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March of the Evil Empires!
English versus the feudal languages!!
Anchor 1
First drafted in 1989. First online edition around 2000
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Part 3 - the ramifications
5. Comparative experiences

Englishman working under a person from the feudal language area

When a non-Englishman works under an Englishman, the experience the world over has been of deep gratification. Even though, there is all this talk about freedom struggle and British wickedness, if one asks anyone, who has worked under an Englishman, about his experience under the Englishman, the answer, in most of the cases, is invariably that it is an experience he would like to have again.

For, in almost all the cases, there is a highly perceptible improvement in the social communication level, the employee would experience, when compared to what he was used to under a native feudal-language boss. This naturally would have led to an improvement in his individuality. Yet, there would also be a real acknowledgement that he never could move into the social circles of his boss. At the same time, if the boss had been a native one, he would have come close to the boss’s social circle, yet, in a manner that would have accentuated his social inferiority in innumerable ways.

Yet, will an Englishman feel the same level of mental satisfaction if he were to work under a, say Malayalee? There was a film recently in Malayalam, in which a Malayalee Boss, having his business empire in the Middle East, is depicted having an Englishman as his subordinate. In the film, a White man (actor possibly of non-English Continental European origin) is acting as the Englishman, and the Boss, is giving him a lecture in Malayalam, of the need to learn Malayalam, if he wants to continue to work under him. The words used are of the lowest indicant levels. In many ways, it does reflect a lot of underlying indoctrinated emotions, which need to be dealt with later.

However, here I use this instance to point to the highly disturbing scenario if these types of persons come into financial power. What needs to be understood is that the atmosphere that is created here is in deep contrast to the one that one would experience in an English atmosphere.

Comparing the Indian Boss, with his English Counterpart

At this juncture, it is only appropriate to bring in a comparison between the Indian boss, as representative of the feudal language culture, and the English boss. I mean to make a shocking disclosure. The Indian boss would be very, very more powerful than his English counterpart. To illustrate further, the Indian Prime Minister would be more powerful than his British counterpart, the Indian small-time official would be much more powerful than his English counterpart, and the Indian parent would be much more powerful than the English parent. Powerful. But over whom?

There was a writing by one of the Chief Personal Secretaries of one former Prime Minister of India. When the American President of that time was visiting India, his office wrote to the Indian Prime Minister’s office with the query, as to what word of address should be used to her by the President. It seems her reply included, among other things the fact that her cabinet colleagues used to address her as Saar.

Actually in the Indian context, it shows the power and prestige of her office, and personality among the Indians, and her Ministers. However doesn’t it show a deeper malaise? One, which is running through the heart of India and ruining her spirit. One can imagine the sort of communication that would be in position between her and her colleagues. The sense of deep insecurity that could be gnawing at her heart whenever any colleague of hers shows any tendency or disposition to greatness or calibre.

The power that the non-English boss has is to suppress the calibre, capacity, intellect and individuality of his junior. Actually, there comes into existence a tendency at each level of the organisation to post only persons of calibre lower than his or her immediate boss. So that, the organisation tends to have a progressive tendency to dwarf-ness in intellect, as time goes. The organisation has a look of a pyramid with the intelligent person at the top, with each level down showing lesser and lesser intelligence. Actually, this affliction has already infected the Indian Bureaucracy.

Yet, the Indian institutions in the English countries would show a rare level of capacity, which they would have failed to display earlier in India. This would be the effect of a number of factors including such as that of the tremendous level of speed at which one can function in an English setting, the absence of so many bottle-necks, and also of the progressive weakening of the Indian currency, which all foreign employed Indians celebrate with a rare level of unpatriotic glee, but would never say a word about in public.

Now, if the Indian bosses are so powerful, then why is there any attraction in an English setting? The attraction is in the atmosphere that English builds wherein everyone can function to the best of his or her abilities. Once I read an article by an Indian saying that in the West (meaning English countries), the systems are so simple that even a mediocre can function, as against in India where only the best can function. This statement is a fallacy. For, it is not the mediocre that is functioning in the English nation, but the intellect that is evident in all humans. Which, in the Indian context is allowed to function only in the socially or physically dominant.

