Archive for Language

Bowdler II

So we’re soon going to see a sanitized version of Huck Finn:

Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic by most any measure—…. Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation’s most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: “nigger.”

Twain himself defined a “classic” as “a book which people praise and don’t read.” Rather than see Twain’s most important work succumb to that fate, Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn, in a single volume with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that does away with the “n” word (as well as the “in” word, “Injun”) by replacing it with the word “slave.”

 Here’s one compelling argument against this Gribbenizing:

To substitute the word slave is untrue to Twain’s entire way of thinking. “Man is the only slave,” Twain wrote around 1896. “And he is the only animal who enslaves. He has always been a slave in one form or another, and has always held other slaves in bondage under him in one way or another” (Letters from the Earth, ed. Bernard DeVoto [Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1963], p. 179). To call Jim a slave is to fail to distinguish him from the other men in the novel.

And, interestingly enough, from the same blogger: why  “both the Gribbenized edition of Huckleberry Finn and the self-righteous condemnation of it are founded on the same premise.”

I’m just a cat on the wall.


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When a language (culture) tells its own story …

A few years ago, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge was presented in Madras. Eddie Carbone, the play’s protagonist, is an Italian dock worker. He is a good man, but tragedy is brought about by his incestuous passion for his orphaned niece. He harbours two young illegal Italian immigrants in his house, one of whom falls in love with his niece. Consumed by jealousy, Eddie betrays the immigrants to the authorities, and is killed by one of them.

The audience watching the play in Madras was English educated, familiar with Western literature. Many of them frequently were abroad and had a living contact with the Western way of life. The production was a success. But most of the audience entirely missed the element of incest in the play; rather, they chose to ignore it as an unnecessary adjunct to an otherwise perfectly rational tale. After all, Eddie was his niece’s guardian, a surrogate father. It was only right that he should be interested in her welfare. You certainly could not blame him for trying to safeguard her future. On the contrary, the illegal immigrants emerged as unsympathetic, for they had betrayed their host’s confidence by seducing his niece’s affections.

Even apart from consideration of social roles that led the Madras audience to write its own A View from the Bridge, Eddie Carbone perfectly fits an Indian archetype: the father figure aggressing toward its offspring. Our mythology is replete with parental figures demanding sacrifices from their children—as in my own Yayati; Eddie’s position was not one in which the Indian audience was likely to find any tragic flaw.

(—Girish Karnad. ‘In Search of a New Theatre’, in Carla M. Borden, ed., Contemporary India. OUP, Delhi: 1989)

Cultural associations and achetypes are perhaps not always interpreted the way they’re intended by their producers. While one can concede the chasm between ‘Indian’ and ‘English’ cultures, is there a similar gap between the peoples of different linguistic groups in India? And, not to put too fine a point on it, is there, then, a cultural, perceptual, gap between speakers of different dialects of an Indian language? †Do we all have our own little realities ensconced in our own dialects (idiolects, even), somehow impermeable to speakers of other dialects? Is it even possible to concede “difference” and co-exist?

I’m going to try to look at this question from another angle.

While English and Indian languages are generally considered to inhabit discrete spaces as far as their literatures are concerned, I wonder if we can say the same of Indian languages themselves? What, for instance, is ‘gained’ or ‘lost’ when a Malayali tale is told by a Kannadiga writer in English, titled a ‘modern Indian tale’, and then translated into Malayalam by a Malayali ? Is the Malayalam translation a more authentic representation of the Malayali tale than the English?  How many levels of ‘translation’ are implicit in the English version?   What I’m referring to is Raja Rao’s English novel, The Cat and Shakespeare, a Malayalam tale in English, translated later into Malayalam by Ayyappa Paniker. And these thought-provoking questions are from a paper by a senior colleague, titled “The Cat and Shakespeare and pooccayum shakespearum: A Tale of Modern Indian Translation”. ††

The role of English in “translating” Indian culture/sensibility in Indian Writing in English is widely acknowledged. As my colleague puts it, “When English tells a story of non-English lives and speakers of other languages, its editorial/interpretive function far outweighs its naturally legitimate functions.” (Quite apart from the obvious Malayalam-Kannada layers, The Cat is a rendering of Vedantic philosophy in English, and this entails yet another level of translation, a cultural translation. How meet English is for this purpose is debatable.)

Would the same theory of ‘translating’ hold when a Kannadiga tells a Malayali story? How much “knowledge” can one take for granted? My colleague has had the “privilege” of talking to both Rao and Paniker about The Cat and its translation, and the resulting insights make his paper all the more fascinating: For Rao, the telling of a Malayali tale in English was itself a translation, “written in English, for Indians as well. So where was the need for another one?” At the same time, he approved the translation by Paniker as one by someone who “knew” both him and the tale. Certainly, most of us may have read The Cat (indeed, all of Raja Rao’s work) without knowing any south Indian language. But, as my colleague says, “ it is a story told in the language of another.” His thesis is that Paniker’s translation is more of a “narrative restitution” than a translation because it is “a language telling its story by itself” rather than mediated by English/Kannada.

