-tried road. It is a road which is followed by other States.
Having stated the advantages of a linguistic State I must also set out the dangers of a linguistic State.
A linguistic State with its regional language as its official language may easily develop into an independent nationality. The road between an independent nationality and an independent State is very narrow. If this happens, India will cease to be Modern India we have and will become the medieval India consisting of a variety of States indulging in rivalry and warfare.
This danger is of course inherent in the creation of linguistic States. There is equal danger in not having linguistic States. The former danger a wise and firm statesman can avert. But the dangers of a mixed State are greater and beyond the control of a statesman however eminent.
How can this danger be met ? The only way I can think of meeting the danger is to provide in the Constitution that the regional language shall not be the official language of the State. The official language of the State shall be Hindi and until India becomes fit for this purpose English. Will Indians accept this ? If they do not, linguistic States may easily become a peril.
One language can unite people. Two languages are sure to divide people. This is an inexorable law. Culture is conserved by language. Since Indians wish to unite and develop a common culture it is the bounden duty of all Indians to own up Hindi as their language.
Any Indian who does not accept this proposal as part and parcel of a linguistic State has no right to be an Indian. He may be a hundred per cent Maharashtrian, a hundred per cent Tamil or a hundred per cent Gujarathi, but he cannot be an Indian in the real sense of the word except in a geographical sense. If my suggestion is not accepted India will then cease to be India. It will be a collection of different nationalities engaged in rivalries and wars against one another"
http://www.ambedkar.org/ambcd/05B.%20Thoughts%20on%20Linguistic%20States%20PART%20II.htm

Tat's wat I am talking about. He wanted all states to have Hindi as official language.
By the way, it clears State vs Nation doubt.
You also need to identify some humour. My hindi??? If I do not care for kannada, why will I care for Hindi???

-Adi

Anonymous said...

@Jockey,

I am not worried abt identity of mine. I don't want to recognize myself with anything other than myself.

Dialects Vs Language debate extends far beyond academia. Political factors too contribute. But that is not the point here. The point is, if it is wrong to impose hindi on kannadigas, isn't it wrong to impose kannada on non-kannadigas, like Tulu, Konkani etc (i am not including Havyaka here so that we will not deviate from current topic)?

Also, you have not given a feasible solution about communication between states of different languages if there is no common language (in this case hindi).

-Adi

maaysa said...

Nobody is imposing Kannada on anybody including Tulu and Konkani.

Please read about the unification of Karnataka, Tulus and Konkanis themselves with there own wish joined the Kannada state of Mysore. Hence when they joined us they agreed on the fact that Kannada is the identity of the state and it will carry the upmost prominence.

However just like Kannadas protesting against Hindi imposition, if Tulus and Konkanis are free to protest if they feel Kannada is being imposed on them.

I observe all the discussions in Enguru and Karnatique are getting digressed towards this Tulu and Konkani issue. I don't see any importance for bring these things in every topic.

And about communication between states, is it not happening today using English? Or How much would it cost to have translators?

India doesn't need a common language. Or India already has English as the common language, no need for Hindi.

ರೋಹಿತ್ ಬಾ ರಾ said...

I strongly feel Dr Ambedkar had lost it by then when he wrote "... The only way I can think of meeting the danger is to provide in the constitution that the regional language shall not be the official language of the state"

And I dont see any point in furthering this argument beyond this point. And BTW, I have certainly thought positively about Ambedkar before I chose this opinion about him. So I think there is a point (which we seem to have reached) beyond which talking about Ambedkar's good deeds'n'thoughts yields less returns to our purpose than anticipated.

But I certainly want to second the fact that Havigannada, or whatever Havyakas might want to call it, sounds definitely like a dialect of the language spoken in many more portions of Karnataka. And for once, Adi, try and understand that dialects are integral parts of 'a language'. If Havyaka is a dialect of Kannada, Mysore-Kannada is another dialect too, and so are Belagaavi-Kannada and Bellary-Kannada. So truly with all so many dialects of Kannada, KAR is still one state, one language. There is certainly no imposition of Kannada happening here, and if there is, I am very sure it'll surely show up one day or the other. Just like what Hindi imposition has led to in India today.

BTW if you're a Havyaka, go present your doubt to people that speak your dialect. I am sure you'll get *the* answer.

Anonymous said...

