Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tamilian’s language obsession!

We were in Coimbatore which is quite a city with malls and multiplexes. We were shopping for my mom as Tamilnadu is famous of steel utensils and bedspreads and bed sheets. I have known of the Tamil language obsession of Tamilnadu since years; that they don’t accept Hindi as our national language. WHATEVER! In my logic, though Hindi is not a constitutional national language but it is the most common language in the country and I believe we should be glad to have a language that all states can share. As there are immigrants in Tamilnadu, even Tamilians immigrate to other states and it’s easy for them to communicate as all other states use Hindi if not in its purest forms! And we are a part of the globalized world today!
 The local crowd of little stores is purely Tamil speaking. When we went to a mall to shop, the attendees were still purely Tamil speaking; irrespective of you speak Hindi or English, they choose to IGNORE you if you are not speaking in Tamil! It was very insulting to me personally! Not being able to converse is different than IGNORING! What is the unwanted obsession of Tamil language? Why do we find more reasons to discriminate among our own countrymen? “Unity in diversity” is what we learnt in school! It means nothing for these people?
If I have so many problems in travelling through Tamilnadu, I can’t think of the nightmare the foreigners might be having! And if one has to say that the foreigners are responded back in English then this is open discrimination for your own people!
Even the buses have ONLY Tamil boards, no corresponding English boards! I would rather not go to Tamilnadu than get lost for not knowing Tamil! Even my husband who is a Tamilian said it should be so difficult for outsiders to travel or move around in Tamilnadu.
I do not aim to criticize the state or the people; there are a hundreds of reasons to visit Tamilnadu but if the people are not warm & welcoming, it is disappointing! In today’s time do we still need this obsession? If every state boasts of its own language, do we need outsiders to break our unity?
The biggest example is China who came over its national language & took up learning English and today they are India’s biggest competitor in the global world! Don’t push away your own people for lack of Tamil language!

18 comments:

  1. I agree with you. Each state is obsessed to the point of ignoring outsiders.
    My friend, who's lived in many cities, recently moved to Chennai for work and this is his worst experience to date. The attitude of the locals shocks him. Initially I admonished him for being too judgemental, but on hearing about the problems he faces almost on a daily basis, I am confident Tamil Nadu is a state I will NEVER EVER reside in.

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  2. There is a pride in knowing your own language but these kind of barriers are completely unnecessary. How I wish our people stop such discrimination and come together as one.

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  3. I agree this information...Tamil language is ancient language ....Thanks for sharing the information about the Tamil language

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  4. Everywhere the people obsessed to the point of ignoring outside people. Its a common thing not only tamilians are doing like this. More over tamil language is one of the best classical language. Its very easy to read and learn tamil, also very simple for understanding the tamil letters.

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  5. @Lolitha - I dont think 'Everywhere' people are obessing with their language. I have lived in different parts of the country...But no state actually objects to Hindi language as much as Tamilians. And its unbelievable that you are asking non tamilians to read & write Tamil!!! You see the way you are pushing your language on outsiders who have no clue of your language! I am half Kannadiga & to this date I find the kannada script hard to study...why would I learn Tamil?
    My simple point is "Athithi Devo Bhava", "Guest is GOD". If tamilians cant welcome their guests, I could care less about their language & heritage & culture!

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    1. @ Shilpa ! "Vanthaarai vaazhai vaikum Thamizh" means, Tamilnadu, which welcomes and lets the people live in. Tamils are always very welcoming people. We welcome every human on this planet no matter whichever country he she is from. Thats our nature. If a hindi person comes to Tamilnadu for survival, we welcome him. No problem. But we are not fools like other state people to learn hindi and meet his "comfort zone" here in Tamilnadu. If he has come to Tamilnadu, he has to do the justification of learning the local language and not by expecting us to learn hindi. I'm a Tamil. If I go to north India, can I go to Delhi and expect the hindi people to know Tamil, so that would ease my living there?? MAKES SENSE. ?? Similarly hindi people coming to Tamilnadu should learn Tamil for survival. If a Hindi person is willing and conversing in Tamil, people would be more than happy to assist him. Only those hindi people who come here and expect people to know hindi like in other states do, get screwed by locals for their arrogance. We love our language as ours language Tamil has the oldest history and richest tradition. Doesn't mean we hate other languages. But if some stupid hindi person tries to show their "hindi supremacy" over us, they will be screwed.

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    2. Dear Pravin Kumar, there is major difference in your and my understanding of welcoming people and obsession of language. You surely need to read again what I have experienced. The major problem with Tamilians not wanting to learn Hindi is the obsession! My humble opinion and support for Hindi is because its a common language that hold our country together, a language that helps us travel through our own land of diversity and mingle with each other. But surely we have so many reasons to hate and separate each other, why not add the language problem. Please continue with your ideology to distinguish among our people. I still think we should all stand together and not make language a reason to differentiate amongst us! Thank your for your opinion!

