on superior ignorance

i was foolish enough to join a facebook page which said 'telugu'... the administrator started a discussion and made the following comments, among others:

'People say their Dialect is being made fun of, YES your are speaking one of the Ancient and respected language in the world, which has its own grammar, and every sound and every word has a distinct meaning , and you are mixing it with Urdu... AND HINDI ,and call it a new language ? is there a grammar to this language? If yes please prove it and get yourself a new language, States in india were formed on the basis of language not dialects, do you know how many states should we break india into if we start dividing states on the basis of dialects? Please understand that because of 800 year old muslim rule , your language got influenced and corrupted, instead of correcting it now, they are suppoting it, it is almost supporting NIZAM period as golden era'


'i agree with you on one topic which is evolution of language from different phases, but here the case is you were forced to speak in hindi in tyrant Nizam rule, so it wasnt influenced but it was forced change and for a long time, ...now what im saying is, that rule is over , that phase is gone so time to correct certain words which arent part of telugu at all, meeru ee dialect ayina teesukondi, Srikakulam, vijayanagaram, godavari, raaylaseema, still you can prove the existence of grammar in those dialects,telugu basha goppadaname adi, telugu basha evovle ayina mana base grammar epudu maaraledu, apudu, epudu , ade base, ade rule, kaani ikkada complete different language took over more than 90% of the language , if we are to take that into telugu language than, im sorry .. i give up.'
that is telugu thandri, if you haven't recognized him by now. he owns the language, of course. i've heard similar lectures all through my life, but less so in the last two decades. but this particular lecturer went beyond the usual spiel and tried to find a solution for the language of the telanganis: purify it!

the racist belief that people of a certain region need to be 'corrected'-- you don't need to ponder much over how those kind of prejudices take shape in indian minds. is there any other society in the world which has so relentlessly pursued 'purity' in everything?

now here's a telangani who spouts some other kinds of biases mixed with very liberal generalizations:

Many people of my background grew up feeling defensive about the "crudities" of our dialect because of the manner in which they were run down or derided in the "popular culture" of Andhra Pradesh, defined by the more influential people from coastal districts.

Telugu cinema reflected this bias most blatantly as its heroes and heroines invariably and unmistakably spoke the coastal dialect. If the Telangana dialect made it to those films at all, it was heard from the mouths of villains or comedians.

Maa Bhoomi was, therefore, a liberating and cathartic experience for me, even if there was nothing "heroic" about the protagonist, a lowly peasant, who joins the underground armed struggle because he could anyway do nothing when the local zamindar forced his girlfriend into sex.

I could relate to the smallest of the Telangana peculiarities woven into its narrative: the manner in which the peasantry, for instance, was shown addressing their social superiors with the egalitarian nuvvu (equivalent to the Hindi tu), rather than with the honorific meeru (like aap) apt to be used in coastal Andhra.
let me see: i should feel great relief that the actor mehmood who caricatured the hyderabadi or telangani in dozens of movies is now dead. don't need to feel inferior anymore!

the first authority on telugu, and language in general, didn't think these words/phrases were telugu: 'samajayitalle? hau ra, gedaklilli vachinav? KOnaaki,podugaala..' it's quite evident to me that his knowledge of telangani dialects doesn't go beyond the borders of hyderabad. he isn't even aware that there are more than one dialect in telangana. his imagination is severely constricted by his own limted interaction with telanganis (which is a fair conjecture, i think, given his prejudices) and depends heavily on the even more severely constricted interpretation of dialect/s, culture/s of telangana by telugu film makers. and you'll notice that manoj mitta, the second authority on telugu too shares many of those traits: a limited understanding of dialects, regions, cultures, popular cinema. and a stunted sense of history. and the line '..when the local zamindar forced his girlfriend into sex'.. a casual, throwaway line. no reflection at all on how oppressive society of that age was. he reduces the general environment into a particular, 'local' incident.

and both experts assume the role of speaking for whole regions so very casually!

more later..


Kiran said...

"and both experts assume the role of speaking for whole regions so very casually!"

You could not have put it better. And infact both of them represent "upper" caste interests on both sides - one with arrogance and another with resentment. And both have no respect to the masses and how they have struggled historically.

Who are telugu people ? 40% of them are illiterate..60% of them do not have sanitation...70% of them belong to BC.SC.ST and minority groups. When one says telugu people should be united it is the unity of these people. THis is the case and perhaps the only case for united AP.

kuffir said...

'When one says telugu people should be united it is the unity of these people. THis is the case and perhaps the only case for united AP.'

yes, very true.

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