@Maaysa,

Same way central govt. can say that when we joined union of India we are agreed to use hindi. Kodavas (coorg) are doing it but nothing happened. They wanted separate state, because they felt kannada was being imposed on them. It was opposed on the grounds of unity of karnataka. Sounds similar isn't it (when compared to hindi imposition)?

English as common language? what is the practicality of having it? it wud be almost same as having none. But even then, if it is imposed on everyone instead of hindi, i am perfectly OK. But I am not able to understand the grounds for choosing english over hindi as it is a symbol of oppression and would be impractical considering education/literacy status of India.

-Adi

Anonymous said...

@Rohit,
Well, if you leave out that point, whole system will go towards anarchy as ambedkar has predicted. We can't assume that ambedkar didn't know wat he was thinking.
I am severly opposed to some of ambedkar's ideas but i liked this one..this makes much more sense and practicle.
About havyaka, it was decided in a council meeting (i dunot have exact details) to promote it as a language (mother tongue), may be for political identity. the other kannadas ou have mentioned do not exists, that is ppl do not say i speak bellary kannada if you ask them. More suitable example would be "badaga" (http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=kan and http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=bfq) and it is much closer to kannada than havyaka, it is being considered as a separate language from a kannada dialect. So, no point in debating this further.

-Adi

maaysa said...

Adi,

If you know our history correctly, when Indian union was formed, our Wodeyar king signed to join it. But there was no clause about Hindi. Even Nehru was on the backfoot to implement Hindi. It is only during the time of Lal Bhaddoor Shastri, the whole issue of making Hindi as the national language exploded and Tamils gave lives protesting against that. And Kannadas, Telugus and Bengalis too supported the anti-Hindi movement and were succeful in stalling Hindi becoming the national language of India. Till today, no other prime minister, even Indira and Rajiv Gandhi dare to raise, though indirect imposition continued.

We are objecting to the false propaganda of Hindi being the national language of India and to the idea of forcing on us.

Hence we Kannadas do have right to protest to such imposition since the constitution provides for it. As per the constitution INDIA HAS NO NATIONAL LANGUAGE.

As far Tulu, Kodava and Kokanis, if they feel Kannada being imposed on them, they can express that in a proper forum for that. They can even go to courts. When Kodavas protest no Kannada objects to that. They have been doing to that from long time. It is not in the hand of Kannadas to fulfill there demands. It is upto the center. Hence you cannot point at Kannadas. Moreover Kodavas are minority in Kodagu!

And you bringing that issue here for the argument is misplaced as per the topic of the articles.

I didn't propose English to be common language. It has already become a common language in India. The best solution is to allow all the languages and have translators just like EU.

PS:Havyaka language itself is called Havigannada. Hence Havyakas are Kannadigas. Moreover Havigannada is not considered to be very distinct dialect like Badaga. Badaga is also a dialect(not a separate langauge) of Kannada.

Kiran Rao Batni said...

Note: I usually don't have the time to reply to comments here, so please excuse me if I don't follow up. But I read all the comments. Often, those comments trigger me to write other articles. This time, I felt like stepping in to clarify a couple of things since the discussion seems to be getting derailed a bit.

Firstly, Dr. Ambedkar certainly believed in "One state, one language" as I have pointed out in the article. Remember that his statements were being made against the backdrop of rising movements to have states carved out on the basis of language. Potti Sriramulu had already fasted to death for this purpose. Dr. Ambedkar saw the point in having states such as Karnataka, and has argued further that earlier states such as Madras (which had Tamil, Telugu and Kannadiga people) were doomed to fail because of being multilingual. Jockey's quote of Dr. Ambedkar's summary also clarifies that he meant multiple linguistic states. I don't think there is any confusion that by "linguistic state" is meant the sub-national states such as Karnataka and Maharashtra. It is also an error in terms to call the whole of India as a "linguistic state", especially when there is so much linguistic diversity! So Adi, hope this clarifies.

Secondly, I'm not surprised that Adi is confused w.r.t. Dr. Ambedkar pointing out that Hindi must be used as the official language in the "linguistic states so created". I have argued that Dr. Ambedkar made a mistake here. Please click here to read that article. Since Dr. Ambedkar was so much a fan of "One state one language", it was clear to him that India too, as a "super state", must have one language. And that language, he argued, must be Hindi.

