Indian Culture

Dont destroy my Language

I was recently watching the program on TV about the seven wonders, and what struck me was that even our own Desi Bipasha Basu had to say “Taaj Mahaaal”, and not “Taj Mahel” as it is pronounced.

I have constantly been irked by people, especially Indians, who agree with, take pride in speaking in a firangee accent, and even themselves change the pronunciation of things dear to us, even names of our Hindu Gods, to copy the way foreigners speak or write them.

The list is endless, but it has now gone beyond the point where it is no longer acceptable. I don’t know when:-

Ram became Rama?
Krishan (or Krishen) became Krishna?
Ravan became Ravana?
Yog became Yoga?
Taj Mahel became Taj Maahaal

I am sure you can identify innumerable words like these. Lets put a stop to this by at least spelling them the way they are supposed to be pronounced.

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Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

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12 thoughts on “Dont destroy my Language”

  1. I agree! I have rarely found the Americans change their accent or pronunciation to the local lingo – unless it is for something European (Italian or French), as they have a cultural inferiority complex there. Its been so many years since th eIraq war started but even to the most seasoned of the CNN journalists who are serving in Iraq –

    Iraq is still “Eye-Rack”
    Bagdad is still BAG- DAD and not bug-daad.

    But we do change our accent to explain our things to the westerners. Which is sad.

    -d.

  2. Maybe, we too suffer from a kind of inferiority complex and we have that slavish mentally visible everywhere, first starting from our basic studies and education. Our very education is western centric and there is nothing “indian” about it. I remember whenever I read “history” so often written by westerners, we were always looted or slave of someone. I wish we had written an “indian history” truely by an indian and maybe, in indian languages.
    Now, whenever this issue is raised, our dear MPs have to fight on religion and caste issues and that it would hurt somebody or the other and therefore, nothing remain changed. Hindi and all other indian languages have become inferior for lack of emphasis among the educated class and in education and jobs.
    Therefore, this is nothing surprising when Bipasha pronounced “taj Mahal” as something else. But, maybe, this is just an amalgamation or creation of something new on this indian land that may not be necessarily related to ancient past.

  3. I agree! I have rarely found the Americans change their accent or pronunciation to the local lingo – unless it is for something European (Italian or French), as they have a cultural inferiority complex there. Its been so many years since th eIraq war started but even to the most seasoned of the CNN journalists who are serving in Iraq –

    Iraq is still “Eye-Rack”
    Bagdad is still BAG- DAD and not bug-daad.

    But we do change our accent to explain our things to the westerners. Which is sad.

    -d.

  4. Indian Inferiority complex is probably the reason.. the awe of the white man! You are right… even today the history taught to us still goes into the Aryan Invasion theory although Romilla Thapar says it may not be true.. NOW! Well we hardly have historians.. we have some communists masquerading as historians.

    I think Murli Manohar was right in saying that history needs to be revised.. actually re-written.. but the way he started off was foolish!

    Until we can truly respect our ownselves.. I doubt others will.

  5. Maybe, we too suffer from a kind of inferiority complex and we have that slavish mentally visible everywhere, first starting from our basic studies and education. Our very education is western centric and there is nothing “indian” about it. I remember whenever I read “history” so often written by westerners, we were always looted or slave of someone. I wish we had written an “indian history” truely by an indian and maybe, in indian languages.
    Now, whenever this issue is raised, our dear MPs have to fight on religion and caste issues and that it would hurt somebody or the other and therefore, nothing remain changed. Hindi and all other indian languages have become inferior for lack of emphasis among the educated class and in education and jobs.
    Therefore, this is nothing surprising when Bipasha pronounced “taj Mahal” as something else. But, maybe, this is just an amalgamation or creation of something new on this indian land that may not be necessarily related to ancient past.

  6. Indian Inferiority complex is probably the reason.. the awe of the white man! You are right… even today the history taught to us still goes into the Aryan Invasion theory although Romilla Thapar says it may not be true.. NOW! Well we hardly have historians.. we have some communists masquerading as historians.

