• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Progress Of Indic Languages Vs English
You are making a great contribution to Telugu right here! We need to find a way to save all this. Or, eventually, the thread might end up in the Trash Can.
vishwas garu don't worry I have the links and stuff saved on my computer, as for contribution well this isn't even much, Telugu needs a total revolution in terms of the language set up in AP and in the quality of literature for it to survive intact. Ever since I have taken to shudh Telugu (not all of it but at least 85-90%) I began noticing the sad state of the language whenever I saw so called "Telugu" being spoken by others and in the movies.

I have seen many people online quoting from Sri Krishna Deva Raya's Amuktamalyada where it's written that "desa bhashalandu telugu lessa" (among the country's languages Telugu is the best) but the same people type in Tenglish, what good is quoting the great man if you can't even speak your own mother tongue properly.

Here is another example of what's happening today in Bharat:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It’s Just Another Language….

A very good friend of mine got engaged recently. He is from a conservative Madhwa Brahmin family from Southern Karnataka. He tells me that his mothers’ only requirement was that the girl be from a Madhwa family. He had a list of his requirements, nothing which you can’t find in most of today’s girls. So, he did find the right match and they are getting married next year.

It has been almost a month since the engagement. They met on a daily basis for around 15 days in India. After he flew back to America, they are in constant touch. He chats with her on Yahoo and talks on phone. My friend was visiting me last weekend and he told me that he and his fiancée have never talked in Kannada, not a word. It’s always been English. 

For one, I was shocked. I thought I knew my friend too well, and I didn’t quite understand why anyone would not want to talk in their mother tongue with their future spouse. He went on to tell me that the girls’ mother is from Raichur, her father’s relatives have connections in Maharashtra etc., and thus their extended families speak different languages including Kannada, Marathi and Hindi. The girls’ father is not alive today. He also told me that they speak 60% Kannada at home and rest English. I didn’t quite understand that as well. Why would a Kannada lady from Raichur talk to her children in English, especially when you still live in Karnataka ?

I am very straight forward. I think I am way too frank sometimes. Point blank, I asked my friend how his mother agreed to make this girl as her daughter-in-law when the girl had absolutely no inclination of speaking in Kannada. I am sure my friends’ mother cannot converse in English very fluently. My friend had no answer to that. He knows me too well. So, he knows the intentions behind my question. He had absolutely no problems with me asking that question. 

Anyway, I guess my friend probably started feeling the pinch of not talking in his mother tongue with his future spouse. He told me that he was talking to her on phone just before he came to my house. He suggested to her that from now on they should start talking in Kannada. Apparently, she responded by saying “You can talk if you want”. I wouldn’t read too much into her response. Maybe she was just joking, or half-joking.

I am very passionate about my culture, language and roots. I don’t quite understand why we want to suddenly stop talking in our mother tongue. If we don’t use our mother tongue, who will ? That’s the primary reason for a language to die. When you look at South India, I don’t see Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam in such a bad shape. Is it just Kannada or is it all Indian languages ? I don’t know, and that’s not the point. Speak your language at home. Love your language.

I know I am judging people here. I have no business to do that. People have their own priorities and choices. I am nobody to question that. But, he is such a close friend and I feel awful. I have the right to feel awful, just like he has the right to treat Kannada with scant respect. My heart is bleeding….

This problem is not just for Telugu but all the other languages also, I saw Tamil being spoken and half the words being English, on that Panjabi radio station only the religious preacher manages shudh Panjabi to an extent and I don't think anyone needs the reminder of interviews of Bollywood "stars" which blatantly show up their ignorance of Hindi.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->My friend was visiting me last weekend and he told me that he and his fiancée have never talked in Kannada, not a word. It’s always been English.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Imagine both people knowing the language and not speaking it! And ignoring Kannada of all languages. Very sad <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> If it was Urdu I could understand, but Kannada? It's music to my ears - mostly incomprehensible music, but beautiful music nevertheless.

If one's spouse won't take pride in the mother tongue, then how can one's children? Our languages are part of who we are as Hindus, if we won't cherish them then no one will. If our languages ever disappeared, then a huge part of us will die with them. It's another lesson in How to commit suicide.

One of my sister's top requirements in any person to be considered for spouse was that he should know Tamil and Samskritam. She would allow him to be <i>in the process</i> of learning Samskritam, but he must know Tamil. Of course he should speak in it with her and any children should be raised speaking it as their Mother Tongue. This was a highly important stipulation for her. It was up there with her requirements for 'good, kind, caring person' and, of course, Hindu and tee-totaller. (Initially, she also wanted someone more intelligent than herself, but I told her to keep it realistic. Anyway, if he had a good heart then that sort of thing is unimportant.) All's well as ends well, and she's very happy. There is always a Sundareshwara for every Meenakshi and a Mahavishnu for every Lakshmi, after all. Thank the Devargal he knows Tamil, I couldn't have been very happy otherwise either.

