Chennai says it in Hindi

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by anoop_mig25, Aug 19, 2011.

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  1. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chennai says it in Hindi
    VSHOBA
    Posted: Sun Aug 14 2011
    In a city once bitterly opposed to the northerner’s tongue, Hindi is finding followers — private tutors give lessons in apartment complexes, and young enthusiasts gingerly try Kabir on their tongue. Even auto drivers will not snarl at you if you speak in Hindi
    Fourteen-year-old Swati Ramanan has a new literary crush: Munshi Premchand. “The first story by Premchand that I read and loved was Idgah. That must have been six months ago,” she says in English, before self-consciously switching to somewhat accented Hindi. “Main ab unki ek aur kahani padh rahi hun, ‘Bade Bhaisahab’ (I am now reading another story of his, called ‘Elder Brother’),” she says shyly.

    Swati lives on the seventh floor of a tall apartment complex in Kodambakkam, Chennai. Like any teenager, she likes Katy Perry, Harry Potter and skinny jeans. Of late, she has been scarfing up Hindi books that her parents — both work in the IT industry — buy her on their trips to Delhi and Mumbai. In her room is a green felt board with a few Hindi dohas pinned on it alongside cartoon cutouts. They flutter in the evening breeze as Swati talks about her passion for a language far removed from her native tongue Tamil. It all started with snatches of Hindi news overheard from her neighbour’s radio. “It sounded so elegant,” says Swati, pausing to rummage for the Hindi word for ‘elegant’. “I knew I had to learn to speak and write like that.”

    Swati attends a reputed CBSE school not far from her home. Hindi is her third language of choice, after English and her mother tongue, Tamil. “My friends opted for Sanskrit and French because you can get better grades that way,” she says. But Swati’s mother, Ananya, takes a broader view. “I have lived in Mumbai for two years. Hindi is necessary if you want to move to other states. People living in south India are increasingly aware of this,” says the 44-year-old, who watches Star Plus and Zee TV to help polish her Hindi. “We enjoy watching Hindi stand-up comedy — there is no equivalent of this on Tamil TV,” she says.

    It has been a full decade since the last anti-Hindi agitation in Chennai. The self-professed guardians of Tamil culture haven’t vanished. Indeed, not too long ago, English signboards on some railway routes were smudged off in an act of Tamil pride, says a resident of Tambaram suburb. S Doraiswamy, a retired executive who has lived in Thyagaraya Nagar, Chennai, for close to two decades, says common English words are increasingly being translated into forbidding Tamil — for instance, some bakeries call themselves veduppagam (literally, a cooking room). “There are two sets of people in Chennai today. Those who go out of their way to introduce new ways of asserting the Tamil spirit; and the middle and upper middle classes who want to learn Hindi and to make sure their children don’t miss the Hindi bus,” says Doraiswamy.

    With the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act integrating state and matriculation boards, besides others, set to come into force, there is worry that the Hindi bus may no longer make a stop in Tamil Nadu. Till now, in schools following matriculation and other boards, Hindi had been an optional third language.“Under the new system, students can choose from Arabic, Urdu, Malayalam, Sanskrit, French and various Indian and foreign languages as their third language, but not Hindi.
    A majority of schools in Tamil Nadu will be forced to adopt this syllabus. To study Hindi, you’d have to go to a CBSE school now or turn to options outside the system,” says V Balakrishna, who runs Hindi Vidya Niketan, a centre for Hindi learning, in T Nagar.

    Balakrishna sits in a small makeshift room on Dandapani Street. The signboard pointing up is in English and Tamil. “According to state law, the regional language font size should be bigger than the English font. And writing in Hindi is like inviting trouble,” says Balakrishna, seated in front of a blackboard crammed with Hindi verbs. A Hindi teacher in Chennai since 1988, Balakrishna coaches adults and children —for a nominal fee of Rs 150 a month — in written and spoken Hindi. He also prepares students for various certificate courses offered by the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, an institution that dates back to the pre-Independence era. The Sabha now has 18,000 certified pracharaks in Chennai alone, 6,000 of whom actively teach. Says Balakrishna, a Sabha member, “There is no overt political opposition to Hindi in Chennai anymore. Whatever indirect measures, such as samacheer kalvi (uniform education) and the two-language curriculum, are introduced, they are mere political stunts.”

    Kevin and Manova Jacob, who are studying for the Sabha’s Hindi Parichaya (introductory course) exam at Balakrishna’s academy, agree. “It is important to know the national language,” says Kevin. For the mathematics graduate, Hindi is a conduit to north India, where he and his brother hope to find suitable jobs. They can’t speak fluent Hindi yet but hope to be able to preach the Bible in Hindi one day.