I welcome his position on states, but reject his position on "super states". There are many reasons. Firstly, the European Union - a "super state" - does not work with one language at the union level (all languages are equally official). Secondly, imposing Hindi on non-Hindi states, by his own admission, is the root of "hatred" between Hindis and non-Hindis, because of the "juxtaposition" that it brings between Hindis and non-Hindis. I think Dr. Ambedkar failed to see that defining an India with Hindis and non-Hindis "juxtaposed" in every non-Hindi state is contradicting himself. Dr. Ambedkar believed that non-Hindi people would accept Hindi with open arms -- "to be Indians" as Adi has quoted. But he was wrong there. If non-Hindi people can accept Hindi with open arms, there is no reason why Tamils cannot accept Telugus, Marathis cannot accept Gujaratis, etc. None of these acceptances are real in nature. What is real is the growth of "hatred" due to "juxtaposition and forcing to take part in a common cycle of participation, such as Government". The solution is to stop this "juxtaposition by design" in the political structure both at the state-level and at the central level. I will touch on these topics and how what I'm saying here is in line with Tagore's concept of Nation in a follow-up article.

And there is no doubt that Havyaka and Badaga are dialects of Kannada. As pointed out by Jockey, any linguist will tell you that. This is a matter of science, not of politics or personal whims and fancies.

Thanks everybody for having a good discussion here.

Anonymous said...

I think barring few southern states, Hindi has been already accepted as Link language. Even most developed states like MH, Guj, Punjab consider Hindi as national language more than the people from so called Hindi belt. Every other politicians from almost 22 states (barring few southern states) speaks in Hindi to the National Media. Most of the participants in the investors meet in Gujrat spoke in Hindi including Anil Ambani. CMs from MH, Guj, Orissa, WB, PUnjab, Hariyana communicates themself in Hindi.
As long as India is a democratic country, voices of 22 CMs will be heard much louder than the voices of 2-3 CMs from Southern states.
This sound likes harsh reality...

maaysa said...

@Anonymous..

"As long as India is a democratic country, voices of 22 CMs will be heard much louder than the voices of 2-3 CMs from Southern states"

Well then! DMK will withdraw support and the central govt falls! We southerns have around 28 + 39 + 20 + 49 = 136 MPs. We will support the party which doesn't do this imposition.

Now happy!

I don't think, any central govt present or in future will dare to openly declare Hindi as the national language paving disintegration of India. Or Do it and allow the Dravidistan( As preached by Periyar) movement burst again.

Actually anit-Hindi sentiment is very spread in Maharashtra and Bengal. Read about that.

Thennavan said...

@Anonymous

You seemed to have just assumed many things wrongly. I would try to clarify them-

1) NATIONAL LANGUAGE: There is absolutely no National Language officialy or by constitution though people like you and even some ministers call Hindi so either ignorantly or deliberately in order to impose it on non-Hindi people ignoring their long-cherished values like language.

2) MAJORITY LANGUAGE: The native population of all dialects of Hindi is only 41% in India, almost confined to the north India. Even if one says 41% is the single largest percentage of any indian language, it is not national but only north indian. It means it has the northern regional majority not the national majority. If Hindi were spoken as the majority language across the country with other languages being spoken here and there in small pockets, it would have automatically become the national language. On the other hand, the size and concentration of many other indian languages is so high that their region within India is individually larger than many world languages and their countries and therefore, India is always referred as a sub-continent even after partition. It is true that it is more than a country with wide and rich diversity which should be respected mutually.

3) MINORITY LANGUAGES and their status within linguistic states: If the size of a particular language group is so large in terms of population and area that the knowledge of another language is not required, it would have got its own state or at least a union territory. Can the people of Havyaka survive in any part of Karnataka without knowing Kannada?

For example, Tamil Nadu (possibly many other states) itself is a mini-India with different types of people, languages, cultures, etc. In my opinion, only 75 to 80 percentage would be native Tamils whereas the rest would comprise of other language groups like Telugus, Kannadigas, Malayalees, North-Indians including Sourastrians, Marathis, Gujarathis, Bengalis and others. However, Tamil is accepted and spoken by all permanent residents not because of imposition but naturally because other language group people are only so scattered and linked by the majority Tamils that it is almost impossible to live permanently in Tamil Nadu without knowing Tamil. Such a thing doesn’t apply for Hindi at the national level.