You too, Bharatvarsh: hold out for a proudly Telugu-speaking Hindu girl and bring up your many children, your larger number of grandchildren and your even more numerous great-grandchildren as glorious Telugu-(and Samskritam-)speaking Hindus. I first heard Telugu when I was little and have not forgotten to love it since. It is instantly and incredibly endearing. In my opinion, to hear it is to hear the music of Swargam. Sampoorna Ramayanam, Bhakta Prahlada I think it was, and Narthanashaala (?) - I was never the same after hearing Telugu spoken. I am so far gone, subconsciously I still think Rama spoke in Telugu after seeing SR <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->You too, Bharatvarsh: hold out for a proudly Telugu-speaking Hindu girl and bring up your many children, your larger number of grandchildren and your even more numerous great-grandchildren as glorious Telugu-(and Samskritam-)speaking Hindus.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Hear, Hear!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->You too, Bharatvarsh: hold out for a proudly Telugu-speaking Hindu girl and bring up your many children, your larger number of grandchildren and your even more numerous great-grandchildren as glorious Telugu-(and Samskritam-)speaking Hindus.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Well I have already thought about that and have even come up with extra safe guards so that my kids don't forget the language, simply marry someone who can't speak English, my Gujarati mitra did and he is doing fine, then the kids will have to talk in Telugu with their mother to make her understand, I know enuf people that get by without English in the West, it's no big deal.

On a side note Veyi Padagalu has been translated as Sahasra Phan into Hindi by PVN.

If Telugu is to survive then we need people like Amarar Kalki or a Bharatiyar writing in Telugu, novels that have something more to say than the routine love and affair trash.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+May 3 2007, 04:51 AM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ May 3 2007, 04:51 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->If Telugu is to survive then we need people like Amarar Kalki or a Bharatiyar writing in Telugu, novels that have something more to say than the routine love and affair trash.
I remember reading about Kalki's superb writings and wondering, if Telugu has any writers in that niche (historical fiction). I put this question to an elderly neighbour, and he replied: Mudigonda Sivaprasad is an eminent writer who is specializing in this particular niche.

I also believe Adavi Bapi Raju wrote some historical fiction. His <b>Himabindu</b>(set in the last days of the Vijayanagar empire) and <b>Gona Ganna Reddi</b>(set in the time of the Empress Rudramadevi) are both considered major classics in Telugu literature.
Post 45 (Bharatvarsha):
Don't mean the following as criticism, just my thoughts.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Well I have already thought about that and have even come up with extra safe guards so that my kids don't forget the language, simply marry someone who can't speak English, my Gujarati mitra did and he is doing fine, then the kids will have to talk in Telugu with their mother to make her understand, I know enuf people that get by without English in the West, it's no big deal.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->You've obviously given considerable thought to this. But I think it might be hard for a wife if she were living outside India and could not speak English. She'd be isolated - she'd have her husband of course, but that's all. Some Indian women tend to be snobbish and might look down on another who does not know English. So she might find it hard to make worthwhile friends of a similar background.
She would also be entirely dependent on you: if anything drastic happened (fire, explosion nearby) she won't be able to call for help and explain the problem. Her children can't ask her to help with their homework because it's in another medium. They won't know how clever she is and as they get older - though they will always love her - they might not choose to consult her in certain matters.
Not knowing the local language is a huge barrier. One can be very intelligent, but when one doesn't know the language one can be severely impeded in many basic day-to-day things, become frustrated, begin to develop feelings of low self-esteem, feel alone, get depressed. I've seen it happen to many older immigrants from China and Taiwan. Some of them persist and succeed - often because they want to give their children a safe and secure future, but a few find the struggle too great and return to Taiwan. Of course a young wife tends to be more resilient than older couples, and usually takes it in stride. Nevertheless stress and anxiety can build up - even when going grocery shopping, for instance. To be an immigrant somewhat speaking the language is hard enough, but to not know the language at all would be quite a challenge I suspect.

Canada is a bi-lingual country at least, but if it were a country like the US, the people there are pretty much insistent on everyone knowing English. A significant proportion of Americans are also highly paranoid and resentful about people (immigrants) who don't know and don't learn English - especially when they get on fine without it. There are so many Mexican communities in the southern parts of the US that most there speak Spanish in their communities and don't need to ever learn English. However, a young Telugu woman won't have such a large self-subsistent community to fall back on.

Perhaps widen your choice to including in your consideration someone who's studied English as a compulsory subject at late primary/early high school, but does not really speak it at home. That is, people for whom English has always been and will be a secondary language. (They will then be able to pick up English to use it when necessary, but still know and speak their own language with excellence.) There will be many such people in Andhra Pradesh I think, because there are many such young men and women in Tamil Nadu.

Alternatively, you'll have to spend a lot of time teaching English to her. Of course this could be fun, build confidence and strengthen ties - and involve watching lots of nice films with her <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> But it is also a time-intensive effort: time you might both rather spend on settling down into married life, smooth-running of routine and making things comfortable.

