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Re: [WMASTERS] Tamil Inferiority


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*With all due respects to everyone, I think two things are keeping Tamil
*from becoming a modern language and, indeed, are killing it slowly and
*surely.  The fact is, as far as I can see, Tamil is becoming more and more
*marginalized as time goes on.  English is used by Tamil people for
*"serious" purposes, while Tamil remains for "kitchen" talk.  The number of

       There is lot of truth in what you say, but still I think
       this is more true of only a small part of the 
       tamil population ( urban, erstwhile privileged sections 
       of tamil people). I'm not denying the trend is spreading to even
       remote rural areas. The onslaught of English
       (especially American) on the language and culture of tamils is
       very real. If Tamils really care about it, they can use the 
       very same adverse situation for invigorating their culture. 
*serious Tamil books published is pathetically small, and, I suspect, is

       Most probably it is but it has a lot to do with economic
       affluence as well. 

*shrinking (in number of pages).  People worry about "Tanit tamiz" and
*grantha characters, and are like Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

     Worring about thanith thamiz and grantha are not the reasons for this 
     poor state. It is diminished opportunities for tamil
     in many fields as I've said many times. You may not agree but there
     are many forces working against tamil and tamils. It may be convenient
     for some people to dismiss this as 'persecution complex' or some other
     new-found-psycho-analytic complex, but those interested in tamils will
     have to examine.
*The two things that are holding Tamil back are:
*1. The caste system.

         This is a very deeply entrenched system. It may disappear
         only very slowly in peace times. What is more problematic
         about this caste system is those who instigate and profit
         by these differences. There are ever so many complex ways
         discrimination is practised and the cumulative dynamics
         of all these are quite complex. This system should 
         disappear, but the first step is not to deny that it exists,
         but to disregard it in all our conscious efforts in dealing
         with other members of our society and consider any kind of 
         discrimination shown by anyone including our close kith and kin
         as a sign of extreme vulgarity and ignorance.

*2. The disrespect of women's rights.

         This is an issue but not a major handicap, I think. Women are well
         educated and they are asserting their rights increasingly
         more effectively. Women constitute 50% of Tamil population 
         and if they are not enjoying 'equal rights and opportunities
         and making contributions to our society' that would be stupid.
*This is not to belittle the greatness of Tamil in the past -- like other
*areas of the world, the Tamil-speaking world had its good and bad aspects.
*But if Tamil is to survive and flourish into the next century, the culture
*must cease to be medieval.

          I beg to differ. Present day Tamil people's culture
          is not medieaval, as I see it. Could you elaborate 
          why you think it is medieval ? 
*I don't want to get into an argument on these things.  I know there are
*people out there who sincerely believe that caste is disappearing in modern
*Tamil Nadu and that women are finally getting their rights recognized.  I
*would only ask such people to read any page of marriage advertisements in a
*Tamil newspaper.  Or to consider how a divorced woman is treated in modern
*Tamil Nadu.  One reason Malayalam is a more viable language than Tamil is

          The divorce rate is increasing though the per capita 
          divorce case is very small compared to USA.
          There are ever so many social ills in the unmedieval
          USA culture. 

*that the area is socially more enlightened.  I read an analysis of why
*China is progressing much faster than India -- it argued persuasively that
*the reason is that the class of landlords was destroyed by the Communists.
*The fact is, we are putting the cart before the horse.  In the end, we must
*realize that language is simply a reflection of a society.  If the society
*does not develop, the language will not.

          There are many problems with tamil society but only they are
          somewhat different from other societies', but I don't
          think tamil society is particularly unelightened or
          underdeveloped. Certainly tamils can organize their affairs
          better in many fields.

          thamizharkaL thaam or inam enRu uNarndhu, ulagaththil 
          mun aNiyil niRkum oru inamaaga vaLara vENdum enRu ninaiththu
          uzhaiththaal eNNIya eNNiyaangu eythuvOm.

          anbudan selvaa
*G. Hart


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