Friday, January 22, 2010

I refuse to speak

Maharashtra has done it again. After the Shiv Sena and MNS arm twisting of the state, the Congress government has joined the queue quoting a motor vehicle law which it seems was always in existence. Cab drivers henceforth will only get a license to ply their vehicles if they know to speak Marathi, the local language. The Congress has done some back peddling after some fire spitting by the English language media. But this issue is far from over.

It’s not only a question of Maharashtra. Other states in India also bring up this issue whenever it suits them. Speaking in defence of the recent order, it is no problem when a government says that there is one language which exists and this is the primary language of the land. It can also be said that nothing stops a government in taking steps of encouraging the use of a particular language. Steps which do not use force or compulsion.

On the other hand can anyone be forced to speak anything at all? As it is the constitutional right of all to speak, so is it the right of everyone in India not to speak. This is the right to refuse. As all the speakers debate on which language to use, we should spare a thought for those who cannot speak at all. These are those who cannot speak because of a physical disability or those who cannot speak because they are never given an opportunity or space to speak. And here we are talking about which language to speak!

Can we give a state specific language for those who cannot express themselves in words. What language is sign language? Who are those who cannot speak? If we go along with the present scheme of things, they would qualify as the stateless people. Should they then also be denied jobs because they can’t speak? Every single human expression and non-expression qualifies as a language. This cannot be taken over by any government or law. It is the natural expression of any human being.

2 comments:

ആരുഷിയുടെ ലോകം said...

Issue of taxi permit licence its are based on Central Motor vehicles act, state have limited power to alter it, so even if they implement court will cancel it, Congress also knows that, this is just to outbeat MNS , like Telengana not going to be implemented soon

Anyway best quality of Malayali is he will be speaking Marathi if 1 yr resides there, only poor North Indians may suffer.

Fr Jerry said...

Thanks for dropping by. I will check out the Central Motor Vehicles act. The point is that different states are trying to push through their own language as 'the' language which I think is not fair to those people who go to different places to get a job and survive. And no one talks about the deaf and dumb who don't take up a particular state's language but have a language of their own. It's a larger issue.