Thursday, October 5, 2017

Social Media: Your Voice

In his book We Think : The Power of Mass Creativity, Charles W Leadbeater said : “You are what you share.” Of course when even an ordinary man gets a free way to share or say what he thinks on a particular issue or on the issue of his own choice, it gives a feeling of revelation that he has a voice. And when people standing at the margin think that they have a say, its true democracy and real freedom of speech – that’s what the social media is doing today. Of late, it is fast catching up with the people as an unprecedented opportunity to express their agreements and disagreements, pleasures and displeasure, selection and rejections, satisfaction and disgruntle and above all everything what they wish to express and that too at their own terms and conditions.

Be it the enticing language skill of Ravish Kumar on NDTV or the dominating, scathing and reprimanding arguments of Arnab Goswami on Republic TV or Rohit Sardana’s show of Taal Thok Ke  on Zee TV or Anish Devgan in Aar Paar  on News India or Anjana Om Kashyap in Halla Bol  on Aaj Tak, all these channels seem to be pulling the debate towards the predetermined conclusion. Every evening in TV studio, stage is set for some debate with some political spokespersons and a few known analysts and experts sitting as panellists. They start shouting at each other and in the pandemonium, it becomes difficult to ascertain as to who is saying what and to whom. In between, the anchor, who is supposed to control the proceedings, himself loses control and also starts shouting. These channels and anchors seem more or less biased with some particular agenda or pre-concluded conclusions. They say – nation wants to know or desh janana chahta hai as if they had completely calculated the pulse rate or had read the faces of more than 125 crore people.
In this gambit of debate, where are the common audience and where is their voice? A common viewer also has his own view, his own issue, his own problem. He also wants to say or shout and wants to be heard?
But worry not now! We have the social media – Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, linked In etc. wherein you can have your say, where your voice is heard by those whom you want to tell. where you can drop in anytime as per your convenience and can pour down what is in your mind and heart. Reducing the hegemony of a few newschannels and anchors, Social media have given tremendous power into the hands of the people. You can tap the like, comment or share tab. If you don’t like something, you have the option of unfriending and blocking. This all is so easy and free of any hiccups. Do you want to say something on what I say, do come to my timeline!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Vulgarism Eating into Common Language

James Rozoff said in one of his books – ‘Vulgarity is like a fine wine: it should only be uncorked on a special occasion, and then only shared with the right group of people.’ But today vulgarity in language is catching up very fast at every occasion.
While on a regular evening stroll with my friend some days back, I happened to pass by a small open space where some children were playing and frolicking. Walking along, my eyes caught two little kids – a boy about 6 and a girl about 8 having a verbal duel. They were brother and sister to each other as I later came to know. Suddenly, the boy gave a push to his sister uttering these nasty words - “Sali ma…lo…” The little girl somehow avoided the bad fall and ran away crying out for her mom. Shocked to hear those nasty words from the little kid who was just six, I stood there motionless for some moments. After a few seconds, I scolded the child- ‘Not good manner. How can you say those nasty words?” Scared, the boy ran away but not before he had announced –‘uncle, mere papa bhi mummi ko aisaa hi bolte hain jab donon ladte hain.”
            This is how, of late, the elements of vulgarity, profanity and sexism have been creeping into the language of our common chat or conversation and from there has been percolating down to the budding citizens ie children. With not an iota of doubt, the boy had picked up the language from his elders. He even didn’t know the meaning of the words he had used. The language one talks in gives an ample impression of one’s personality. But You may easily come across two gentlemanly dressed up people who greet each other by saying- aur bhai ma .ch…  kyaa haal hai tere or they may respond saying- theek hun bhai pein….ch. Another testimony to vulgarism and sexism in common language can be seen scribbled down on the walls of public toilets. There are many who are creative and crafty enough to form salacious couplets. Some even find opportunity to sneak into the ladies’ toilets and leave the impressions of their craftsmanship there too. You may also come across this linguistic profanity in schools also where the children use expletives without being conscious of its meanings. Even teachers at times find themselves helpless to do away with these expletives as it has become their parlance. Not to quote a single example, salacious dialogues and songs of Hindi movies are now tradition and act as crowd pullers.
            When kids get this kind of language being spoken, scripted and dialogued, obviously they also adopt it, rather imbibe it. Though kids are small, but they have long ears. They are very attentive to the words being exchanged by their elders in different situations. They speak what they listen. Thus the vulgar or aggressive language spreads like bad cold. Not to know any language is not that bad as to know and follow the bad language. It is the expressive of crude and distorted menatality.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Live as Brothers