It would not be enjoyable for a person, of whatever colour, who thinks in English, to work under a vernacular-speaking Indian, or for that matter under any boss, who is thinking and communicating in his native feudal tongue. Moreover, if one were functioning together with a group of people from feudal language nations, and who talk among themselves in their native tongue, it would be difficult to maintain one’s natural disposition to interact with them and also to the boss in the easy-going English manner. In a matter of days, if not months, one would feel terribly at odds with the general behaviour of the fellow staff. Moreover, every time, when the others go in for obsequious bending, and pretended meekness, this man would seem to be questioning the whole authority of the boss, and also creating a breakdown in systems.

In this situation, the reader should remind himself that an Indian man would enjoy the freedom he gets in an English setting. Yet the reverse is rarely true. The Englishman would not enjoy the stifling he is induced to bear, in the feudal language setting. This understanding should be borne always by everybody when making strong statements about the English nations, and its people.

Here I wish to remind again that the English emotions can be created by anyone with an English thinking process in his mind, if he or she is willing to stick to that. He or she need not be white or from an English nation. He or she can very well even be from India.

What happens to an English minded person when he lives in a feudal language area?

This has much to do with the colonial experience of the British. Yet, it can be the experience of anyone who lives long in a feudal language area, with not much access to his own base. Herein can be explained why the British, who contributed much to the cause of liberty, dignity and freedom of mankind, and also were the first to outlaw slavery worldwide, acted strangely and sometime in sharp contrast to their inner, mental inclinations.

Let us take the case of the British, who came to the South Asian subcontinent as traders, and stayed on to conglomerate fragments of geographical areas and rule it. Numerically they were negligible in the vast land that could literally swallow them up. Numerous groups of people from varying cultural and linguistic areas have visited this geographical area, which is now identified as Pakistan, India & Bangladesh. All of them did fall for the compulsions and social pressure that a feudal language generates. All of them did ultimately join the local mainstream of populace, without making any major changes to the living standard of the mass of people. All the new comers ultimately arranged themselves at various levels in the feudal language, and became part and parcel of the land.

In the case of the British, there was a major difference. They came with a language, which was very, very different from all the then existing languages of India. Not only in sound and manner of speaking, but also in the content, it was entirely different. The main difference was, as has been discussed earlier, the lack of feudal overtones in the communication. This was a thing that gave them their unity. And a feeling that sticking to their home base and to their own class of people was much better than going alone, and trying to build an individual empire. Whatever happened, a sense of sticking to the aegis of the Union Jack, and also to appeal to their own nation for all help was due to this factor. This factor was very much in variance from the standard Indian behaviour. For, here getting out of the clutches of one’s home base was the standard policy.

Yet, when the Englishman set up his interests in the subcontinent, he was only an individual in the vast sea of humanity that surrounded him. This vast sea of humanity was to monitor, judge, measure, and give him marks as per their own evaluations. It must have been a mighty daunting task to live up to the enduring admiration of a crowd that judged persons on the basis of immediate achievements.

The tedium of tasks here must have been very heavy. For here all things move on the motivating force of prestige and very evident power. Above all, the local languages have a tendency to create sharp division among any united team of persons, by just assigning each member a different value and position, irrespective of his real value and with least regard to the equality that may exist between them.

One of the major factors that saved the British from the treachery of this essential element of oriental culture was their understanding that they were different. They kept away from imbibing the local attitudes and cultures.

Yet, it is a very infectious thing, this feudal positioning, by subordinates, of the superiors. In many ways, it is a very complicated scenario. Let me try to make one situation comprehensible. Imagine one young Englishman posted as an officer with civil powers in a remote corner of British-India. He exists above a team of native British-Indian officials, who do themselves exist in a web of hierarchies, which are at certain levels, and between certain individuals, mutually antagonistic, and self-cancelling. This web of hierarchies would be based on different themes like caste, family superiority, age superiority and inferiority, capacities of physical prowess etc., all of which can influence the indicant words used. These indicant words are everything in the society. For a wrong or negative indicant word can lead a man literally to suicide. In this mad web, the Englishman is implanted. He is coming from a society, which itself had feudal elements. Yet, this feudalism was different in the sense that the element of this feudalism did not come into everyday life, and there was a definite absence of indicant words, to which one is at the mercy of.

Yet, the mass of people, over whom he has to function, does not know anything about freedom of speech, equality, liberty, or even the rights of a citizen. In fact, they were never citizens. They also understood only power and prestige. If you don’t measure up to their levels of respect, then you are good as finished.