In my own family, there was one instance of a young couple long ago who moved to a neighbouring state. (I'm deliberately going to be vague in order to keep the details private.) The husband at least was going out to work everyday, but the wife was at home a lot, and there was no one to talk to because everyone spoke a different (admittedly also S Indian) language. No one understood Tamil. The husband taught himself the local language and also taught his wife, but even so it took many years. I was told by the husband that the isolation his wife felt must have been very great.
This can only be greater where couples move to outside India (for example, when my parents left India for the first time), to countries where even gestures are different. And of course, more importantly, where the culture and daily mode of life is utterly, profoundly different.
Today, moving to a different Indian state is far easier, so a spouse who speaks only Telugu will not have as much difficulty. But to move to another country could be very hard for her, I imagine.

Anyway, best of luck to you. You will find a wonderful wife, the perfect spouse for you and you'll both be very happy.

As a general suggestion, one of the most important things is to always teach one's spouse anything useful that one learns or has learnt, that might benefit her/him also. Sharing useful knowledge can often be as meaningful and valuable as sharing life's joys and sorrows, sharing daily comforts like food, sharing children, time, experiences. (I know this from old cases in my own family. Very romantic <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> )
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->You've obviously given considerable thought to this. But I think it might be hard for a wife if she were living outside India and could not speak English. She'd be isolated - she'd have her husband of course, but that's all. Some Indian women tend to be snobbish and might look down on another who does not know English. So she might find it hard to make worthwhile friends of a similar background.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Well in Toronto there are enough Telugu people, in my old apt there were at least 5 Telugu families so it's not isolated like say in America, plus fact is for emergencies like 911 they even have automatic translation of Telugu along with many other languages.

Plus I know of families where it has already worked out, two Gujarati families, one has a kid on the way but the wife don't know English and the other one recently married (both can't speak English but can read and write).

See my philosophy has always been "no pain then no gain", I can make sure that the kids speak Telugu even with a mother who can speak English but I am extra careful, plus as I said if you want certain things then you may have to give up other things, social isolation is not a big problem because down the line I can imagine how many more Telugu people will come here, the only thing is she maybe dependent on me for certain things and I am ok with that, in a country like US that may be impossible because like you said they are already upset about all the Hispanics but in Toronto you can get by pretty good especially if you are Tamil or Panjabi because as they say Brampton is "Browntown" and there are little Tamil Eelams all over Toronto.
Good stuff then.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->plus fact is for emergencies like 911 they even have automatic translation of Telugu along with many other languages.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo--> That's a first, never would have guessed.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> That's a first, never would have guessed. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Yep, here is an article about that:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->9-1-1 = Emergency in any language - Speak Your Language 
The City of Toronto is launching an awareness campaign to let people in
Toronto's diverse community know that they have access to free life-saving
9-1-1 emergency services in 150 different languages.

Councillor Olivia Chow, Chair of the Community Services Committee, visited a
bus shelter in Scarborough to unveil new posters designed to raise awareness
among non-English-speaking Toronto residents and visitors that they can obtain
emergency service in over 150 languages when they call 9-1-1. The posters are
being placed strategically in transit shelters and recycling bins across
Toronto where large populations of recent immigrants reside.

"We have to do what we can to prevent tragic situations where people don't call
9-1-1 because they believe they won't be understood," said Councillor Chow.
"Today we are telling the citizens of Toronto they can call 9-1-1 in their own
languages in a police, fire or medical emergency. Dispatchers can get an
interpreter on the line in seconds to get vital information or offer
instructions to the callers."

The posters say "9-1-1 = Emergency in any language" in English. Then, to speak
directly to Toronto's non-English speaking population, the phrase "911 =
Emergency - Speak Your Language" has been translated into eleven languages. Two
variations of the poster are being used for the campaign. At 59 transit
shelters, maintained by Viacom, posters will contain translations into Chinese
(simplified and traditional characters), Farsi, French, Korean, Tamil, and
Urdu. At 250 EUCAN recycling bins, the languages are Chinese (simplified and
traditional), French, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The locations of the posters have been selected to reach out to areas of
Toronto with the largest populations of new immigrants and non-English-speaking

"We hope people who see these posters will get the message and tell their
families and friends that they can call 9-1-1 and our emergency services will
help them, and that they can speak their own language," added Councillor Chow.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I also believe Adavi Bapi Raju wrote some historical fiction. His Himabindu(set in the last days of the Vijayanagar empire) and Gona Ganna Reddi(set in the time of the Empress Rudramadevi) are both considered major classics in Telugu literature. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Thanks for the info, will try to get a hold of them, it's good to know that such historical fiction has been produced.

I also found an interview of Mudigonda Sivaprasad:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Q. Tell us more about the novels you have written.

