Hindi and Beyond

Hindi is the 5th most widely spoken language in its proper form by native speakers (खड़ी बोली dialect), 3rd most widely spoken in its general form by native speakers, and significantly understood by almost 950 million people.

Well, well, well, still I bet you can’t reach 50 and the list of current top literary figures in Hindi will begin to deteriorate. Hindi lacks literature.

But what is the problem? What if it lacks literature? Going by that, there are empirical predictions that till middle of this century, there will be none but 5-6 languages remaining in the world! But that seems sort of inevitable- aren’t we being the founders & carriers of the global world- the world where football is played and appreciated everywhere, the world where Oscars are the prizes about the best ‘international’ movies, and the world where we all say ‘fuck’ when there is something fucked up.

(I hate to be called anti-development, so I will be careful)

Remember Mir (publications)! Those who remember will feel a sudden rush of neurons in their head going a bit off-beat, yeah, for so many examples, illustrations, approach was not ‘western’ (did I say ‘American’). Ever heard of ‘Russians using the pencil in space when Americans spent millions on inventing an anti-gravity pen’. The pencil is nothing but that narrow region in your 1.5 kg brain where no education from B.Tech. in NITK to FRS/DSc/PhD from Harvard can take you.

Languages, Culture, Society, Sciences, Mathematics, Literature, Education, Politics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Law, Media, Arts, Cinema, Analysis, Intuition, Thinking, Brainstorming, Feelings, Creativity- all these are so human, merely human, and about human. And humanity is not governed by unitary method- It is NOT wise to dig 1 well for 10 hours, rather than digging 10 for an hour each. They are all different wells, and may lead to completely different waters.

So when you have such a massive language which lacks literature, you are basically diminishing the feelings, the ideologies, the touch that has become central in the development of that very language to its present form. And you can’t translate them as a fix. How do you replace that gap? There is no alternative of an Urdu or Hindustani Ghazal, or Sanskrit Shlok- translation just won’t work.

And so, in the mighty land called India, so many neurons were led to starvation leading to death, and the result was….


(I guess I just made a hypothesis about the causes of IT revolution in India)

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 8:56 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. This is so true. The is not translation that equals the depth of the original. The translations, in retrospect no matter how good the translation, just ends up sounding funny to the people who live and breathe that language.

    Perhaps the IT revolution was caused by the brain dead who gave up their own for an alien one.

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