He can’t mingle with the crowd, as he would like to. Each and every interaction has to be so programmed, so as to exist only in the highest indicant terms of the common peasant. It is the duty of the junior staff to instil a sense of power and prestige of the British official, to the peasant. This they would do with a real sense of purpose. For their own prestige and social power is entangled with the British official’s power and prestige. So, in a way the British official is at the mercy of the junior official. He has to feel at home to the incredible levels of homage and obsequiousness they would do, and make others do. If he were not at ease, then the feeling would come that he is not of superiority enough.

A continuous exposure to this feudal homage, could really affect any man. If he were an Indian, the affect would be very evident from his easily acquired megalomania, and air of arrogance. It would affect the Englishman also. But the affect of his own society, wherein his fellow countrymen may still treat him as just a member of their society, would naturally assuage these feelings. Any small changes in the demeanour would not be noticeable, when he is in India. However when this personage goes back to England, then a slight air of an oriental higher-ness of dominance would linger on and disturb the others.

In many ways, anybody living in India would acquire Indian feudal attitudes. However, when it is an Englishman, it would go into an infection with a difference. When an Indian, enters into a feudal system, he is not at unease. For he is, more or less, accustomed to it. He will know how to treat his subordinates and superiors in their proper position and stature. He will use the correct indicant words to stifle or to revere as the case may be. To put it in more candid terms, he would be at ease to use the words like Nee, Aval, Oal, Oan, E-da, E-di etc. to the subordinates, and such words of feudal respect as Saar, Adheham, Avar, Angunnu,Chettan, Chechi etc. with a careless nonchalance, that a person of English ethos would find hard to imitate or improve upon.

Any man (he or she need not be of English nationality) who is very much indoctrinated in the English ways of human dignity and equality in communication, would find it difficult to stigmatise any human being or groups of persons, using lower indicant words or to glorify any man using higher indicant words, just for the purpose of ordinary communication, and interaction. The only effectual escape would be to move into an inner circle away from all these negative environments, and function in a place where one is at ease. This keeping aloof is also similar to the Indian attitude of ‘untouchablity ‘and aloofness from the common crowd. However the emotions that sets it have some difference. Yet, it can be understood by both the Englishman and also by the vernacular crowd as a practice of racial discrimination. One can imagine the confusion of an English programmed man, when he is forced to isolate himself from other human beings, who he is uneasily aware, is equal to him in his own language. It is an emotion, which he wouldn’t understand, other than to make such statements like East is East and West is West etc.

Here actually, he is only behaving like the person in the feudal language software program. Yet, the only way and manner by which he can escape it, is to do exactly the dictates of the feudal language.

I can illustrate this phenomenon, with a real life scene. I know of one young person, who lives in India, is an Indian by parentage, and yet speaks only English. And this English does contain as far as possible the British manner of addressing and communication. This person gets on well with the English speaking crowd, in a very amiable manner. Elders are addressed with a Mr. or Mrs., or Miss prefixed. Since no vernacular words come out of this person’s mouth, the question of using lower indicant words to any lower or inferior person does not arise. And in fact no understanding of anybody’s inferiority exist in this person’s mind. Yet when this person happens to be near the vernacular crowd, they tend to use the lower indicant words to this person, using the lower age as a gradient for measuring. Moreover, a tendency to get disturbed by this persons amiable, and unfettered interaction with many acknowledge seniors, is exhibited by persons of senior age, but of junior position. This creates a fierce feeling of antipathy and a passion for irritating this person, in these persons.

Consequently, this person after experiencing this painful attitude tends to keep away from the vernacular crowd who tend to passionately maintain their inferiority as a motivation for offence. I can go into the details in a slight way. This young person would be interacting with persons of much higher age, in a very natural manner in English, at a particular moment. At that moment, one of these persons, who have to exist in the lower indicant level, among others, would appear and just ask, What are you doing? in the vernacular, using the lowest indicant word Nee for the word You. This is done on the pretext of friendly interaction, yet the main purpose would be to initiate a relationship in which the advantage would theirs. And once you acknowledge an addressing with a lower indicant word like Nee, then there is no more protection from more barb like piercing questioning done, which are mainly done not for the sake of information, but for the purpose of stabilising and enforcing the subordinated relationship. And to exhibit to others, this stranglehold.

The only way to escape from this stranglehold would be to maintain a discrete distance from the lower indicant level, vernacular folk. Here it cannot be termed as racial discrimination. For, all the concerned persons are from the same racial group. If there had been any difference in this factor, the motivation can easily be defined as racially motivated.

The above illustration is given here just to incite some level of thinking on the finer aspects of certain reactions, which may be termed racist.