Saturday, September 30, 2006

Of preserving languages and culture!!

The Karnataka government wants to remove English as a medium of instruction and promote Kannada as the sole medium of instruction in their educational institutions. The stated purpose is the preservation of the language. During my brief stay in Bangalore I noticed a deep resentment among local students and bureaucrats towards people from other states who had settled in Bangalore. I was once rudely asked to leave a government office (where I had gone requesting for some data), because I did not speak Kannada. My co-worker was resentful of North Indians who with their fancy english accents were getting all the jobs in Bangalore. I do not have much experience with the language issue in other places. Tamil Nadu of course is a whole different matter. The same politicians who say we have to preserve Tamil send their kids to English Medium schools and abroad. I was studying in Tamil Nadu during the anti-hindi movement. Sixty years since independence it is obvious that Hindi as a language is essential to travel within India and world over Indians have a new respect because we speak English. I have nothing against the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments wanting to preserve Kannada and Tamil. I know most parents aspire to send their children to an English Medium school. I would like to know which vote bank Gowda is targeting.

2 comments:

Krish said...

I browsed into your blog randomly. Your experiences in Bangalore reminded me a 60 Minutes piece a while ago about the bizarre language laws in Quebec. Apparently, French has to be twice the font size of English in any sign. For some reason, I can't see police officers going around with rulers and verifying this.

Anonymous said...

EVen the hindi politicians who keep voicing their "love for hindi" send their kids to convents/english medium schools.