A parade of façade in verbal codes!
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
3. A heinous mental disposition
People in India are quite frightened of the prospect of the lower-class persons or their children growing up in stature, education, learning, social connections etc. They very enthusiastically take steps to see that such endeavours are thwarted. Others also understand the compulsion that go behind such a heinous mental standard. For, everyone knows that the moment the lower man goes up, the first causality would be the ‘respect’ he had for his master and other higher-ups. Words change drastically.
Persons whom he would have addressed with ‘respect’ as Ningal, Thangal (Sar), Chettan, Annan, Ammanvan etc. and whom he had referred to as Adheham, Avar, Sar etc. would very fast go down to words like Nee, Ningal, Thaan, Eyaal etc. and to referring words like Avan, Ayaal etc. There are other words like Chekkan, Pennu, Eda, Edi, Avattakal etc. all with very terrible sounds, and totally demeaning in effect. Even though a native English-speaker living in England wouldn’t understand the terribleness of these issues, to an Englishman domiciled in Colonial India the terror that these verbal changes symbolises shall be clearly understandable.
The British folk who lived in India surely faced the issue of how to mingle with the Indian folk. During the East India Company rule time, the ruling class, the zamindars, and the other feudal classes, even though treated as an essential part of the Indian social scenery, were not seen as a cultured class. They were kept apart.
However, when the Crown rule came, it became the standard practise to include them also as part of the ruling process. This in many ways was not an intelligent thing, for it was more or less accepting the draconian powers of these terrible feudal classes. However, the policies were now being made in England, where the policy makers had no idea about the real diabolic nature of Indian social communication.
In the new context, the British folk were now forced to accept the social seniority of the feudal classes. Once this was accepted, there was no other go other than to be on good terms with the higher classes. For, being on talking terms with the lower classes, who were under subjugation of the higher feudal classes would mean the equalising with them on the social scene.
This issue can be better understood by this: When one becomes friendly with the lower classes, the immediate affect is that they understand this friendliness in more intimate terms. Their immediate concern would be to bring in lower levels of words such as Nee, Avan, Avante etc. into the interaction. A very strong impulse to grab the hand in a pose of handshake would be seen. However, this is not an innocent action as might be seen from English. For, such things bring into play the machinery of equalising to the lower levels. It is a mechanism that is not there in English communication. The British person would be quite vulnerable to its tentacles, for he or she wouldn’t have the adequate means in his communication to forestall the bringing-down to-equality force.
A more or less social freight enthuses, and he would strive to escape from this by going closer to the higher classes. This was the first issue caused by the acknowledging of the social seniority of the Indian feudal classes.
In many ways, this is a thing that does create feelings of apartheid in India, even though it is not colour based.
0. Book profile
4. Why English?