Monday, July 23, 2007
Have you winced when you see how South Indians are mocked for their apparent inability to speak Hindi properly? The done to death cliché of an Iyer’s “Aiyo…” or the Keralite “Simbly” have worn threadbare on the TV.
I know South Indians who can speak flawless North Indian languages and vice versa, though it is comparatively more difficult to learn the classical south Indian languages as the intricacies are more. The tamil la, lla and zha are legendary. So why this prejudice? Do the people up North perceive themselves linguistically superior to their brethren down south?
Just for a moment let us take the common denominator for all of us as English and then we find how language can be a leveler. When I say English I refer to the queen’s English which by virtue of our colonial heritage united the educational mediums into a common platform.
I wince when I hear some of us speak English. It is indeed painful. I do not look down on their inability for whatever is the reason but it is indeed painful to hear. This tragedy is so pronounced in our airlines today. The cabin crew if you care to notice are uniformly fair skinned and invariably skewed towards the northern part of the country. Their smiles make the journey pleasant indeed, but often I wish they would stop with smiles. I dread the announcements where it is so difficult to understand what is being said and often it is easier to pick up the Hindi translation. I fear the worst in an emergency situation.
The accents often vary from the Punjab / NCR region which is passable, to the cow belt which is just terrible Hinglish (with a greater Hindi touch to it), to the east coast which is simply Bicked. It is so difficult to get a neutral accent up there.
Have we made comedy movies on these? Do we look down on people for this?
This post is neither racial, nor is it meant to say “I can do better”, it’s just to say that the next time we have to endure or contribute to such racial comments. STOP.
So our language is simbly bicked? but hey, phir bhi dil he hindusthani!!!!