The other insight from the paper I’m truly grateful to my colleague for (especially since I’ve always viewed Raja Rao’s fiction with the jaundiced eye of dislike for its overt upper-caste Hindu ideology) is that the novel asks the crucial question of who we call our neighbours, especially in situations of languages-in-contact: Ramakrishna Pai, the novel’s protagonist, a Konkani living in Trivandrum, is tutored by a Malayali, Govindan Nair, on Vedanta and Shakespeare, and tells his story in English.

Are Malayalam, Kannada, and English equidistant, or does that depend on whether you’re Raja Rao or Paniker? Just how much gap we perceive in those spaces must tell us something about ourselves.

I’m referring in part to the ongoing Telangana agitation; one of the abiding images of the agitation for me is that of the Vijayawada MP Rajagopal sprinting out of Hyderabad’s airport holding aloft the Indian tricolour. Taking recourse to a larger ‘national identity’ seems to be the stock response to sectarian/ linguistic separatist movements in India. A response that is simultaneously a decrement and an accretion of identity.

 †† Comparative Critical Studies. Volume 7, Page 69-81

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And more …


Everyone must fight their battles themselves

You must win your battle yourself

With your blood and your marrow

You must forge your sword and shield yourself


The real unjustness

Is someone fighting your battle

The real injustice

Is someone making you your sword and shield


Always your battles were fought by others

Begging you

They crafted battle-codes for you

Drawing you to their hearts

They framed principles for you

Bullying you

They bore arms for you.


Even if it means defeat

Everyone must fight their battles themselves

If they win the battle for you

You’ll be engulfed

Defeated forever.

— Sudha

(The original in Telugu here.)

This poem was first published in the Telugu daily Andhra Jyothi. It is now part of an anthology of women’s poetry titled Neeli Meghaalu (“Blue Clouds”, published 1993) compiled by the well-known Telugu writer P. Lalita Kumari who writes under the pen-name Olga. Unfortunately the book carries little biographical information about Sudha, other than that she lives in Hyderabad.

I will refrain from commenting on the poem itself because I think its message is universal enough to be appreciated. But a note, instead, on translation troubles. Telugu is a highly inflected language, unlike English which is weakly inflected. (In this sense Modern English is distinctly different from Old English, or the language of the Anglo-Saxons, which was highly inflected.) What this means for translation is that while in Telugu you can deftly change form and meanings by changing word-endings,  translating such terse, pithy lines into English requires ungainly prepositions and determiners. Which is why the English version doesn’t sound quite the same as the Telugu. The difference in ‘sound’ is probably also due to Telugu being a syllable-timed language, unlike English which is stress-timed. Form, I think, is the toughest thing to translate elegantly.

Oh and my son liked this poem, which pleases me enormously. Though I have a vague feeling that I should be worried — swords and shields and making them yourself and fighting your own battles ….

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Translating boundaries

Ahem.  A little tooting of my own horn: I’ve started a blog in Telugu, which is however limited to selections from Telugu women’s poetry.  Why? Because very few people (even those who read Telugu poetry) know of them.  And because it’s the only kind I thrill to.

I’m posting here a translation of a poem I put up there, by my favourite Telugu poet, Jayaprabha, perhaps one of the most important feminists in India. It’s from an anthology of poems, with the same title as this poem, written when she was teaching at the University of Wisconsin.

Original in Telugu here.

Whence come the rain-bearing clouds?

Human selfishness draws boundaries

Not leaping streams

Not forests or waterfalls

Who can say whence

come the clouds bringing rain here!

Religion and ritual

break up the earth’s expanse

into bits and pieces.

If  the world’s boundaries were erased

(we’d see that)

Earth, water, air are everyone’s

Not separated into seven continents.

Although this isn’t a feminist poem in the strictest sense, I’m drawn to it because of my fascination for people whose imagination blurs boundaries.  Like that nameless narrator in Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines, the little boy whose imaginative universe extends far beyond the Calcutta he grows up in, while for his globe-trotting cousin, the world is a series of airports.

My introduction to Jayaprabha was her M.Phil dissertation on women in Telugu Romantic Poetry, now a book titled Bhaavakavitvamlo Stree. It’s a work similar to Gilbert and Gubar’s The Mad Woman in the Attic and Ferguson’s Images of Women in Literature, convincingly showing how celebrated Telugu Romantic writers simply perpetuated the woman-as-object motif of the earlier prabandha genre in a different garb. While earlier she was object of desire, for the Romantics she became an angelic object of devotion and love.  To paraphrase Velcheru Narayana Rao, earlier woman was just body with no heart; and for the Romantics she was just heart with no body.

I hope to be able to translate more of Jayaprabha’s poetry in subsequent posts. Meanwhile, here’s a fairly comprehensive survey of Telugu women’s writing.

+ This is my first translation, and I’ll readily admit that it comes nowhere near capturing the essence of the original. For instance, I find the word “viswarupam” untranslatable and had to make do with “expanse”.

+ +Thanks anu, for egging me on to this!