4) COMMON LINK LANGUAGE: It is very simple. Any indian living in any state/area or frequently visiting/interacting with any other state can learn the language of that state/region. If you are an occasional visitor, you can manage with English or some local friend/guide. Even Governments can facilitate the visitors when they don’t know the local language.

........ contd.

Thennavan said...

5) COMMON WORK LANGUAGE: For example, How north indian IAS/IPS are working in Tamil Nadu? How Tamil IAS/IPS are working in North India or other states? They learn the language of the state of their posting.

6) WHY ENGLISH BUT NOT HINDI?: Somehow, English has already become a widely spoken language of the world and also, it has become the language of the latest technology, knowledge, job and earnings. The literate people of all states in India including Hindi speaking states learn English, which means it is automatically common to all. Will at least Hindi people stop learning English if Hindi is so important?

Moreover, English is common to indians not just as a link language but also as a non-native language to learn which means all indians are equally placed to compete with each other for, say, a job whereas Hindi means Hindi people / north indians have much advantage over south indians and others because Hindi is mother tongue for Hindi people and very easy for them.

Besides, every language is dear to its own people and nobody wants a secondary treatment vis-a-vis another language.

7) 23 CMs Vs. 2 or 3 CMs: Tamil Nadu has always remained a state without Hindi single-handedly even when all other states including Karnataka has accepted Hindi and three language formula. If all south indian states can join together on this issue, it would be simply formidable.

8) ATTITUDE OF HINDI PEOPLE: Immediately after independence, Hindi was accepted by most of indians because it was seen as pan-Indian due to its Indianness as well as being a majority language as against English, the language of Britishers who had enslaved and ruled us by force. Actually, Hindi-people had overdone the language issue to the extant of equating Hindi(Hindi alone) with being Indian and treating others with contempt or even insulting others when others use their own language as if using other languages is against India, unpatriortic, etc. It has even antogonized the people of other Indo-European languages like Marathi, Bengali and others. However, then, Tamils were not carried away by the Hindi-alone nationalism and even called fanatic, anti-national, etc. but finally proved right of their Tamil-also nationalism much later, say, now, as shown in many language blogs.

@maaysa:

Please don't call it Dravidastan and call it Dravida Nadu. Otherwise Periyar, Annadurai and Karunanidhi will not like it.

maaysa said...

Thennavan( Good word bro... What a Dravidian word for Southerner )

Sorry for Dravidastan, DravidanaaDu is correct. Peace be upon souls of Periyar and Annadurai, And Long live Karunanidhi :D

I want to clarify certain thing about Thennavan's point 2).

Hindi is not a single language. It is like calling all Dravidan languages as 'Draavidee'. Hindi as a single language is illusion and misconception purposefully created by some people. Maitheli, Malvi, Braj Bhaasha, Nepali, Maagadhi, Urdu etc etc have been recognized as independent languages in literature, linguistics and history. Many of these language do have there own script just like our Then-nuDis/Then-mozhis.

And more over, during Moghals the language in administration was Persian/Arabic and during Deccan Sultanate it was Urdu. Historically Hindi was never a prominent language in administration like Kannada or Tamil even during British age. Maitheli, Pali, Magadhi Prakrut, Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic were used as administrative languages in majority of north India historically.

Hindi neither has rich history nor stable and fine grammar like classical languages like Kannada or Tamil. Hindi doesn't have its own script too.

Hindi suffers from serious draw back as a language with its illogical and haphazard two-gender system. Moreover Hindi doesn't have its own root like Kannada or Tamil, hence for terminology it heavily borrows from Sanskrit or Persian.

When India has Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit with classical literature, fine grammar and vast history of usage in administration, no scholarly person would be proud about Hindi compared to these Elite languages. If India values history, richness of literature and quality of a language, classical languages of India must be made the national languages, which every Indian can be proud of, not Hindi.

Anonymous said...

@Thennavam and @Maaysa, thanks for all your views. I concur on most of the point and really appreciate the clarity in your thought in bringing out the fact. My point was not to compare languages on their historical richness or ancientness, but to highlight the todays scenario . We have 62 years of history and before that we were never as single country. We have to think now as a county and not as independent states which we were before 1947. Every other states was a country in themself and there was never a need to travel across states. Now, we are one country and all of us travel to different places wihin our country for various reason including employment. We can have the benefit of one counnrty only when there is no restriction, direct or indirect, on the movement of people across states. Now there is a very strong need for a common link language which were never felt in the past. I dont think anyone can deny that there is a need for link language. So my point was, since ther are 41% of native speakers of hindi while 20-30% more who can understand/read/write Hindi. I am not picking Hindi for its literature value but because its the only language which majority of Indian can read/write/understand. Other languages including English has less than ~10% of speakers. Though there is no single Hindi as Mumbai-Hindi is very different than those in Arunachal Pradesh and same with UP and MPs Hindi. Still we need to have something common language which can server as link language(in whatever format, be it Hinglish, Kan-Hindi or Tam-Hindi) or all-together new hindi to be used as common link language.

