August 11, 2006

The original super star returns

The MGR charisma is back...His 1958 film 'Nadodi Mannan' has been released in theaters and it is running to packed houses. I had always wanted to see the Shivaji's fiery Parasakthi, MGR's charismatic Aayirathil Oruvan, Sridhar's comedy riot Kadalikka neram illai on the big screen. Perhaps ..if the main stream cinema halls decides to screen them..

In the meanwhile..wonder how Kabhi Alvidha Naa Kehna is..
Please move aside marketing moghuls..Karan just knows how to market his films..The film is declared to be a super hit just on the basis of advance bookings itself.


nalliyakkodan said...

Suganthi please read Annas Story on Hindi.
A man had two dogs - a big one and a small one. He wanted his dogs to go in and out of the house freely without him having to keep the house door open all the time. So he built two "trap doors" - one big trap door for the big dog and one small for the small dog. Neighbors who saw these two doors laughed at him and called him an idiot. Why put a big door and a small door? All that was needed was the big door. Both the big and the small dog could use it!
Indian government's arguments for making Hindi the official or link language of India are as ridiculous as the need for a big door and a small door for the big dog and the small dog. Indian government agrees that English is needed for communication with the world, and every school in India teaches English after the fifth grade. Then the Indian government says that all of us should know Hindi also in order to communicate amongst ourselves within India. I ask, "Since every school in India teaches English, why can't it be our link language? Why do Tamils have to study English for communication with the world and Hindi for communications within India?

nalliyakkodan said...

By Mahadevi Varma on Suuny's blog.
I am leading figure of hindi literature I have to acknowledge that my language hindi is a stupid language when compared to Tamil. I have written a poem in Hindi comparing hindi and Tamil.
Hum log kya boltha hein
Hindi ka tamil bada basha mein
Tamil basha ko purana hein
hindi key hamara bein
Sochna padega uthar me jayega
choti si bath yadon ki bharat
kismet mein Hindi ka karo
Hindi ek pagal basha bolo
Tamil compare ka sundar basha hein

What shall I say about this world
about the greatness of hindi or Tamil
Tamil is the oldest language
Hindi is the youngest language
Study and think and go thither
think and act now and never
Our fate that we speak in Hindi
A mad language without doubt we speak
Pales before beautiful Tamil

nalliyakkodan said...