A. A historical novel needs, time taking research. To write the novel of 'Anubhava Mantapam', it took me almost seven years. I had to read a lot of references. It has been included in the syllabus at Gulbarga and Berhampur Universities. My 'Avahana' novel was serialised by the publishers of Telugu Jyothi in New Jearsy, USA. But the response evoked by the novel 'Srilekha' was tremendous. In fact, the name 'Srilekha' was adopted by many parents to christen their children.

I wrote about five novels on the Satavahana dynasty. Totally sixteen novels were penned by me.

Q. Which are your favourites among your own books?

A. Anubhava Mantapam, Avahana and Sri Paadarchana.

It may not just be fiction but anything that has a sense of adventure, I read Monte Cristo a year ago and couldn't put it down once I started.

The quintessential Telugu story I can think of is "Palnati Veera Charitra", this was also written down by the great Srinatha.
Talking about fictions in Historical background. There was a time when Hindi writers wrote several classics in History. Some writers even specialized purely in this niche. Jaya Shankar Prasad's Chandragupta is a classic which related the story of Chanakya and Chandragupta. The famous song 'Ham Karein Rashtra Aradhan' (We worship our nation) which was made so controversial yet famous by the TV serial Chanakya - is from this classic.

Acharya Hajari Prasad was another name, who took Historical background writings to another height. He wrote especially about middle ages, and in a very very scholarly and research oriented manner. His treatment of the history in his very famous 'Kabir' is still treated a classic in Hindi. He wrote several other very scholarly subjects of History - although less fictious more scholarly, yet popular.

Amongst those who leaned towards more fiction-oriented writings is Acharya Chatursen. In 50s and 60s he created several novels on Maratha, Vijayanagar, Rajputana etc, as well as on Mahabharat themes, and became very very popular. His 'Sahyadri ki Chattane' - Rocks of Sahyadri is a very popular Hindi novel , if not classical, deals with the early life of Shivaji through some fictious characters which tie the story together.

Dr Narendra Kohli is another novelist, who comes to mind, who had ventured into historical backgrounds. His 3-volume very lengthy novel 'todo kArA todo!' - 'tear the walls, tear!' dealt with the history using the narrative of Swami Vivekananda as the anchor.

Are we still creating and producing such novels in Indic languages?
A part of the whole article:

A Sacred Mantra to Save Endangered Cultures

My cousin in Hyderabad asks, "what is the purpose of Telugu?" Even street vendors and rikshawallahs in towns and villages speak Tenglish nowadays.  It saddens me to note that Telugu has no purpose for 75-80 million strong Telugus in Andhra Pradesh.  Some people argue that every living language has to influence and be influenced by other languages.  Languages give and take vocabulary.  Usually they point to English, which heavily borrowed from various European languages and the colonized languages.  It is true, but English borrowed words from various languages to increase the vocabulary. English usually does not replace English words with new vocabularies and forget English words altogether, like Telugu does.  Forgetting vocabulary is not a sign of growth, but a symptom of a debilitating disease that leads to death.

By immersing the youngsters in the language of their parents, we can save the language and thereby the culture. It seems more difficult to do this in Hyderabad than in America nowadays.  My daughter speaks only her mother tongue at home, while my friends across the street use only Tenglish or English at home with their children. I notice the same attitude in Bhaarat also.  My sister in Hyderabad uses Tenglish at home, and argues that for now my niece has to learn English day-to-day vocabulary and use in her conversation with her mother. It is very competitive even in kindergarten you know, especially in Bhaarat! Interestingly, with greater recognition and celebration of cultural differences, today, immigrant Americans are more likely to maintain and share their ancestral language with their children and to promote bilingualism as a reflection of ethnic pride and identity.

The concept of bilingualism and teaching two languages at a young age is not among Indians in general and in Andhra Pradesh in particular.  My friends insist that they would teach their children Telugu later! One persistent argument against teaching two languages to a two-year-old is that it confuses the child.  You may not believe it, but it is true that the daycare centers in Andhra Pradesh admonish the parents and ask them to stop teaching Telugu at home, if they want their children to succeed in kindergarten!  If you spoke Telugu, you have to wash your mouth with soap! Without a doubt, this kind of attitude discourages people from speaking the native language in schools in Andhra Pradesh and Bhaarat. I think this is perverted and wrong. 

Contrary to widely held beliefs in Andhra Pradesh and among Indians, most researchers agree that a child who is exposed to two languages at an early age and simultaneously, will naturally learn to use both languages.12  In general, speech-language problems are less likely to occur when both languages are introduced early and simultaneously.  Children may also experiment with the two languages to express themselves in specific settings. For example, one language may be identified with daddy (foreign tongue) and the other with mommy (mother tongue): this has been working very well for us so far.  Or one language used for home and family and the other for school and activities outside the home. This should work very well for Andhra Pradesh as the successive state and central governments have been resolutely working either in Hindi or English only, to eliminate the state and local languages from the mainstream, with a shrewd intent to make Bhaarat speak one language, perhaps Hindi, for the unity of the Union.