There is already a link posted in other topic in this blog about Assam govt now have decided teaching Hindi in schools so that there people for their states can move across other states for their needs (personal, businees or employement). I think more and more people are realising the fact that there is a need for common language without making it a political issue. And this need can never be solved by arranging translators. Had it been so, chinese whouldnt have felt the need of learning English. We are still a developing country where more that 50% of population cant even think beyond two meals a day and we are proposing to them to arrange translators to speak to fellow countrymen.

Jockey said...

@Anonymous

Dude, drop Hindi for its discriminative value. Pick English for its egalitarian-distance value.

Assam govt chosing this or that has nothing to do with the Assamese people choosing this or that. You know the status of corruption in politicians.

Jockey said...

And again, realize how crazy your argument is: once you say 50% of population can't think beyond 2 meals, and in the same sentence you assume they'll speak with people who don't speak their language???!!!!! Are you nuts? Most of India does not speak with speakers of other languages EVER IN THEIR LIVES. It's only nomads like you who do that - and you're a freakin' minority. The country cannot be defined for your pleasure.

ರೋಹಿತ್ ಬಾ ರಾ said...

@ Anon,
I think there're a zillion more ways to earn one's bread in India, than by interacting with people that speak a different language, more so when they're far, far away from them - so far that some may really have to strive hard to "reach out" to them!
Besides, I dont think the poor majority that you're referring to would care more about one language's capacity to unite India than about their own breads. Language to them is an assumption, and a different language is a different assumption - which would mean interacting with another assumption would be a higher risk than benefit.

Anonymous said...

Bengaluru has seen an exponential growth in the last decade creating huge employment oppurtunities in both skilled n non-skilled category. Link language for skilled workers is English, what we see today, what about non-skilled workers who normally comes from TN,AP, BH, RAJ and UP. It was easy in Benguluru as it is multilingual city where most of the citizens speaks 3-4 languages. Security guards in my apartment speaks in Hindi with broken Kannada, though most of them are from Asaam n NE states. Its another point if you advocates restricting free movement of people.

This week I saw NDTV's we the people on Language debate. One participants took an example of peoples from tribal belt across all the states in India( not sure if she was saying about naxals) where they have developed common link language when communicating with people from other tribes, and its some form of Hindi.

Even in army, the link language between officers n soldiers is Hindi. Even our cricket team, marathi Tendulkar speaks in Hindi to bengali Ganguly or Punjabi Harbhajan or Kannada Kumble. Dhoni has been playing for Chennai super kings for two years. How many tamil words he can speak?? There is no directive from BCCI to have Hindi as link language, it came naturally as most of the players can understand Hindi. They dont want to spend time in learning any other language. So as such Hindi has evolved into somekind of link language in most part of India.

For Skilled worker/professional, anyway its English and slowly n slowly its becomeing mother toungue for current generations kids ;-)

I am sure in the next 100-200 years, English will be the only surviving language in India. Till then, lets keep fighting among ourself.

Girish said...

Kannada is the 27th fastest dying language in the global list of world languages.

To arrest this decline our government

A) Should make it compulsory for all schools to have Kannada and English as 1st or 2nd or 3rd Langauge if they cannot do away with 3-Langauge formula.

B)3rd langauge can be any Indian or Foreign Language not particularly Hindi. (We dont see the need of Hindi as people dont migrate to Hindi Speaking States because of the fear of Mafia and Crime and its other way round people from Hindi Speaking States Migrate a lot to non-Hindi Speaking states.)

C)Like in other westren countries where they make papers on their culture and the country compulsory for all Under graduates,graduate and Post Graduate courses.

We need to have papers included in ITIs,Diplomas,Graduate courses ( BA BCOM AND BSc etc.,. ) and Proffesional Courses ( BE, BL and MBBS).

