CIRCULARS IN LANGUAGE OF MINORITIES LAND IN TROUBLE
Harold F. Schiffman
haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu May 6 14:35:47 UTC 2004
Members of this list:
I received the original message about this from a listserv I'm on devoted
to Kannada language issues in the US, but the website for this newspaper,
on that date, is:
I did a search on this page for more on this issue, and came up with a
letter to the editor from Kannadigas in the UK, to wit:
UK Kannadiga backs non-Kannada circulars
This has reference to the report titled Circulars in language of
minorities land in trouble (SOM dt. April 30).
The so-called researchers and doctors talk about 'deep conspiracy to
disintegrate Karnataka in a phased manner'; little do they understand that
their actions seem to disintegrate India in a phased manner.
Why do they still cling on to the ideals of yesteryears, which make no
sense in the era of new economy and liberalised India where trade /
commerce can take place across State boundaries and languages paving the
way for a better economy and living conditions for its citizens?
I don't see why it should be a problem if the circulars are issued in
additional languages. It will aid the people from other States understand
The main purpose of circulars are to inform the people of important
matters, and addition of other languages just seem to serve the purpose
better. When other countries have accepted Indian languages to issue
circulars etc., (Singapore, Malaysia) due to a vast number of minorities
speaking the Indian language, I don't see why it should be a problem in a
State within India.
Our country is full of fanatics who fight for a cause blindly with no
reasoning. India can progress only when reasoning and common sense gain
the upper hand.
M. Vasanth, on e-mail, United Kingdom, 1.5.2004
It also seems to me to be a case of "fear of incrementalism" i.e. if you
give them an inch, they'll take a mile. Same fear we see in the US--if you
let people vote (or whatever) in Spanish or Chinese, next thing you know
the English language will be banned.
On Thu, 6 May 2004, Margaret Ronkin wrote:
> In haste--I may be a bit "off"--
> I think this has to do with fear of minority language voices (which attach to minority language speakers) rising up against the hierarchical system of sub-state, state, and national languages in India. At the state level, we are among speakers of Kannada, a Dravidian language (correct me Hal, please, if my caffeine and/or my sociolx haven't kicked in), which appears to be designated an official language in Karnataka state, and has lots of supportive trappings like a Kannada Development Authority and various lobbying organizations. The order/plan announced in the article applies to Karnataka. The order/plan would recognize a number of minority languages in addition to Kannada for the conduct of transactions that are now conducted in Kannada and in English (at least officially) in various districts and locales within that state. You can bet that these minority languages have their entrenched lobbies as well. A researcher, Dr. M. Chidananda Murthy, has condemned the order/pla!
> terming it a 'deep conspiracy to disintegrate Karnataka in a phased manner' and to wipe out Kannada. Discourse analysts will find many such 'deep conspiracies' in South Asian political commentary. Following the presentation of this 'evidence' and a bit more, the unnamed reporter inserts a quote attributed to Minister Mr. S. M. Krishna to end the article by quoting the urging of agitations/protests against what is seen by some as an 'anti-Kannada' order.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "P. Kerim Friedman" <kerim.list at oxus.net>
> Date: Thursday, May 6, 2004 8:47 am
> Subject: Re: CIRCULARS IN LANGUAGE OF MINORITIES LAND IN TROUBLE
> > Can anyone explain this to me? I've read it three times and I still
> > don't understand what the issue is that is being disputed. Maybe
> > I'm
> > just still not awake this morning...
> > - kerim
> > On May 6, 2004, at 8:37 AM, Harold F. Schiffman wrote:
> > > Forwarded from Star of Mysore
> > >
> > >
> > > CIRCULARS IN LANGUAGE OF MINORITIES LAND IN TROUBLE
> > >
> > > Bangalore, Apr. 30 (KVV)- The State Government has
> > > reportedly
> > > issued an order to the Heads of Departments to issue important
> > > Government
> > > Orders (GOs), notifications, rules etc., to benefit the linguistic
> > > minorities also in their own language. The State Government has
> > issued> the disputed order on Mar. 31 and the same has triggered a
> > controversy> with Kannada Sahithya Parishat and Pro-Kannada
> > activists opposing it.
> > > They
> > > have urged the Government to immediately withdraw the disputed
> > order,> failing which, they would launch agitations. The disputed
> > order has
> > > been
> > > issued under the seal and signature of Mr. C. Krishnamurthy, Under
> > > Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms
> > > (DPAR).
> > >
> > >
> > > The Government Order has instructed the Heads of
> > > Departments
> > > to issue important Government Orders, notifications, rules etc.,
> > also
> > > in
> > > the language of linguistic minorities alongwith Kannada and English
> > > language. According to the said order, prominent Government
> > orders and
> > > notifications should be issued in Tamil and Telugu for Bangalore
> > > District,
> > > Urdu and Telugu for Bangalore Rural, Marathi, Urdu (Belgaum, Bidar,
> > > Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Shimoga Districts) Telugu and Urdu
> > > (Bellary
> > > District), Malayalam, Konkani, Tulu (Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu
> > > Districts).
> > >
> > > A conspiracy
> > >
> > > Researcher Dr. M. Chidananda Murthy has condemned the
> > order> terming it a 'deep conspiracy to disintegrate Karnataka in a
> > phased> manner' and to wipe out Kannada. He said that Chief
> > Minister Mr. S.M.
> > > Krishna may not be aware of the consequences of the order. Dr.
> > Murthy> said that such kind of order cannot be issued even in
> > States like
> > > Andhra
> > > Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala. In Maharashtra,
> > there are
> > > a
> > > large number of Kannadigas, but does the Government of Maharashtra
> > > promulgate such an order in favour of linguistic minorities ?" he
> > > questioned.
> > >
> > > "Where is the end, if the Government goes on issuing
> > orders> like this? The Kannada Development Authority should
> > immediately take
> > > serious note of this," he demanded. The office of the Kannada
> > > Development
> > > Authority is located in Vidhana Soudha from where the disputed
> > order
> > > was
> > > issued. The KDA came into existence with the sole objective of
> > > implementing Kannada as the official language in the State. Kannada
> > > Development Authority should prove its existence, he said.
> > >
> > > KDA keeps mum
> > >
> > > "If the KDA observes silence in this regard, it will
> > send> wrong signals. We all know about its in-action. When I said
> > this, some
> > > vested interests criticised me. But now, it is the duty of KDA to
> > stall> the implementation of the order," he said. "Kannadigas
> > should raise
> > > their
> > > voice against the anti-Kannada order. They should launch a peaceful
> > > struggle," he said.
> > >
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