Saturday, July 02, 2005

The “weakening Kannada” problem.

The deterioration of Kannada language or maybe the gradual weakening of Kannada speaking population in Bangalore is probably the most discussed topic in all Kannadiga groups! Kannada movies are always at the receiving end in all the discussions, which I have come across. The vulgar lyrics and dialogues coupled with senseless stories have always been blamed for the apathy towards the Kannada movies which is said to be the root cause for this “weakening Kannada” problem.

I agree that movies influence a great deal in nurturing and growth of languages. I am using the word nurture here as I have not come across any new languages being “invented” of course except computer languages!! But I feel this definitely does not mean that without good movies a language cannot survive. Over the top of my head I can give a vague example to uphold this. Urdu has been considered a major untapped “media” language in India. Almost every major entertainment company is coming with an Urdu channel. Almost every channel has a slot for Urdu news. But I have not seen or heard any Urdu movies being made in recent times. This leads me to a new school of thought. Movies do not necessarily uphold a language. But yes, they definitely help in growth of a language. Take for example, two movies made in recent past. We had a Kannada blockbuster Aptamitra which created huge waves in Karnataka. I don’t know how it fared outside Karnataka. A similar movie was made in Tamil titled Chandramukhi. It goes without saying that this definitely has been one of the major blockbusters for this year. And as per papers, this has been a major hit outside India too. This leads me to think that it is the protagonists with their charm who strengthen or deteriorate a language assuming movies play a major part in sustaining a language. But we very well are aware of the movies of the same protagonists which have flopped and have vanished without a trace. So, this view too, might be incorrect.

Then what could be that “load bearing pillar” which holds and sustains a language? There are different views on this and I too have one of my own. I feel that Kannadigas are too open to anything new thrown at them or maybe we try to enact and appreciate any new found skills and sometimes forget our roots in the process. This is not the same case with people of our neighboring states in my opinion. A straight example is that whenever I have been to other states, rarely I have come across a person who guides to the address asked, in English or Hindi. They more often tend to reply in their own language. This is something wanting in Kannadigas. The Tamil film which I said earlier is running to full houses even in Bangalore. I don’t know if it is the same case with that Kannada film in other states which have kannadiga population.

I therefore feel that the bottom line however is to accept and appreciate all languages keeping in mind that we are Kannadigas and Kannada should be treated with high regard and it is our responsibility to uphold it. And yes, Kannada movies too have a great role to play!!

These are my own views. Comments are welcome!

1 comment:

Kannadiga said...

YOu are right about KannaDigas being too open to new things thrown at them. They tend to master that and tend to forget their roots.

Another way to look at it is, at least the way I was brought up, is to be tolerant towards other languages. I've been brought up in Mangalore, which has 3 predominant languages - Kannada, Tulu, Konkani - apart from English and of course Malayalam. People tend to use language as a means of communication, rather than attach their egos to it and make an issue out of it. I feel this is what has been misunderstood by people of other states.