Even more absurd is that while people are struggling to learn two languages and are giving up on their mother tongue, most of the state governments have the so-called "three-language" formula! Many policy makers argue that we need to learn Hindi.  They argue that the money spent on Hindi is from Central Government, so it doesn't hurt Telugus to learn a third language.  They point out the advantages of learning many languages.  This argument goes counter to the argument presented by my cousin above.  But, the same people would argue for the three-language formula!  We cannot even handle one language, but we have lofty goals of mastering three languages. There is a saying in Telugu, "uTTikekka lEnamma swargaanikekkutundaTa," meaning roughly, "a person who cannot climb on to attic desires to rise to the heaven!"  Actually, I would like to learn Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and a couple of African languages as well, if I can.  The father of Indian reforms and the modern Indian economy, the Former Prime Minister Venkatanarasimharao Pamulaparti (PV)13 was a polyglot who had knowledge in 17 languages.  So, it is not impossible to master many languages.  But first, don't we have to learn our mother tongue enough to maintain a trivial conversation at the dining table without indulging in bombastic English words for cup, curd, curry, glass, milk, plate, rice, spoon etc?

Other Indian languages are disappearing as well. The native speakers are dying off (by adopting a new language). The Indian national languages cannot compete against English, which is pervasive through television and other forms of pop culture. The native language is going to be gone if we don't do something. The best people to learn a language are kids in the developmental stage of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

Unlike other dominant languages, Telugu doesn't have books to teach Telugu to foreigners.  We didn't even have a thesaurus in Telugu until recently.  An American citizen (Rao Vemuri) compiled the only one I know of!14 If you visit any bookstores or music-stores anywhere in the world you would find lullabies and nursery songs in the local language, but not in Andhra Pradesh.  Native Telugus have to do more.

To preserve the language, recording everyday Telugu conversations on audio and videotapes, popularizing Telugu conversation - not Tenglish conversation - then transcribing and translating the conversations for the spread of Telugu globally has to be taken up. It has to include people engaging in various vocations, preparing dinner, eating meals, and even playing games. 

Telugu is the official language of the State of Andhra Pradesh.  However, it is not implemented strictly.  Government departments and agencies, including the central government institutions stationed in the state, should set up special units staffed by fluent Telugu-speakers (not Tenglish speakers) to serve the people. The working language of the state should be Telugu and every Telugu has to promote Telugu, (not Tenglish). A bilingual state is a state where the principal institutions provide services in two languages to citizens.  Unfortunately, Andhra Pradesh is a tetra-lingual state (English, Hindi, Telugu and Urdu) with a three-language formula and, paradoxically, fails miserably to provide services in Telugu.  Whatever, they claim to have provided in Telugu is only a lip service.  Every document received by my mother in Hyderabad from any government institution or private institution or utility services requires help of an English educated neighbor because of extensive use of English.  It appears as if the state governments have conspired with the central government to eliminate the state languages and do business in Hindi and English only. 

Ultimately, it all depends on native populations in their own native lands, e.g., Telugus living in Andhra Pradesh. Unless the attitude of the people and the governments change, the collective march of our languages and cultures toward extinction is inevitable.  I am afraid the Indian cultures may be on the path to eradication in a short while, unless they do something about it now.15 Let us hope the international seminar on 'Telugu culture and performing arts: philosophical dimensions' that is being organized by Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University from December 29, 2004 will have some impact.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Venkataramamurthy Gidugu (1862-1940)

Venkataramamurthy Gidugu was one of the very few people with great vision who saw the importance of the speech of the common people and devoted their lives to bring radical changes in language use. He was the leader of a movement for spoken language - vyavaharika bhasha.

Every language has several distinct forms such as written language, spoken language, archaic language, dead language etc. The poetic Telugu language is kavya bhasha. The written language in prose is called grandhika bhasha. The spoken language is vyavaharika.  It is considered that until after Srinadha's time there was no difference between poetic and spoken languages. However, later the spoken language changed and a gulf between the spoken and poetic languages emerged.  Until Chinnayasuri there was no difference between spoken and written language. However, Chinnayasuri changed this and used poetic language in his prose, which was popularized as written language in schools.

The development of people depends on their language skills. When language literacy is limited to the educated, the rest of the society is denied the opportunity for development.  Gidugu came out victorious in the battle against the proponents of grandhika who wrongly equated vyavaharika with gramya (related to village), meaning "uneducated," and/or "vulgar".

The unfortunate situation in Telugu nation today is that even the educated - the cream of the society - has difficulty in mastering two languages- Telugu and English.  They are speaking Tenglish today due to their inability to speak fluently in any single language. Also, to make matters worse, nobody is ever ashamed of his/her inability to speak without jumping into English for s/he has no vocabulary in Telugu to express clearly.  On the contrary, it is really shameful to speak Telugu without English words and sentences, because such Telugu is considered gramya or vulgar. Thus, vyavaharika is fast becoming mostly Tenglish.  Telugus desperately need another Gidugu, who was popularly known as pidugu (thunderbolt), to reform the educated Tenglish speakers - the so-called cream of the Telugu society - who have no respect for basic Telugu words such as mother and father and lost their ability to retain such basic vocabulary in their language- Tenglish.  Telugu will become extinct and replaced by Tenglish even in villages - where the so-called uneducated live now - as the literacy (which, unfortunately in Andhra Pradesh, means knowing and using English and Hindi) increases to 100%.