1)Karnataka History
2)Karnataka Geography
3)Karanataka Tourism
4)Kannada Language Learning (Read/Write and Spoken)
5)Kannada Literary and Language Growth
6)Kannada Personalities

These compulsory six papers will give us a sense of belonging and eyeopeners for lots of Hindians bootlicking Kannadigas and Non-Kannadiga migrants living in Karnataka of rich culture and History of Kannada,Kannadigas and Karunadu.

D)Allow dubbing of all non-Kannada Films into Kannada and Tax all other language films with 200%

E)Subtitling of all non-kannada films with Kannada and English and subtitling of all Kannada films with Hindi and English.

F)Government of Karnataka has to build one-stop Knowledge Center Kannada Bhavans for Kannada Language,Kannadiga Population and Karnataka State which would have information about Kannada Langauage Culture History Literature Films and Karnataka Tourism in all the major Cities,CApitals of India and the World.This will help to make Kannada reach all Kannadigas and other respect our language.

Girish said...

Hindi is the largest spoken Language or native langauge or mothertongue of 50% of world's illiterate population and spoken by India's most backward states.Islam is the fast growing religion and Hindi is the fastest growing Language which means that they are population producing machinery.

I cant see Hindi as a Link Language as it doesnt have script of its own , grammar of its own,no literature of its own and more than that its has not coped up with scientific,technical and business advancements.

Its only distinction being that it has the largest illiterate native language speakers who constitute 50% of world's illiterate population.

Lets us compare the development of the states where Hindi is the first langauge and other states where English or other Non-Hindi Indian Langauges like Kannada,Tamil,Telugu,Marathi,Bengali or Gujarathi are used.

Non-Hindi states concentrate more on economic development and less on population growth and Hindi states concentrate less on economic development and more on population growth.

Tamilnadu,Maharastra,Gujarat,Karnataka,Kerala,AndhraPradesh and West Bengal contribute nearly 70% to India's in terms of Industrial Production and Taxes providing employment to millions and millions of people.Hindi-speaking states contribute nearly 50% to the India's population and almost all middlemen and mafia are Hindi Speaking.

People who have non-Hindi langauge as Mothertongue is less prone to migration and HIndi speaking uncultured populace has unbridled migration in search of their livelihood because of animal-like living conditions in their states run by the most corrupt politicians and selfish bureacrats.

Once they migrate and build up a sizable numbers they start building a constituency around their language and uncultured arrogance and dictate terms to local populace.There starts the friction between the local populace and the Uncultured Hindi migrants whether its Assam,Maharastra,Gujarat,Punjab,Kashmir or all other north-eastern states.

Girish said...

All Non-Hindi populace suffer from Low-Inferiority-Complex because of the Concerted efforts of our so called great leaders like Nehru,Shastri,Gandhi and Patel to impose Hindi on 60% of the population. Nehru's once made a foolish comment that Population is our Strength.For the last 3 generations we are made to feel like dogs ready to bootlick our Hindi Bosses by our own Grandparents and Parents beacuse they thought Learning/Speaking Hindi is a status symbol and Hindi Speaking Populace are superior Humans.

The central government spends Hindi imposition and marketing Hindi as the only link Language and the money they used is contributed by people of Non-Hindi States who money is hard earned.Thanks to Privitasation and Globilisation its breaking the American Monopoly of the World and Hindi Monopoly of India.Previously its the banks and PSUs which were the main employers and Central Government took it as an opportunity to impose Hindi.

MPs elected to loksabha are not given a chance to speak in their own mothertongue other than Hindi or English.Except for Defence or Armed forces I dont see any other sector needs a common link language where the security threat is more on Hndi Speaking areas of India.

Except Hindi all other Indian Langauges are culture-rich and classical langauges and has taken a backseat in last 50 years beacuse Arrogant Hindi imposing politicians and the bootlicking non-hindi populace.

I dont understand the logic of all Non-Hindi states accepting 3 language formula and Hindi States accepting 2 Language formula.So we are creating 2 soceities one of Hindi Arrogant Masters and other being bootlicking non-Hindi Slaves

Girish said...

Kannada is the 27th fastest dying language in the global list of world languages.

To arrest this decline our government

A) Should make it compulsory for all schools to have Kannada and English as 1st or 2nd or 3rd Langauge if they cannot do away with 3-Langauge formula.

