Wednesday, July 28, 2004

En Iniya Tamizh Makkale....

Somewhere, recently, I read an article about countries. It laid out an interesting argument that the reason behind the quality products of Japan is the fierce pride the Japanese people take in their work and country. Because their products are so honed to perfection and can be easily identified by their workmanship and precision, the average Japanese worker works extra hard lest there should creep in some error and tarnish his country's reputation. I wonder what it takes to have that kind of pride in one's nation.  The article went on to suggest that perhaps the reason why India doesn't live upto its potential in many fields is the strange lack of pride and enthusiasm that the average Indian has for his country and work. 

Sadly, I feel that we are more ready to disown our heritage much more than we are ready to acknowledge it. The simplest case in point is the mother tongue. It is highly ironic that many people born and brought up in Tamilnadu all their lives cannot read or write Tamil. Some even consider it highly "cool" that they don't know Tamil and speak only King's English. Movies portray girls as preferring boys who speak in English??!! Ridiculous, isn't it?  And of course, much has been already said about the various cable TV anchors who literally murder Tamil trying to infuse a western accent into it.

Would any decent Englishman speak English like French? Or would any Frenchman try to infuse a German accent while speaking French???!!! Why in the world do we have to speak Tamil as if one just landed from the UK/US?! We seem to be in a hurry to disown everything that is ours by birth as if it is something shameful and sinful. In fact, if you tell some people that you read Tamil novels, you will get condescending glances. The attitude is that you will resort to Tamil(="local", "uncool") only if you don't understand and appreciate English (="civilized", "cool").

There are so many things people miss due to such stupid philosophies. Shakespeare, Browning, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson are not the only poets to be read and appreciated. They get more appreciation because most of the world speaks that language. There are beautiful sublime works in Tamil that ought to be read and known- works that reflect the culture and civilization that we were born into. If we read all those ancient works, perhaps, a realization will dawn that we are second to none as far as civilization, technology, science and art goes.  In fact, when Europe was still in the dark middle ages, struggling to find light at the end of the tunnel, the Cholas and Pallavas were at the height of their glorious reigns in terms of art, architecture, literature and navy!
If we take that fierce pride in our country, it will automatically shine through in everything one does.  The disinformation planted by the British about our past and our nation is so deeply ingrained in our hearts that even 50 years of independence has failed to shake its roots..... Instead of being happy about being second class citizens in another nation, I think it is far better to be first class citizens in one's own country....

Bharathiyar's words come into mind..
"Enna Valam Illai Indha Thirunaattil..."



vetty said...

Subha ( read senthamizh nattu thamizachi...just kidding)
There has to be a trade off sumwhere. You cant compare the patrioticest Jap with the average Indian (read the ones in villages).
The Japs start from scratch after WW2, while we just build on what the Brits leave us with.
And, blame the British..they are responsible in more ways than one on more issues than one that still affect us.
But, where did we go when they were doing their groundwork ? Off hunting?
And 50 years is nuthin. It takes more time to erase such bearings, but the sad part is, we aren't gettin started on that.
But sum stuff in what u say abt the taking to tamil books. I dont search for them, but dont run away from them as well.
I read an article abt this sumwhere.Gezz that has a lotsa relevance to ur state/say right now. Will pass along the link sumtime.

Anonymous said...

Was it Bharathi who said that? Looks like words out of a song By Kannadasan in the movie Thozhilali

Anonymous said...

Was it Bharathi who said that? Looks like words out of a song By Kannadasan in the movie Thozhilali