Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Why English ?

A question that is often asked is “Why are the Tamils willing to learn English but not Hindi?”

My answer would be “Why not Swahili ?”

Even though the answer is actually a question, the answer to my question is the answer to the earlier question too – “No significant use”.

If the technical journals and other scientific articles and information/knowledge is in Swahili, people will learn it and not English. The same logic can be used for any other language.

What do we get with Hindi?

Quite often learning/speaking Hindi is associated with patriotism. Does it mean learning Tamil or any other Indian language is unpatriotic ? or is it lesser Indian language than Hindi ? Why is there such a skewed logic ?

Hindi helps you to communicate with the majority Indians is another answer. As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, Tamil is the majority language so its good to know it. If a Tamil, moves out of TN, he should learn the local language of the region and not Hindi. Till then, a mixture of English and a few words can keep him alive in another state. Making Hindi compulsory in TN for the few who travel outside TN is absurd. What is the percentage of Tamils traveling outside TN?

Now that the jobs are predominantly created in the southern states, will the North Indian in general and Hindi person specifically learn a South Indian language – any one ? or in other words, most Hindi speaking person tend to look for Bangalore, would they learn Kannada ? Shouldn’t they learn Kannada?

Respect is a two way street, if you can’t learn my language, why should I learn another language ? Unless and until, I see a benefit in learning another language, I don’t intend to.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for leaving a link to this site on my blog. Very interesting effort. Best wishes. I am trying to read all of your posts.

JC said...

Aiyoo! yet another Hindi vs Tam post. why is the answer not obvious to my fellow tamils...its for national integration. Why dont we have a Tamil Flag, Anthem, Bird etc etc...It is precisely to avoid such ur vs my lang tripe that we all need to speak a common langage. But I guess the Ramadoss and his illustrious predicesors like Anna and periyar have sufficiently brain washed ya

Om said...


I don't understand why ppl like you ignore some of the ground realities:
1) The pak-b'desh problem had language as one of the issues - google it.
2) The sinhalese-tamil problem in SL has its roots in language
3) Periyar called for a seperate country for Tamils in 1937/38 as a voice against the imposition of hindi.
4) There were major riots against such imposition in 1965in TN.
5) The name Tamil Nadu was selected by Anna durai after coming to power in 1967 as a symbolic way of saying that TN is "Tamil country" and NOT for hindi imposition.

I think you are a brain washed "patriot" who thinks that "integration" can be achieved by imposing one language spoken by 30-40 % of ppl on the rest.

Please, take some time to google information on such misadventures.

I think you are brain washed by ppl like mulayam singh yadav, ram manohar lohia into believing that hindi would bring about national integration :)

Om said...


Welcome ! :)

Bhanu said...

Why Hindi...coz:

1. National Language: Constitution of India saya Hindi to be the language of the secular state of India. I am a punjabi, you are a tamil and some one else might be marathi. As you said that little english can keep u alive in rest of India, trust me..that little english is not helping me at all in Chennai....leave apart rest of tamil nadu.

2. As new jobs are being created in south coz of IT, one can see that there are partucular hubs like Banglore, hydrabad only which have evolved...y nt a metro like Chennai selected for this. Answer is obvious, coz of this closed mentality, it seems like a shame to call chennai a metro. Now u will ask bout Delhi, Mumbai or calcutta..so lets say that we have Pune, Noida/Gurgaon, Salt lake city near these metros where IT has grown just to avoid conjestion. No such thing in chennai or entire tamil nadu.

3. U said that if a hindi speaking person come to south, will he learn the local language....that is why we have a national language so that one doest have to learn other 32 languages wheneven one shifts place. Again , banglore is one of the best examples in this regard.

Om said...

Bhanu, Thanks for your comments.

Answers for your comments:


2) http://vetri-vel.blogspot.com/2006/12/unravelling-myths-iii.html

3) Most of your questions were already answered in the 2006 december blog - please go through that too.

You are putting forth redundant questions.

Atul said...

U can't gauge the depth of anything without entering into it. All these so called tamilians will understand the importance of National Language when they will have to go out of TN. many of them have learnt it that way only. And it's happening today also. So we can hope that tommorrow there will be no Tamil-Hindi clash due to these narrow minded chaps like BNB.

Anonymous said...


India does NOT have a national language - read the constitution, chapter 17, art.343 and 345 :)

The only way hindi will become the "national language" would be when there is another partition and then hindi can be become the "national language" of the "hindi belt" - its ppl like you who would create another soviet union

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, you are making a lot of sense. I think the other Hindiwalls are just blind in their logic.

Just because some portion of India knows Hindi doesn't mean it should be the National language of India. Why can't Hindi be just like any other language and people can learn it if he/she chooses to do so.

English serves a much better purpose than Hindi because North India is such a poor part of India that I don't see its value to the Indian Union, let alone Hindi.


Mec Man

Penti said...

Good post. Let learning of languages happen out of need felt by the learner. Not by force.

Sandeep Reddy said...

Very nice articles..Kudos.

If HINDI is the *only* Rashtrabasha of this Union based on its 40%,then we should make CROW as our national Bird. CROW is widely seen across india,than peacock. Going further,stray dogs will be come our national animal....

Check this out too ...


someone written that Chennai is metro and others are good one.
in mumbai, bangalore, have you seen the bus route numbers in english letter?
any person from the world can travel in chennai city busees without any difficulities.
those metros (mumbai, banglore)_ the route numbers are in hindi & kannada.

there is no case in chennai that the particular language speaking people are attacked.even in 1962 also, tamil people opposed the hindi imposition in peaceful manner. they are not attacked the hindi speaking people.
in this aspect chennai is a real metro and safe to all language people.
your metros (bangalore, mumbai,delhi) have the record of worst culture behaviour.
In bangalore lot of tamils are attacked. in Mumbai also lot of tamils are attacked. in Delhi, during Indira gandhi death lot of sikhs are atttacked.

if you are leaving from one state to another, anyhow you have to learn the local lanuage.
if u know hindi also.
upto learnig the loacl lanuage, you can survive with english.
you may argure that people don't know english. bcoz they not gone to schools.
if they not gone to school, how they learn hindi? how can you expect they know hindi. those people knows only their local lanuage.
for those people, you should communicate with loal language. there is no alternateive way.

for your kuind information, the Bhillai Railway station, no english announcement and all platform numbers are in hindi only.
you imposed that in southern states, 3 language should be used in all railway station. but you are not followed atleast 2 lanuages.
bcoz poele argue that english is foreign lanuage.
then chiristanity is also foregin religions.