B)3rd langauge can be any Indian or Foreign Language not particularly Hindi. (We dont see the need of Hindi as people dont migrate to Hindi Speaking States because of the fear of Mafia and Crime and its other way round people from Hindi Speaking States Migrate a lot to non-Hindi Speaking states.)

C)Like in other westren countries where they make papers on their culture and the country compulsory for all Under graduates,graduate and Post Graduate courses.

We need to have papers included in ITIs,Diplomas,Graduate courses ( BA BCOM AND BSc etc.,. ) and Proffesional Courses ( BE, BL and MBBS).

1)Karnataka History
2)Karnataka Geography
3)Karanataka Tourism
4)Kannada Language Learning (Read/Write and Spoken)
5)Kannada Literary and Language Growth
6)Kannada Personalities

These compulsory six papers will give us a sense of belonging and eyeopeners for lots of Hindians bootlicking Kannadigas and Non-Kannadiga migrants living in Karnataka of rich culture and History of Kannada,Kannadigas and Karunadu.

Girish said...

Kannada is the 27th fastest dying language in the global list of world languages.

To arrest this decline our government

A) Should make it compulsory for all schools to have Kannada and English as 1st or 2nd or 3rd Langauge if they cannot do away with 3-Langauge formula.

B)3rd langauge can be any Indian or Foreign Language not particularly Hindi. (We dont see the need of Hindi as people dont migrate to Hindi Speaking States because of the fear of Mafia and Crime and its other way round people from Hindi Speaking States Migrate a lot to non-Hindi Speaking states.)

C)Like in other westren countries where they make papers on their culture and the country compulsory for all Under graduates,graduate and Post Graduate courses.

We need to have papers included in ITIs,Diplomas,Graduate courses ( BA BCOM AND BSc etc.,. ) and Proffesional Courses ( BE, BL and MBBS).

1)Karnataka History
2)Karnataka Geography
3)Karanataka Tourism
4)Kannada Language Learning (Read/Write and Spoken)
5)Kannada Literary and Language Growth
6)Kannada Personalities

These compulsory six papers will give us a sense of belonging and eyeopeners for lots of Hindians bootlicking Kannadigas and Non-Kannadiga migrants living in Karnataka of rich culture and History of Kannada,Kannadigas and Karunadu.

D)Allow dubbing of all non-Kannada Films into Kannada and Tax all other language films with 200%

E)Subtitling of all non-kannada films with Kannada and English and subtitling of all Kannada films with Hindi and English.

F)Government of Karnataka has to build one-stop Knowledge Center Kannada Bhavans for Kannada Language,Kannadiga Population and Karnataka State which would have information about Kannada Langauage Culture History Literature Films and Karnataka Tourism in all the major Cities,CApitals of India and the World.This will help to make Kannada reach all Kannadigas and other respect our language.

Anonymous said...

@Girish, few more facts.

States of India by GDP and Economy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States_of_India_by_size_of_economy

UP is second only to MH in terms of economy and GDP contribution.

Karnataka is ranked second in terms of corruption.

Kanndigas has one of the major migrant population in Mumbai.

You never ctiticised Nehru and other leaders who established all the major PSUs in Karnataka. Why didnt you raise the same concern that every state should have equal share of investment. How many PSUs were setup in Hindi belt? It was their investment only that Karnataka has seen such a high growth in Technology secter.

I totally agree with you on the steps to propmote Kannada. Infact if we can strengthen Kannada's soft power, half the battle will be won. Most of the non-hindian learnt hindi by listening and singing songs of Lata, Kishore and all the legends of by-gone era. See what is happening in UP n Bihar. Bhojpuri was one of the dying language which has been revived by the Bhojpuri movies to the extent that Hindi movies feel threatened by its popularity. This is when Bhojpuri not even an official language there.

On the other hand, here is karnataka, Kannadiga are made to see Hindi, Telugu and Tamil movies. There are not any good news channels onwed by Kanndigas. Every other state has media baron, no-one from Karnataka.

Moreover, we are now in 21st century. Its the era of survival of the fittest. Mandarin is most spoken language in the world, still English is considerd as the Global language.

I hope you remember, there was "Swadeshi" movement in 1970s when anything of foreign was being burnt, thrown away. IBM and Coke were sent to their home. It was a protectionist measure. If we had continued on that, we wouldnt have produced world class companies like air tel, reliance and even Tata were shaped up to compete with world. Competetion brings competency. So instead of criticising growth of Hindi, better focus on making Kannda popular.

