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!
47. The problems which would arise when the language of administration is made Malayalam
All over India, the functioning of state government offices have been converted into their respective local language. It is possible that an ‘expert’ committee would have given a ‘comprehensive’ ‘study’ report, in each of the states.
I do not know for sure as to what it is that these ‘expert’ committees have studied about the various attributes of language change. However, there is a feeling that all these so-called expert committee studies are mere verbal blah-blah. For, I remember reading the ‘expert committee’ report that recommended the compulsory imposition of Malayalam in the state education. No profound study was really seen in that ‘study report’. I remember seeing the names of PhD holders also in that Committee.
I have more or less enumerated around 30 problems that can arise when the language of administration is converted into Malayalam. These I have written it down. .
One among them, I will mention here.
During the English rule-period, the government employees were defined as public servants.
In feudal languages, the servants have to extend respect to the boss/owner/landlord/employer &c. When the language of administration turns into a feudal language, then words of ‘respect’ have to be mentioned towards the people/public/common citizen by the government office workers (government employees). And the public/people/citizen is entitled to use the degrading words to the government office workers (government employees).
However, the government office workers (government employees will not agree to this under any circumstance.
Not only that, a directive to the government office workers (government employees) that they have to extend ‘respect’ to any common citizen who enters the government office will not be acceptable to them.
I do not know as to what the exact decision or advice given by the ‘expert’ committee with regard to this issue, is. If at all, they have pondered upon this. Which itself is doubtful.
At the same time, if it is that it is the members of the public who have to extend ‘respect’ to the government office workers (government employees), then it can safely be assumed that the ‘expert’ committee has indicated that as per the Constitution of India, the common citizen is statutorily a step below the government office workers (government employees).
If there is a query as to whether the same problem would not be there if the language of administration is English, a lot of things would have to be mentioned to answer that question. However, there is no need to go into all this. For, the primary issue that come forward is as per the government statutes, which is the side, the common citizen or the government office workers (government employees), that comes above and which comes below. This has to be very clearly mentioned, with regard to the issue of ‘respect’.
If the government stand is that neither side can be kept below, it is a proposition that cannot be enforced in Malayalam language. For feudal languages keep the employee and the employers in two very clearly demark-able levels.
This issue which seems quite a silly one here, actually has a very powerful link to a particular incident in the history of British-Malabar. I am not sure if this incident has been recorded in the official history of India
0. Book profile