Ramamurthy Gidugu also tirelessly worked for the development of tribal languages like Savara. Savara is a Munda tribe living in the borders of Andhra and Orissa. Savara tribal people did not even have a script for their language.  He gave Savara language a script and prepared lexicons. During his research for Savara language he had to travel in the forests resulting in excessive use of quinine and became deaf.  He lost all his property in Parlakimidi in the fight to include Parlakimidi in Andhra during the reorganization of states. For more on Gidudu please visit: http://www.languageinindia.com/dec2002/visionaries.html

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Culture: Thus, Telangana was coerced to develop a distinct culture and language in the past 7 centuries under Muslim autocratic rule. The language of Telangana may be termed Turdu, a language dominated by Urdu vocabulary written in Telugu script. While Andhra had developed a Telugu dominated by Sanskrit and English. Even the food habits were influenced by Muslim and Western cultures. Even traditionally vegetarian, yoga practitioners and believers of non-violence like Brahmins in Telangana proudly proclaim that they relish chicken and mutton biryani, a Hyderabad special!

Is it a constitutional stupidity or political suaveness to distinguish and segregate the slaves into forward, backward, scheduled groups when all of them had served under Islamic and Christian yoke for a millennium? Is there any relevance to obsolete Brahmin Manu’s principles in India except to use them as fuel for attacks on Hinduisms by anti-Hindu groups like proselytizing and militant Jihadis and Christians, Pakistanis, communists, leftists, dalit Christians , crusaders and the likes? A millennium of Muslim rule under Shariat and centuries of British rule under common law in India has impacted Indian Jurisprudence. The fact of the matter is that the so-called Hindu law is derived from common law of England and has nothing to do with plethora of ancient diverse regional laws of the Indian Continent. And, of course, Shariat continues to rule!

What about dress? Men’s wear changed long time ago. They gave up their traditional lungi and dhoti and took Islamic kurtapajama and then European dress. Every aspect of life in the society has been influenced, including the genes . One can write several books on each and every individual cultural, physical, genetic change that Indians have experienced. I leave it to cultural mavens, geneticists and anthropologists.

Well, that was all in the past during the horrible millennium of slavery and before! What is happening now? Let us look at a fundamental aspect of culture, the language. I am not a snooty linguist or leftist phony historian to decipher arcane mysteries of language evolution, but let us take a look at it from the perspective of a layman!

In the past 50 years, Turdu speaking Telangana and Telugu speaking Andhra and Rayalaseema in the new democratic state of Andhra Pradesh have developed a new language and culture, of their own sweet accord without any coercion form any autocratic or imperialist rule. Today, the language in Andhra Pradesh is Tenglish, a Telugu dominated by English vocabulary. The words borrowed from English include such fundamental vocabulary like father, mother, brother, sister, wife, family, gender, food, water, milk, rice, air, numbers, home, house, hall, flat, apartment, animals like dogs, cats, etc., verbs and activities like, eat, sleep, make love, sex, love, live, brush, wash, bath, bathe, think, thank etc., fruits, vegetables and flowers like apples, banana, tomatoes, jasmine, roses etc., colors like violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red etc. Body parts like ears, teeth, nose, hair, skin etc., diseases and conditions like fever, cold, cough, tired, headache etc., body fluids like phlegm, tears, semen, blood etc. replaced the old, archaic and embarrassing words! Words borrowed and modified by English from Telugu like curry, bandicoot etc. are now in Tenglish in their modified English forms. And of course, there are technical terms and inventions that must be borrowed from English or Latin, as Europeans discovered them, like car, bus, train, phone, etc. The list is endless.

By the way, they are replacing only those basic words that were borrowed from Sanskrit and Urdu! It is cyclical, just like life! By the end of the first millennium of Christian era, various kings of this region voluntarily embraced Sanskrit, invited Sanskrit speaking Brahmins from everywhere and by the time Muslims came Telugu was Sanskritized so much that until recently it was considered one of the Indo-European Sanskrit languages. So, some extremist Telugu chauvinists wish to translate (or misappropriate?) technical words for inventions and ideas they didn’t know and invent like car, TV, phone, Windows 95, (maybe) Bill Gates etc., into Telugu using Sanskrit vocabulary. If I were a Tenglish or if the Americans had their way, my name would be easily pronounceable "Wealthy-Sir Neem-Bitter " (Sreenivasa-rao Vepa-chedu ) or simply Rich Bitterman! Note that American government tempted me with that opportunity to change my name free of any hassles two times! While educated Hyderabad citizens told my mother that it was inappropriate to use Telugu word annamu and that the proper word was rice at functions in Hyderabad. Sad part of it is that my mother knows more Telugu literature than many of them and yet she is considered uneducated by Tenglish standards. And I have to add that she is now as educated as other Tenglish Hyderabadis are, much to my annoyance and frustration.