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  6. Arey yaar. Nobody wants to loose business simply becos customer cannot speak tamil. The issue is they cannot understand what u speak. It is not necessary u speak in tamil. But u can use a few tamil words and gestures to get the message across.

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  7. @Anonymous: Gawd! Can you read through what you just wrote? You are expecting non-tamilians to use 'few' tamil words or gestures? what the hell is that...non-tamilian is NO TAMIL.....its like asking a tamilian to speak 'few punjabi words" in Punjab!!! Get real and global! get over the obsession...the neighboring state Kerala speaks brilliant english and HINDI!! Take a lesson and become more capable!

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  8. 100% agree. Tamil Nadu is the pathetic state i visited. For Indians (Non-Tamilians) Moving to TamilNadu is same as moving to foreign country except that it does not need a VISA.
    People's Attitude is very bad to outsiders

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  9. hindi influence never pervaded deeply into southern india especially in the southen tip of tamil nadu ...plus speaking a language with a rich past makes one neglectful of other linguistic aspirations... we are a shy and placid people...but very hospitable...we cant accept hindi the same reason you cant accept english as national language...speaking hindi is not "global"...illiterate people speak the language they know....intolerant people want every one to
    speak the language they know..........change your attitude......or someone will change it for you
    ........now lets see!!! where have we heard the line
    "arey saale madarasi hai" that term is used in the same context as nigger....is tolerance

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  10. First of all, I dont understand your fear of posting comments as Anonymous.Lack of confidence I believe. Second to mention I am half Kannadiga...which is from Karnataka...so I have enough knowledge of 'SOUTH INDIA'. Kerala is your neighboring southern tip too, my fellow Indian. And you should stop by there once, to see how they are "hospitable" in terms of conversing with outsiders. I talk with experience ..not being racist like you to use terms like madarasi. That reminds me that I really never had an opportunity to use YOUR term "MADARASI"...hmm...probably I am not finding reasons to discriminate amongst my people...my only point of notice was why a particular state is so obsessed with their language that they are arrogant and ignore their guests...their own people??? From childhood, I have learnt the verse "Athithi devo bhava" , A guest is a form of god...I guess your state hasn't learnt it or is very discriminating based on language. My atitude is perfect and unbaised..hence I don't need any change...but hey, thanks for stopping by. Take care and love your people...we've had 150 years of slavery...its not difficult to break our unity if you want to discriminate on such petty things!

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  11. (From Srinivas in Bangalore)
    It is a well known fact that Tamilnadu is over-obsessed with Tamil. I've been places like Tiruvannamalai and Chennai and found rampant discrimination against speakers of other languages. Most people on the street are mean and crafty towards people from other states. And yes, many do make an attempt to speak English when it comes to the foreigners.

    I've not seen this level of obsession and meanness anywhere in the world, period!!

    If I can, I'll NEVER visit Tamilnadu again.

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    1. France, Quebec in Canada, England, china, basically every place in the world!!! You wouldn't go to France and demand everything is in your language so that you can get around! So why don't you apply the same logic to Tamil Nadu. If things are as bad as described in this article- why does Tamil Nadu attract 2nd largest number of domestic tourists? Link: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/130724/news-current-affairs/article/tamil-nadu-second-wooing-tourists. The reason why things are in Tamil is because it is Tamil Nadu, and the government is there to serve the “Tamil” people of Tamil Nadu not people from other states or country. Deal with it!

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    2. Dear Friend,
      This article is criticizing the same 'deal with it' attitude that you are showing here. There isn't a doubt that Tamilnadu has very richt cultural heritage and has got high importance in terms of religious places. It is not as if people from other (tourists to be particular) states are visiting you to rob you of all the riches you have. Tamilnadu government is there to serve the people of Tamilnadu, no doubt about it, isn't it the same government that puts 'enchanting Tamilnadu' advertisements everywhere? What about the guests you are inviting with these? Aren't you going to take care of them, treat them with respect?
      None of us, those who are in support of the author, are asking Tamilnadu to change their language. A bit of respect and humility is all we ask. My personal experiences have been humiliating at times. It has become my opinion that an outsider is Tamilnadu is often seen with the same eyes as our country men would have seen British prior to independence. Doesn't it say that you have got a need for introspection?

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    1. I don't understand why have you referenced to Sri Lanka and Singapore. I have neither been to these countries nor have I mentioned them in my article! My point above was to attend English speaking customers than ignore them for not speaking Tamil. I'm from Maharashtra and I don't tell people to learn Marathi. I'm just not in favor of discrimination of any kind. Alas, you haven't got my concern here! Thank you for visiting.

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    2. I don't understand why have you referenced to Sri Lanka and Singapore. I have neither been to these countries nor have I mentioned them in my article! My point above was to attend English speaking customers than ignore them for not speaking Tamil. I'm from Maharashtra and I don't tell people to learn Marathi. I'm just not in favor of discrimination of any kind. Alas, you haven't got my concern here! Thank you for visiting.

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