Jockey said...

@ Anonoymous,

>>> UP is second only to MH in terms of economy and GDP contribution.

Dude, you need to compare per-capita GDP contrib, not net. In that case, UP and Bihar are at the bottom of the list - the most unproductive human beings in India exist in those states.

>>> Karnataka is ranked second in terms of corruption.

The more the money, the more the mishandling of that money. So what's the big deal? I don't deny that people are corrupt. Corruption "indexes" don't make any sense. If you bribe one rupee, it's equivalent to bribing 10 rupees.

>>> Kanndigas has one of the major migrant population in Mumbai.

Wrong. Kannadigas are the original inhabitants of Maharashtra. Anybody who has the slightest understanding of the history of MAH knows this.

>>> How many PSUs were setup in Hindi belt? It was their investment only that Karnataka has seen such a high growth in Technology secter.

Dude, the tech sector has nothing to do with PSUs. Besides, why would Hindians steup PSUs in the Hindi belt when they can spread and conquer the whole of India? Mysore was the most industrialized state in India before indpendece. While North India was living like the aborigines, Mysore had electricity and lots of industries. All these reasons added to the reason.

>>> There are not any good news channels onwed by Kanndigas. Every other state has media baron, no-one from Karnataka.

So what? Every state doesn't need to have every type of industry.

>>> So instead of criticising growth of Hindi, better focus on making Kannda popular.

Dude, nobody is criticising the growth of Hindi. What we hate is the spread of Hindi by undemocratic imposition. Sit in your state and apply for Nobel Prizes, nobody gives a damn. But come out and start acting like children of a greater God, and you'll have to face our wrath.

Avianwing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Avianwing said...

I certainly detest Hindi or Hindustani imposition on non Hindi Indians but I would request not to use "non-truths" so as to not soil this noble cause. Kannada is not the 27th fastest dying language in the world. In fact I doubt it will be even the 27th fastest dying language in India. But it is undoubtedly along with most Indian languages a highly harassed and terrorised language because of the onslaught of Hindi and Urdu through the state and Bollywood respectively.

Check this link
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/09/070918-languages-extinct.html

There are 500 languages which have less than 10 speakers.

Therefore a logical policy for education in Karnataka for the native Kannada speaker at least in cities like Bangalore and Mysore ought to be Kannada followed by English followed by a Tribal language indigenous to Karnataka and its border districts, with an emphasis given to languages which have less than 10,000 speakers.

For the non Kannadiaga in Karntaka -for example a Telugu speaker from Bellary, it has to be slightly different Telugu, English and Kannada.

maaysa said...

Kannada is not a dying language. Kannada has more population than many European languages like Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish etc...

There is no real threat to spoken Kannada.

Here the topic is about Hindi imposition and making Kannadigas the second class, Hindi-handicap citizens. Think about a scenario, if UP people were asked to learn Kannada and compete with a native Kannadiga in a Kannada writing or reading or Kannada skill contest, obviously Kannadiga has the upperhand. Same goes with Hindi.

Moreover.... I am a Kannadiga studying in Europe, I know only Kannada and English. I never felt a need to learn any other language in my life.. I may learn one more European language. But what the use of Hindi?

I read and write Kannada, because that is my nativity and ethnicity and it is my basic identity. Why would I care to put effort to learn useless Hindi? We kannadigas hardly migrate to Northie states! Nowadays Kannadigas are migrating more to USA, Canada, Auss, Europe, NZ than to BIMARUs.

Why will I learn the BIMARU language? There is a scientific study done. It says our intellectual capacity depends on the language we use. As somebody said, "Limitation of my thinking is limitation of my language", I now wonder the reason for BIMARUs for being BIMARU may be there language, which doesn't help people for intellectual thinking!

Anonymous said...

This is clear cut racism....Only 41% of indians speak in hindi....we people from south doesnot want any nothindian government imosing any language up on us....its all start in school now a days....why should our children in south learn hindi during school???....we are not against any laguage....especially hindi....we are only against its imposition as national language....its imposition in school curriculum....and its imposition in all official proceedings....steps should be taken immediatly to make translators of all indian languages available at both houses of parliament....an MP should not be denied his right to listen and speak the proceedings in his mother toung....i think we need a second freedom strugle from hindi imposition....

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