Last year when I visited Hyderabad to attend my brother’s marriage, I went to a barbershop. The barber thought I was a villager visiting Hyderabad! He not only disliked my hairstyle, but also my language! Why? Because I was worse than an uneducated villager! Today, even an uneducated villager uses some Tenglish! Note that Andhra Pradesh is one of the most uneducated and illiterate states in the Indian Union! Telangana is the lowest with less than 36% literacy! Yet, I say bagunnara, they say "havaar yu ?" I say namaskaaramu, they say hello. I say snaanalagadi , they say baathroomu. I say annamu, they say raisu. I say okati, they say van (one). I say uppu, they say saalTu (salt)…. Well, you get the idea. I am not talking their language. My language is dead. My language is Telugu. Their language is Tenglish . Good thing about it is that Telugu joined the group of great languages like Sanskrit and Latin! The Tenglish don’t understand Telugu any more than they understand Sanskrit or Latin! Actually, you can never express in Telugu sentences like "I love you," "thank you," etc. without feeling extremely awkward! I feel like a Thescelosaurus (vegetarian dinosaur) amongst modern omnivores!

The Benefits: As a matter of fact, life is easier now. I can simply speak English and the Tenglish will understand me better! In every office, Tenglish gets the job done. In every home Tenglish has more currency. I just have to be careful not to be an arrogant American and add a couple of Tenglish words here and there and my English would be very good Tenglish! Anybody can do it, even a Russian who can speak some English! Amazing! Isn’t it?

And out of my sheer selfishness, I feel sad because I can't speak anywhere my language anymore. Of course, the bitterness is not only due to my family name, but also due to lack of enough practice of yoga as required by my family tradition to attain Nirvana. Let me digress a little bit here. You see, it requires a minimum threshold level of practice to get the benefit of any process. To get the benefits of meditation one has to meditate at least 40 minutes per sitting. Don’t forget that you need to do aerobic exercises for one hour to get their benefits and practice yoga exercises for another hour and then do yoga meditation. Who has the time? Nevertheless, if you want peace and health, you have no choice!

After all, who can stop the tide and control human nature? The Tenglish know better! The Tenglish people of Andhra Pradesh have a unique quality, which makes them the fittest supple and malleable survivors (be careful, I didn’t say ‘spineless’) and helps them through slavery and freedom equally! This ability is also responsible for their survival as Hindus for now. At least 50% of the population in Hyderabad City and 70% in Andhra Pradesh is still Hindu (including millions of Dalit Christians that are counted as Hindus), even after 700 years of Muslim rule, much to the chagrin of Gilanis, Osamas, Pakistanis, communists, leftists, and the likes. Although it is a foregone conclusion, but it takes at least another millennium to wipeout all Hinduisms from the Indian Continent , unless Jihadis and proselytizers come up with a better and aggressive plan. Thus the Tenglish technique guarantees Hindu survival for the time being.

This accomplishment also makes the life of an English speaker easier in Hyderabad, at least until English is replaced by another useful language which may not happen until several hundreds of years from now, hopefully. Also, that is why Telugus didn’t need a Telugu dictionary until C. P. Brown came along to Christianize (enlighten). They still don’t have a Thesaurus, because C. P. Brown failed to prepare one! Even if I want to teach my children my dead Telugu language, I don’t have the resources. One great payoff of this is that I don’t have to teach my children my dead Telugu at all. They will do better than me in Hyderabad with just English! Now Tenglish people just have to get rid of their script and adopt roman script. Thanks to Internet, it is already happening!

Conclusion: The Tenglish should feel vindicated and proud when they read Jerry Knowles’ comments in this 1997 article . Tamils would do better if they use Tamglish and stop fighting for Elam in Sri Lanka, and, of course, only if Sinhalese became Singlish. I wish the French were as wise as the Tenglish and scrapped their strict rules related to their language and developed Frenglish! Similarly, Runglish, Spanglish, Itanglish, etc. are better than their counterparts. World would be a better place, if everybody learns the Tenglish way - the best way and the Tao!

avaru Tenglishu madaru ku jasminu gaarlanDu (Jasmine Garland to Our Tenglish Mother)

Better yet,

jasminu gaarlanDu Tu avaru Tenglishu madaru (Jasmine Garland to Our Tenglish Mother)

haava haappi nyu yiyaru! <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Sreenivasarao Vepachedu

The last sentences are a Tenglish translation of the famous Telugu saying "Ma Telugu Thalliki Malle Puvvu Dhanda" (Jasmine garland to our mother Telugu).
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->You may not believe it, but it is true that the daycare centers in Andhra Pradesh admonish the parents and ask them to stop teaching Telugu at home, if they want their children to succeed in kindergarten!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Putting a child in a daycare center as a way of outsourcing your obligations to him, is the best possible way to transform his culture completely. He will grow up with little or no connection to the language, culture and values of his parents.

