05 December, 2006

Language problem

One day we had been to a museum in London and while we were inside the art gallery deeply involved in looking at the displays, my daughter vanished and suddenly appeared with a mask (must be easy to identify whose mask it is)which was funny and made us to laugh. The kids are very creative, and one day while I was helping her with her breakfast, she suddenly said "Dad if Jesus and Lord Krishna meet now, they will not speak with each other. Do you know why?". Inquisitively I asked "Why?" and she said "Language problem. Jesus cannot speak Hindi or Tamil and Krishna cannot speak English. So I think they will have communication problem."
I am sure my neighbour would have heard my laugh. I was wondering how this got into her mind. I guessed probably with all the Christmas celebrations going in their school, she must have had this thought. I did not want to probe much into her chain of thought. But started thinking about Language problems.
The first time I had Language problem was when I travelled out of Madras to Hyderabad. I felt very bad for not knowing the language what others were speaking. Then when my cousins visited from Bombay and other states, they used to speak in Hindi. I thought I should learn Hindi too to understand what they speak, and enjoy more.

Now being in London, and travelling around I hear many languages. It is interesting to learn few words. I think languages will be there always with few modifications now and then. My children do not know Hindi and everyday they are bringing in new words. They are curious to learn Hindi too. There are plenty of children in their school whose mother tongue is Hindi and Urdu. It is nice to know many languages and great to speak them. We were deprived of those opportunities during our school days in Madras.

I think it is high time we should have a common language in India and should be taught to every one in every state and no fanaticism should be allowed. Because we live in abroad, our interest towards our mother tongue has not decreased. When we learn other languages we widen our knowledge about our language too, and try to know the relevant word in our mother tongue and thus improve our mother tongue too.

Our great politicians should realise this and bring changes in our education system to encourage our future generations (than their kith and kin only) to learn more languages in Tamil Nadu rather sticking to only one language.