An impressionistic history of the
South Asian Subcontinent
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Vol 1 - An ephemeral glance at feudal languages!
19. The diffused personality
It has to be mentioned that in this write-up there shall be no insufferable technical terminologies, or any such items which might be deliberately inserted to hint or to point at a direction of extreme scholarship, or to make such claims.
The illustrative examples and delineations used here to explain ideas and such other things would be in most cases that which have been picked up from everyday social living experiences.
What is being attempted here now, is to illustrate, through a suitable example, the working of the language codes which lead a man to ‘Upstartedness’ personality.
In the years immediately after this writer had studied in Travandrum in the 1980s, many college mates moved to Malabar after getting government / bank jobs.
In those days in Malabar, even though Malayalam was known to persons who had gone through formal education, those who had not traversed this pathway, still used the various dialects of the Malabari language for common communication.
What was most astounding for persons from Travancore was that the people of Malabar were quite ‘daring’ enough to address the government officials with a ‘Ningal’ (Middle-level YOU in Malayalam). They did not really understand the phenomenon in depth. In Malabari, actually there were two similar sounding words with more or less same meaning: Ingal and Ningal. This information was not really understood by them.
The Malayalis found it quite incredible and astounding that such persons as private-bus staff were addressing even the police inspectors with a ‘Ningal’.
There are a lot of things to be mentioned about this. For, reality cannot be contained in small-time illustrative examples. All these things have very complicated and far-reaching backgrounds. However, those things cannot be approached in this writing as of now.
A feeling came upon the new comers that the private-bus staff in Malabar had a higher personality stature than what was available for similar persons in Travancore. In those days in Travancore, in many interior locations, private buses were operating. The personality stature of the employees of these buses had a depreciation element. There was altogether a clamorous environment with a lot of shouting, verbal terrorising, beating on the body of the bus etc. as a most common behaviour pattern on the part of the bus staff.
However at the same time, the government / bank employees who had newly arrived in Malabar got a feeling that private bus employees in Malabar had comparatively much higher social personality features. Moreover, the buses also looked quite better than the private buses of Travancore.
(However, there was another understanding about the common persons in Malabar, among them. This item is not being pursued here, now.)
This assessment was not fully correct. For, in the lower part of Malabari, where words deal with the lower-positioned persons, the word-codes were what can be defined as terribly suppressive and oppressive.
However, when speaking in a very general manner, it might be said that even though the Mappillas (Malabari Muslims) also used Malabari language, they used words such as ‘Inji’ (lower most YOU), Oan (lower most He, Him), Oal (lower most She, Her) in a more egalitarian manner (within the limitation imposed by the language) than the others could.
Due to this very reason, it might be true to say that the hammering quality of these words did not create much of a mental strain amongst them. There might be other reasons also.
This much has been mentioned above, just to create a suitable background for explaining another thing. .
That shall be taken up in the next chapter.
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