Thodo, phodo, hum sab tumhare saath hain!

An obnoxious feature of the competitive chauvinism on either side of the border is the naked contempt for public and private property; the advertised inability of the “local” police in preventing it; and the silent applause of the so-called intelligentsia in both States to the thigh-slapping parochialism that is assuming pandemic proportions.

The fire-spitting soldiers of Raj Thackeray‘s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena believe the task of “reconstruction” of that great State can only begin by lightening the purse of poor taxi drivers. And the brave protectors of Karnataka feel it is their birthright to vent their linguistic, intellectual and other frustrations by targetting railway property.

P. Mahmud, easily one of India’s finest cartoonists, captures the double disgrace for posterity on the front page of Praja Vani today. And in a letter to the editor of The Hindu, a real soldier who carried real guns and real revolvers to fight real enemies—not stones, bricks and chains to fight imagined enemies—puts his name where his mouth is.

As one who served in the Indian armed forces for close to a quarter of a century, imbibed patriotism all the time, and saw coffins of brave soldiers, I was indeed saddened to see visuals of MNS activists beating up poor taxi drivers and destroying property of the poor migrants. If Raj Thackeray’s supporters are really brave, they could have joined the armed forces and used their energy to fight the enemies of the country. I hope the MNS leader watched the President, a Maharashtrian, presenting gallantry awards on Republic Day to the widows of the brave soldiers who never returned home. I request him not to do anything more to divide this country on the basis of caste, religion or region.

Wg. Cdr. Premchandran (retd.), Palakkad


Meanwhile, C. Balachandran of the Indian Institute of Geographical Studies, writes in Deccan Herald:

Exactly what do those verbs–”save”, “protect”, “preserve”–mean? Conduct all transactions and write technical treatises in Kannada? How many “saviours” of Kannada take the trouble to learn the differences among madya/madhya, molé/moLé, malé/maLé, etc.?

I cringe when I see them shout into TV cameras in appalling Kannada.

In the Kannada mass media, not a single artiste seems to be able to go through an interview with even one complete, coherent sentence in Kannada. The crucial bits are all in English. The same with interviewers, anchors of TV and radio shows. Kannada filmdom has to have English subtitles to every movie title; none of the promotional interviews are in Kannada, they are all in Kanglish. Even the titles for our stars are in English.

Read the full article: Preserving Kannada