    In February 2011, about 50,000 people in Tamil Nadu — 13,000 from Chennai alone — appeared for the Prathamik-level Sabha examinations, with over 95 per cent passing. Two years ago, the number was 43,000. Inter-state mobility and the trend of job-hopping are key reasons for the increase in interest in Hindi, says Balakrishnan. “The IT industry is partly responsible for this,” he says. Sreenivas, a 58-year-old student at Hindi Vidya Niketan, says he realised the importance of Hindi over a decade ago but could only find time to learn it closer to his retirement. “I have lived all my life in Chennai because I don’t know any other language. But I made sure my daughters studied for Hindi exams even though they couldn’t study the language in their school, which followed the state board curriculum,” he says.

    There is a visible cultural dilation on Chennai streets, once famously protective of all things Tamil. Five years ago, Arumugam, a 55-year-old auto driver from Ambattur, would have told you off if you asked him for directions in Hindi. Today, he parks his auto on the bustling North Usman Road and calls out to people: Kahan jaana hai? (Where do you want to go?) “It helps to know basic Hindi — kitna (how much), kam (it’s not enough), dur (far), aa jao (come),” says Arumugam.

    Hindi has helped not only autowallahs but also ministers clinch deals, says CNV Annamalai, general secretary of the Sabha in Chennai, and member of a central government advisory committee under the Ministry of Rural Development. “I have always said, Mr Karunanidhi would have been PM long ago if only he had known Hindi. His daughter does, though. She was a Sabha student,” says Annamalai, in faultless Hindi. “There is a lot of demand for Hindi in south India. In a year, six lakh people from the four southern states appear for Sabha exams,” he says, adding, “Studying Hindi does not mean ignoring Tamil.”

    On Thanikachalam Road, R Krushnamurthy, a Hindi bookseller, says the demand for exam guides is slowly rising, but that of Hindi novels and reference books is not. “I started selling books in 1990. In 1996-97, I was selling 10,000 copies of exam guides, some of them self-published. Now the number has more than doubled,” he says, adding, “There is a Hindi teacher in every apartment complex in Chennai, seriously.” Balakrishnan laughs and nods. “Theruvellaam Hindi muzhakkam (the cries of Hindi in every street),” he jokes.

    Those who cater to corporates believe there is a greater demand for spoken Hindi. Rajan Menon, of Language Tree in Virugambakkam, says, “With IT migration, there is interest in spoken Hindi like never before. We conduct 25-day workshops where we teach communication-based Hindi. There are many takers.” Knowledge of Hindi is no longer an unimportant qualification in the job market, says Anoop S., a senior manager with a pharmaceuticals company in Chennai. “Yes, English is the first language of industry, but what if you are posted in Lucknow?” says Anoop, who hired a private Hindi tutor for three months last year.

    For Swati, the grounds for learning a new language are more poetic. She points to one of her favourite couplets by Kabir: Dheere dheere re mana, dheere sab kuchh hoye; Mali seenche sau ghara, ritu aaye phal hoye (Slowly slowly O mind, everything happens at its own pace; The gardener may water with a hundred buckets, the fruit only comes with the season). That pretty much sums up the Hindi wave in Chennai.
     
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  3. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    The obsession some TN politicians have towards not learning Hindi, is equally matched by the obsession some North Indian show towards making the people of TN learn Hindi.

    People need to grow up and stop worrying over which language others states are learning.
     
  4. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    The self-professed guardians of Tamil culture haven’t vanished. Indeed, not too long ago, English signboards on some railway routes were smudged off in an act of Tamil pride, says a resident of Tambaram suburb. S Doraiswamy, a retired executive who has lived in Thyagaraya Nagar, Chennai, for close to two decades, says common English words are increasingly being translated into forbidding Tamil — for instance, some bakeries call themselves veduppagam (literally, a cooking room). “There are two sets of people in Chennai today. Those who go out of their way to introduce new ways of asserting the Tamil spirit; and the middle and upper middle classes who want to learn Hindi and to make sure their children don’t miss the Hindi bus,” says Doraiswamy.


    playing the economical card INDIAN GOVRNEMENT ( which is since its inception) tries to destroy the regional language
    pity a rich, elsuive, divine, classical, historically superior language has to die for the sake of a very primitve language
     
  5. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    i am not kayal or hello 10 before closing this thread or eliminate my membership,
    just another minority indian citizen who tries to air the hearts of other (7 billion)


    it is because of the attitude of these people who tries to suppress the voice of minoriteis
    violence/extremism breaks out-- new word 'terrorism'
    consider the following analogy


    to all the muslims

    how would you feel, when they say you constitute only 15% , majority is hindus,
    so convert, you will oppose of course, same way TN did back then

    they will later say no you dont need to convert but we will promote "x" religion it is upto you to join it, but we will favour employemnt and floursihment opputunities
    to the 'X religion' ,( means until islam perish, people die out of hunger/deprived of oppurtunities)
    think..

    may be this is why extremism is born and the country is in chaos

    one another proud Indian, who feels disgusted by this GOI move
     
  6. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    for all the people who are saying hindi found its way to the level that it is now, please consider

    even if urdu/ sanskrit/ bengali/ tamil/ telugu whould have reached the same no. of people speaking it given GOI licked it rather than hindi


    look at the people from india who have settled in other parts of the world, within few generations they forget their language/tradition / culture,

    is it not important to protect the identity of all races

    comeon guys it should be UNITY IN DIVERSITY not SUPPRESSION AND UNITY
     
  7. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Speak Hindi if you want or don't.