    I think Murli Manohar was right in saying that history needs to be revised.. actually re-written.. but the way he started off was foolish!

    Until we can truly respect our ownselves.. I doubt others will.

  7. True Desh. We need to revisit our history again and again till we are convinced not of our superiority, but of the power that lies hidden in us. Aurobindo once said that we have forgotten how to worship Shakti. We condemn Shakti and we are afraid of it and therefore, Shakti has abandoned us. We should love her and she would love us too just like a mother would to her child.

    I have a friend in Japan and he often tells me how Japanese keep doing all sorts of researches proving that Japanese heart is different from the rest of the world, Japanese mothers are different and better. And we often laugh at these seemingly foolish researches. But, somehow that has made Japan a superior and wonderful nation. They think deep and better and faster than us. Couple of years ago, Japanese Govt started a nation wide collaboration among Japanese technical universities to start working on a search engine, so that they can compete with Google in next 10 years. And when they can think it, they can do it. And we in India are no where close to doing it, more importantly not even thinking of it. Govt in India is busy wooing people and helping them fight on case and religion basis.

    Anyways, such is life 🙂

  8. True Desh. We need to revisit our history again and again till we are convinced not of our superiority, but of the power that lies hidden in us. Aurobindo once said that we have forgotten how to worship Shakti. We condemn Shakti and we are afraid of it and therefore, Shakti has abandoned us. We should love her and she would love us too just like a mother would to her child.

    I have a friend in Japan and he often tells me how Japanese keep doing all sorts of researches proving that Japanese heart is different from the rest of the world, Japanese mothers are different and better. And we often laugh at these seemingly foolish researches. But, somehow that has made Japan a superior and wonderful nation. They think deep and better and faster than us. Couple of years ago, Japanese Govt started a nation wide collaboration among Japanese technical universities to start working on a search engine, so that they can compete with Google in next 10 years. And when they can think it, they can do it. And we in India are no where close to doing it, more importantly not even thinking of it. Govt in India is busy wooing people and helping them fight on case and religion basis.

    Anyways, such is life 🙂

  9. Sudeep you are right again! See there is a basic difference between the violence paradigm of Krishna and that of Christ/Buddha etc. I have written about it too in one of my blog post. While Christ said “Thou shalt not Kill” , Krishna said “Thou CANNOT kill”!

    And moreover, we do not have have a word that completely equates to Violence or non-violence. Ahimsa means not giving PAIN.. and PAIN does NOT have a direct relationship with physical violence. Pain can be given even in a passive way.

    In fact, I argue that pain can be given more potently by the so-called non-violent methods too.. as Gandhi so well exemplified!

    We have not learnt our philosophy or have forgotten all that.

  10. Sudeep you are right again! See there is a basic difference between the violence paradigm of Krishna and that of Christ/Buddha etc. I have written about it too in one of my blog post. While Christ said “Thou shalt not Kill” , Krishna said “Thou CANNOT kill”!

    And moreover, we do not have have a word that completely equates to Violence or non-violence. Ahimsa means not giving PAIN.. and PAIN does NOT have a direct relationship with physical violence. Pain can be given even in a passive way.

    In fact, I argue that pain can be given more potently by the so-called non-violent methods too.. as Gandhi so well exemplified!

    We have not learnt our philosophy or have forgotten all that.

  11. Under the influence of English we tend to translate even our specific terms.. The best (or Worst) example is Bharat our beloved country is called India as a translation. Dharma has been translated very wrongly as Religion, Sanskriti as Culture and so on. Our terms have a very explicit meaning as well as concept which get distorted by translation. Will Europeans ever do it to their language?

  12. Under the influence of English we tend to translate even our specific terms.. The best (or Worst) example is Bharat our beloved country is called India as a translation. Dharma has been translated very wrongly as Religion, Sanskriti as Culture and so on. Our terms have a very explicit meaning as well as concept which get distorted by translation. Will Europeans ever do it to their language?

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