Though Winston Churchil had scoffed at Mahatma Gandhi calling him ‘a half-naked Fakir,’ yet this Fakir ignited the spark of freedom among common Indians without using khadag or dhal. Known as Sabarmati Kaa Sant, he is revered by the whole world today as the man of millennium. Giving the message of love, cohesion and brotherhood he said: “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” He taught the people hoe to lead a life of truth and nonviolence.
When human being takes birth, none comes into this world crying Allah hu Akbar or Har Har Mahadev. No one has any label tasselled to its little body that deciphers him as Hindu, Mulim, Sikh, Christian, lower caste, upper caste, black baby, white baby etc. God has made us equal. None is high, none low. Isn’t it enough to be born as human being? We come into the world as His siblings. There is only one caste – the caste of humanity and there is only one religion – religion of love. We are the trees of same seed and root. Can you hate the trees and love the roots?
There is no network – not the Airtel, not the BSNL, not the Vodafone, not the Reliance, not any other network – that has more signal strength for white skinned people and less for less white people. Sun does not command its rays to shine softly on some, singe some and leave others untouched, nor do the clouds direct the droplets of rain to moisten a few and leave others dry. The moon remains same for both - Id and Karvachauth. The phenomena of nature do not discriminate people from people. So, why do we, after all, discriminate between man and man on the bases of caste, creed and colour?
This is really tragic that some dies in hospital due to scarcity of blood while the same blood flows on roads in the name of God. Iqbal beautifully puts it – mazhab naheen sikhaata aapas mei bair rakhanaa…  No one has the right to humiliate and rob people of their freedom and joy on the bases of colour, religion, caste or creed. Say ‘love’, the world will echo with ‘love’; say ‘hate’, the world will echo with ‘hate’. Let this world echo with the word ‘love’ not hate. Be an ambassador of universal brotherhood and cohesion. We are on this earth to make this world a better place to live in and that can be done through love not hate.
Therefore, make this world a place where we are judged by the merits and contents of our character, not by the colour of our skin, caste, faith or creed. Every individual, of course, has the right to have his own set of beliefs, but he must also consider that others also exercise the same right. Remember the words of Martin Luther King Jr: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together like fools.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Shun Linguistic Chauvinism

Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” Of course, the national language of any country plays a vital role in binding the nation in one strand. Though the constitution of our country recognises many languages, yet it cannot be denied that Hindi is the language in wish we started giving vent to our emotions and thoughts.
However, does this mean that all other languages need to be disparaged? I strongly object to those who relate Hindi to Hindus, Urdu to Muslims, Punjabi to turbans and English to whites. Some even go to the extent of calling English the language reeking off colonialism. This   stance is the result of linguistic chauvinism. Languages never go against each other, rather they embrace each other as sisters.
            If we draw such limiting circles for our language, its development and expansion gets truncated.
            Even the history of freedom struggle testifies that it was not one language that contributed to bring out the awareness among people. Our very national anthem jan gan man and national Song vande matram are originally in Bangla. The revolutionising slogan karo ya maro, Dilli chalo were coined in Hindi, inqilab zindabaad was coined in Urdu. Tarore’s Gitanjali shot to fame after getting translated into English. The greats of Hindi literature like Munshi Premchand and Dushyant Kumar had rare and sweet blend of Hindi and Urdu in their writings. Apart from Hindi and regional languages, Raja Ram Mohan Roy made English the instrument of social awakening. He tried to use this language as a bridge between Indians and British.
We cannot afford to forget that the English language has brought laurels to the nation. Nehru’s Discovery of India, R K Narayanan’s Malguddi Days, Raja Rao’s Kanthapura, Kiran Desai’s Inheritance of Loss, Arundhati’s God of Small things, are a few of those creations in English that raised the stature and status of the country on world stage.
Often, some Hindi lovers make hue and cry that Hindi is in danger. But, the fact is that Hindi is the second biggest language spoken in the world after Mandarin. As Hindi has its own sustaining capability, there is no question of its being in danger.
            The magnanimity of any language lies in its tendency to imbibe words from other languages. That way English stands at top as it has borrowed words from many languages. Hindi should also not hesitate to borrow the words from other languages if they come naturally to its usage. The use of high flown words does make a language great. It is the simplicity that touches the heart of the people. And the language that becomes the language of heart of the masses grows like deodar and expands like peepal.           

            Of course, Hindi must be kept comparatively at the higher pedestal, but honour and learn other languages also as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has avered: “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.” 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Consolidate the Basic Education

 It was hard to believe the eyes and ears when the the BA I semester resut was  of the HPU was out. It was no less than a shocker. It has raised the eyebrows of many. Especiaioally the students, parents and teachers are groaning and moaning in the agony of this unexpected bad outcome. Nobody could have imagined such a poor result. More embarrassing is that the 10+2 toppers have also fallen in the trap wreathed by the RUSA. As the HPU has endorsed that no goof up has taken place while preparing the result, it gives much to rethink about the esperiments being made with the education and the learners.
       The bad result as this, various questions about the veracity and credibility of education and examination system naturally will arise, and need to be answered too. After all why it so that even the 10+2 toppers flunked miserably in BA 1st semester?
In fact, the success of a learner in higher education depends on the how well he has read and learnt in his basic classes. As brick of foundation is to the building, the education and learning is to the development of nationn. Weaker the education, more weaker the nation. The recent results framed under RUSA has made it threadbare that our basic education system is brittle and fragile.
       No detention policy till 8th standard has become an irksome for the education and teachers. Various surveys have made it clear that the students of 6th standard are unable to write their own name correctly and in 9th class they cannot do the basic sums of multiplication and division. So much so that a student of 10+1 can’t rearrange the jumble to form an English proverb, the use of correct tense forms is a far call.
The teachers who deal the students after 8th standard find themselves in all sorts of troubles. If they teach the learners the basic skills of maths and language, the syllabus cannot be completed; if they take up syllabus, the students can’t learn. Apart from this the teachers have to do various non-teaching works. He dangles between being a babu and a teacher.Then there is transfer and inrement scare if the result stands off the mark. working under pressure and stress, he has become a harassed lot and a harassed teacher can only be a bad teacher.
The questions also arises about the credibility of the HP Board examination. How come the 10+2 toppers got failed in BA? The Board may make lofty claims of holding fair examination, but what actually happens during examinations is enough to beacon  that we are heading to be at par with Bihar.
After staggering and plodding through to get 33% marks in 10+2, , the learners find themselves incongruous with the RUSA pattern which has raised pass percentage to 45 per cent.
So its high time to revamp the basic education system so that the learners may get ripe at the ripe time to cope with the higher education system.