    Whats wrong with people in South who want to learn Hindi themselves ?
     
  8. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    a language which is not put in use, will die slowly
    the rate will be accelerated when the ruling people supports its extinction

    how did BUDDHISM rose and partly fall in oriental countries
    how did islam prevailed in INDIA/

    EUREKA = RULERS SUPPORT
     
  9. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Nothing is forced and nobody is encouraging the extinction of any language.
     
  10. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    hindi is forced when we have english as a linking language\

    i am not killing you, but definteley not feeding you the necessary for survival
     
  11. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Like I said, speak whichever language you want. Nobody is forcing you.

    And if you are so unhappy with system, orgazine political representation in parliament. Else just suck it up!

    Sent via Tapatalk from a galaxy far far away
     
  12. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Where is Hindi forced on you?.
     
  13. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Lot many Tamilians go out to N. India for job hunting. Of course, they have an advantage if they know Hindi. No Hindi in UP, then accented English will take you nowhere. Tamil businessmen buying or selling goods in N India have to know Hindi. You may be handicapped not knowing Hindi in most of India, but not knowing Tamil does not matter.
     
  14. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    @nrj
    what about PROMOTE only HINDI RAJYABASHA
    @Daredevil
    everywhere official bodies all psu/ banks/ army/ government/ proceedings friend
    we don't need hindi as a linking language/ teach english well
    can use the additionAL funds to promote english @GPM
    we have reached this stage because of the controversial policy adopted and implemented since inception 1947

    southern India because of its anti- hindi stand initiatyed/promoted/fueled the growth of IT/ BPO industry
    that is despite of the starvation of funds from the goverment

    TEACH ENGLISH/ GO GLOBAL/ PROMOTE INDUSTRIALIZATION/ be realisitc in the states lagging behind(which evidentially predominantly Hindi speaking)
    rather than imposing dual policy
     
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  15. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    what is with this going to the north india looking for job thing
    if i go to kashmir, i will learn kashmiri, bengal in bengali, hindi in up, japanese in japan, french in france
    countries are just economical groupings, unless a race decides to anihilate rest and flourish
     
  16. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    All people in PSUs/Banks etc where there is an interface with public speak both Hindi and English and even local language. So, feel free to speak whichever language you know.

    Hindi is not a link language.

    South India prospered IT/BPO industry because of better education than Hindi heartland not because of Hindi. Except for Tamilnadu, pretty much all people main cities in South India speak Hindi.

    Note: @robert.genero Stop using CAPS in all your posts. If you keep continuing you will be infracted
     
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  17. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Guys... be proficient in your local language and learn good English Hindi.

    Thats it.
     
  18. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    @robert.genero

    Majority of Indians speak Hindi. Obviously the language is going to be favored by GOI for official communication. Your denial to this fact does not build your case.

    And I repeat, organize political representation for your concern. Your whining here does not take you anywhere.

    Sent from Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
     
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  19. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    @nrj
    what is obvious does not represent appropriate
    when some one respected like you, in the sense of your interest towards the nations security and integrity, fails to recognise the mistake and refuse to stand up for the fellow minority indian even in an idea in a contextual level, i wonder not why we do not have a peaceful world
     
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  20. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    You are no minority. You are not denied any rights in India.
     
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  21. robert.genero

    robert.genero Tihar Jail Banned

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    @dardevil
    if hindi is not a link language, why is hindi is imposed officially to be used to communicate in the government affairs,
    please donot say they have more speakers, we have more dogs than tigers why tiger is the national animal @nrj
    rights denial and suppression of rights/facts is different
    the whole south agitated with the stupid idea of hindi since 1937, peaked at 1965, still inside everybody
    regarding setting up political representations, may be i am part of it maybenot, may be i am giving my support from outside,maybe from inside,maybe in cyberspace


    suppressing using propoganda of articular circulation doesnot deny that still south doesnot want hindi imposition in the official government proceedings,
    using the economic card governments throughout history,globally suppressed races which is currently happening under the silent watch of the common people who is deliberately willing to be ignorant.

    this attitude of not empathising with the ones who is opposing is the reason for every problm in the world let it be male/female, haves/havenots, you can fit every thing inside it, leading to master/slave attitude where the suppressors tries to take the role of masters


    all i am trying to do i preserve the idea so anybody coming across this will atleast try to think empatheticaally in preserving intrests of others rather than confiding to oneself
     
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