Hindi, English and the future of India -from Samachar
Inaugurating a seminar on Mahatma Gandhi and the role of Hindi in the National Movement in Delhi last month Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee bitterly asked why the nation has not been able to make Hindi an official language even after 56 years of Independence. "It is a bitter truth that even now Hindi has not been able to achieve that desired position. What happened that we have not been able to make it an effective language of communication? Why have we failed in the endeavour?" he asked. And he added: "Hindi ki baat bahut hoti hai. Lekin Hindi me baat kam hoti hai" (There is much talk about Hindi. But there is less talk in Hindi".
The Prime Minister wanted to know why when the entire world accepted Gandhiji's thought and philosophy, his pleas for adoption of Hindi as a national language was not that heeded by his countrymen. Vajpayee referred to the anti- Hindi agitation in the South way back in the sixties but added: "The real fight is not between Hindi and the regional languages nor between Hindi and English but between Indian and English mentality". With all due respect to Vajpayee it has to be said that he is way off the mark. He is correct in saying that the fight is not between Hindi and the regional languages. Hindi films are popular throughout the length and breadth of the country. There are more private schools teaching Hindi in Chennai than probably anywhere else. The Tamilians, like other non-Hindi speaking people know the value of Hindi to ignore it. But if scarcely anyone shows much interest in Hindi publicly, it is because the Hindi belt in India just does not appreciate the truth that it has a responsibility to meet the sensibilities of the people down south adequately.
The presumption in the north is that since Hindi has been accepted as the national language it is the bounden duty of all people whose mother tongue is not Hindi to make special efforts to learn it. Which is all very well; but there is an element of arrogance about this. When the Constituent Assembly was discussing the matter of national language it was agreed that the educational system must follow a three-language formula.
Southern schools were to study English, the local language (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu) and Hindi. The schools in the Hindi belt were expected to teach English, Hindi of course, and a third language which could be anyone of the five `Dravidian' languages. There is hardly a single school in the Hindi belt that makes a serious effort to teach any of these languages. The `third' language invariably turned out to be Sanskrit. What kind of mentality does that betray? Has Vajpayee given it any thought? Has he ever sought to convince the schools in the Hindi belt the absolute, imperative necessity of teaching children any one of the five Dravidian languages so that they can build rapport with their contemporaries down south? Can Vajpayee, for instance, himself say a few words in Telugu or Kannada or Tamil to connect with the people? He cannot.
None of the Prime Ministers from the North, whether it was Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, I. K. Gujral, Chandrashekar, V. P. Singh or Charan Singh was proficient in saying as much as `thank you' in any of the Dravidian languages. What kind of mentality does it betray? Was it a fight, as the Prime Minister said, between Indian and English mentalities or is it simply a case of Hindi arrogance? `Learning languages is a two-way traffic. If it is incumbent, for whatever reason, on the part of the people south of the Vindhyas to learn Hindi, it is courtesy, if nothing else, for people north of the mountain ranges to learn one of the Dravidian languages. When people down south realise that those up north are making a serious effort to communicate with them, it gives the whole subject a major lift. It brings people together and that is the prelude to establishing Hindi as a national language not only legally, but in the hearts of people.
The people down south are expected to make an effort to learn Hindi. No effort is expected on the part of students in the north to learn a non-Hindi language. Patriotism implies that people speaking Hindi make a special effort to learn one of the great languages of the south. It may be remembered that Tamil is not only more ancient than Hindi, it is older even than Sanskrit. It richly deserves to be respected.
Fancy the kind of unity that will come about if Vajpayee can communicate with a Karunanidhi or a Jayalalithaa in Tamil or Advani can address a mass meeting in Karnataka in Kannada! Have they ever thought about that? Next comes the role of English in India. We may hate the British f o r exploiting our riches, we may decry their imperialism, but they gave us English as a gift and it has made us competitive in the world of science. If today so many firms in the US and UK are outsourcing their IT jobs to India it is because Indians are highly proficient in English Indeed more people speak English in India than Britons in Britain or Americans in the United States of America. In this regard we have a definite advantage over China.
We can beat China if not on the technical expertise front, certainly on the language front. And we have to continue patronising English which has now become for all intents and purposes, an Indian language, much more so than even Urdu. We should be proud of the fact that currently Britain wants Indian teachers to teach English to English students. That surely is sweet revenge against British imperialism! The fact of the matter is that English is on the way to becoming a truly international language, a truth accepted even by the European Union.
In India it has become absolutely essential that our children are taught English, considering that by the year 2020 India will have 231 million people in the age group 15-24 years who will need gainful employment. IT information Technology has to be the lever and that means English will have to be the instrument for accessing jobs. It is not that information technology can provide all the jobs but I will provide a large portion of jobs and that fact cannot be ignored.
This does not mean that we have to ignore Indian languages, be it Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi or the five Dravidian languages. They have their allotted place in our hearts and they must remain there. It would be a poor nation if it forgets its own linguistic culture. It is significant that Indian language newspapers are doing very well and have increased circulation, which is as it should be. We forget our mother tongues at our peril. But that said there can be no underestimation of the importance of English in the contemporary world.
It will be remembered how at one stage Gujarat sought to downgrade English in the educational system in the spirit of linguistic jingoism. It turned out to be a futile exercise and Gujarat paid for it dearly when advertisers specifically pointed out that students from Gujarat universities need not apply for jobs. That was an eye-opener. That same spirit of linguistic jingoism had moved West Bengal as well when the teaching of English in schools was given less importance.
The excuse given was that when the Leftist government had come to power a quarter of a century ago, its aim was universal education. Now a spokesman of the West Bengal Government says that things have changed and "with just a few lakh students remaining out of school we can afford to teach English at the primary levels". From now on English would be taught in government-run schools from Classs I. A revolution is now taking place in West Bengal.
As Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya put it, teaching of English at the primary level has become necessary for the state's progress. He must have taken his lesson from British Prime Minister Tony Blair who had suggested that "with languages, the earlier you start, the easier they are". And Class I is where the teaching of English should begin. But this is talking from a strictly practical point of view.
To get jobs, knowledge of English is a must. To be competitive it is even more important. Indian economy has hit the fast track, the latest figures indicating that in the last quarter, growth has been 8.4 per cent. If we have to stay the course, we have to be better than anybody else in the Service or IT Sector.
According to one study India has already more than 200 million middle class people armed with computers and low-cost communications. What can they possibly do without an adequate knowledge of English? That knowledge opens up better opportunities to the study of engineering and other technical subjects, and creation of skilled labour. On a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being the highest) Indian skilled labour stands as high as 7.4, higher than the U.S. at 7.2 and only slightly lower than Germany with 7.5. As for availability of qualified engineers is concerned India is at the top with a score of 8.5, beating Brazil (7.5), U.S. (7.4) and Germany (6.6).
With our Huge population and availability of English-teaching schools we can take on the world-which is exactly what we should do, especially because, with a little effort, we can. As the reader would by now have noticed, there are two aspects to the language controversy in India, namely, the place of English and the importance of making Hindi the national language. There is no way we can ignore English. This has nothing to do with mentalities, as Vajpayee would want us to believe. English has to be learnt, and learnt well, out of sheer necessity.
Indeed we should even reach a stage when Indians would be the teachers of English in the English-speaking world. As for Hindi being visibly and audibly seem as India's national language, Vajpayee must see to it that south Indian languages are taught in north Indian schools compulsorily. It should be obligatory and no excuses should be entertained. In the circumstances Vajpayee has an obligation to meet and one hopes he will bravely meet it in his second term as Prime Minister. Insist on Dravidian languages being taught in north Indian schools. Only then will the Prime Minister see how fast Hindi will get accepted as the national language of the country. Quick action is better than low complaining.

sugan said...

OOps Nalliyakkodan..I thought U had added comments on MGR & films..

the comments on language imposition had added a different perspective