Sometimes I wonder if it makes any difference at all, considering that the parents want exactly this - the little yuppie schoolboy with as few traditional hang-ups as possible, speaking English fluently. No matter, they can always wax eloquent on their "Hindu heritage", and write Hindu narratives.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->`Convent culture eclipsing Telugu'

By Our Staff Reporter

KURNOOL, FEB. 4. The Vice-Chancellor of Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Md. Iqbal Ahmed, has said convent culture is eclipsing mother tongue in the State.

Addressing the function organised to commemorate the 495th coronation day of Vijayanagara emperor, Sri Krishnadevaraya, here on Wednesday, sponsored by the Telugu Vikasa Udyamam, Dr. Ahmed said terms needed for administrative jargon could be collected in plenty from the writings of Mudigonda Sivaprasad and Lalladevi. Collection of such terms would enrich Telugu language, he felt.

He said all signboards on the Krishnadevaraya University campus were written in Telugu and efforts were being made to unveil the bronze statue of Srikrishnadevaraya in whose memory the university was set up. He suggested releasing of a postal stamp on Krishnadevaraya, who contributed greatly for expansion of Vijayanagara empire and popularising of Telugu language and literature.

The former MLA, T.G. Venkatesh, who presided over the function, said though Andhra Pradesh was the first linguistic State in the country, much could not be done to popularise Telugu. Besides learning other languages for flexibility of communication, more importance should be given to mother tongue, he said and referred to the patronage extended to Tamil language by the people in that State. He called for use of Telugu language in courts saying that since judiciary was dealing with the problems of common man, the medium should be mother tongue. He called upon writers to popularise the language to promote it.

Use of Sanskritised Telugu would not help in any way promotion of the language. He said the Government should also take certain measures for forcible implementation of mother tongue until it stuck roots. Telugu scholars Gadiyaram Ramakrishna Sarma, A. Venkata Subbaiah, the historian, Maddiah, the chairman of District Libraries Society, K.G. Gangadhara Reddy, the president of Telugu Bhasha Udyamam, Chandrasekhara Kalkura, J.S.R.K. Sarma, Gandluri Dattatreya Sarma and others spoke on the contribution of Srikrishnadevaraya in promoting Telugu language and literature. Earlier, a rally was taken out from the Central Library to the Collectorate.

I do agree with the last point that use of too much Sanskritised Telugu is a hindrance but only as long as Telugu has it's own words, for example paamu is understood by more people than sarpam for snake, so use colloquial but when new terms are needed use Sanskrit or old Telugu words as the base to create these new words.

I also found "Sivaji" (on Chhatrapathi Shivaji) by Lalladevi here:


It also has "Gona Ganna Reddy" mentioned above at the same link on the left side.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sometimes I wonder if it makes any difference at all, considering that the parents want exactly this - the little yuppie schoolboy with as few traditional hang-ups as possible, speaking English fluently. No matter, they can always wax eloquent on their "Hindu heritage", and write Hindu narratives. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
But the irony is that many of them cannot speak English properly, I know so many people who can read and write English well but will be stuck for words and use all sorts of nonsensical grammar (present tense is mixed up wid past tense and so on) to get through the English conversation, it's total comedy when that happens, the gora on the other side has to ask 10 times to pardon him before he gets what they are saying and these lot speak Tenglish with gusto which is the ironic thing.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sometimes I wonder if it makes any difference at all, considering that the parents want exactly this - the little yuppie schoolboy with as few traditional hang-ups as possible, speaking English fluently. No matter, they can always wax eloquent on their "Hindu heritage", and write Hindu narratives.

Exactly! Hindu heritage has been lived, preserved, and passed on to generations in INDIC languages. All the thousands of years of experience lives and vibrates in these languages. Can we 'translate' that experience in a few words expressed in a language that was not built and meant and suiatble for expressing that experience? Acharya Rajneesh had once said, 'hamaari bhashayen buddhon ki bhasha hain', our languages are languages of the Buddhas. Can it be replaced by something else, and can still the tradition of experience flow uninturrupted? Hardly!

It will be as artificial as singing an English Gazal.

Can the generations, who can never understand the bhava contained in the innocent words of vAtsalya of Surdas or devotion of Tulsidas and Tyagaraja or nirgun of Kabirdas or Eknath ever be able to appreciate what really was experienced by millions before them through those songs and padas? I dont think so. Then they will create and depend upon the Hindu narratives which will be only artificial kagaz-ke-phool - the never-alive paper-flowers. Life would have departed, No matter how much you try.

But then these are exactly those who have never been able to appreciate the worth of our traditions. Pity those.
Those were heartfelt, almost poetic words ! <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
And I agree fully.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)