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Linguistic hierarchy and multilingualism

The hullabaloo over Shashi Tharoor’s Twitter comments, at least in cyberspace and the English language television channels, makes me wonder: what is a subject worthy of “national debate” and who decides? Like the vast majority of people in this country, I travel by train, II class, so the “cattle class” debate (as indeed the austerity drive) means little to me. However, that the debate has now become one about (not) knowing English disturbs me profoundly because an earlier issue of a Union Minister’s inability to speak English merited little attention. MK Azhagiri, minister from Tamil Nadu, put in a request to be allowed to speak in Tamil during the Question Hour in Parliament because of his professed lack of fluency in both English and Hindi. The Parliament Secretariat turned down his request citing “practical difficulties” as the reason. Apparently he cannot avail of the services of a translator because this is a privilege only MPs enjoy.

Yes, Hindi and English are the designated official languages, so insisting on their use for official purposes (such as in Parliament) is well in keeping with the law of the land. But isn’t it patently unfair to non-Hindi speakers that English and Hindi are covert requirements for becoming Union Ministers? I see no reason, other than sheer cussedness, why he shouldn’t be allowed a translator.

This is an old debate I know. Those of us south of the Vindhyas have Tamil Nadu to thank for the fact that Hindi hasn’t been imposed on us. But what has the other option, English, given us? Wasn’t English supposed to dilute the obvious discrimination against non-Hindi speakers that the official status of Hindi entails?

I don’t particularly fancy Azhagiri; he’s Union Minister today only because his father had bargaining clout with the Congress. But let’s for the moment forget this, and just focus on the predicament of a minister from Tamil Nadu (it could very well be Kerala, AP or Karnataka).  Hindi is out of the question, given that he’s from Tamil Nadu. But why not English? In fact the man holds a postgraduate degree which means that he must know English — the de facto medium of higher education in this country. However, here we enter thin-ice territory. “English medium” is one of the great Indian farces – that sacred cow which, to paraphrase S. Nagarajan1, we will neither take care of nor let die in peace.

I can very well imagine that the minister would have been reluctant to display his inadequate English in Parliament for the simple reason that lack of command of English in this country is very often seen as a sign of inferior education and abilities. Legend has it that Indira Gandhi once came back from a UN conference livid because she was unable to understand the English spoken by an Indian delegate. The fact that the delegate was at that distinguished diplomatic level suggests that he would have earned his stripes, but not necessarily English as expected from the elite of this country.

The upshot is that those who enjoy the benefits of private-school education will corner the best jobs. For the vast majority of non-Hindi speakers, the choice between Hindi and English is a choice between Scylla and Charybdis.

I’m not of course denying the importance of English. Whether or not we like it, we will have to persist with English; the educational system has to be made to deliver. That is of course the most obvious solution, though not the best one. But then linguistic chauvinism is probably one of our defining traits as a people: no linguistic community can bear to have another community’s language higher up in the complex linguistic hierarchy that our multilingualism has generated, even if that means adopting a foreign tongue, the tongue of our former colonizers, a tongue spoken, with any degree of comfort, by less than 10% of the population. Thanks to this chauvinism, English monopolizes domains of power — education, governance, commerce.

In multilingual societies, languages naturally exist in hierarchical relationships that are often institutionalized. English in India is often spoken of as the default language used because it is the only language shared with another speaker; this is only deceptively innocuous. English is also used because it is regarded as the appropriate language for a particular communicative context.

As P.D. Tripathi2 argues, the universal importance of English is an ideological production:

To think of English as the language of inter-state communication (except perhaps at the miniscule top) is to ignore the reality of everyday life, and to assume that before its advent there was no communication and that there cannot be any now without it, between one part of the country and another. The lowly worker from Bihar based in Calcutta or Bombay does not use English, which he does not know, to relate with fellow workers, equally deficient in English, from other parts of the country.

With Kapil Sibal threatening to fortify this hierarchy, with his English-Hindi-regional language formula, I shudder to think of what the future holds.  What makes such a position atavistic is that in the world outside multilingualism is gaining ground.

Let me point you to this study (tedious download required, but worth it) commissioned by the British Council to forecast the future of English in the 21st century. It suggests that the monopolistic position that English acquired in the 20th century is set to change by the middle of the 21st century, as it will become part of an oligopoly with a few other languages, each with its own sphere of influence.

The World Wide Web, which was largely instrumental in the rapid rise of English in the last half of the 20th century, is already today a far more multilingual space than it was in the 90s, and this trend can only grow. The study predicts that the languages that will increase in terms of number of speakers are Hausa and Swahili in Africa, the regional languages of India, Tok Pisin in Oceania, Russian, Mandarin and Arabic. If this is the future of the world, then the argument that Hindi will be a national unifying force only seems pernicious: why should the onus of achieving such national unity lie more heavily with non-Hindi speakers?

There are no easy solutions, I grant, but here’s one that I have:  give official status to a few more regional languages, specifically, one each from the four corners of the country — Tamil from the south, Bengali from the east, Gujarati/ Marathi from the west and Assamese/Manipuri/Mizo from the NE. Along with English and Hindi.

All of these need not compulsorily be taught in school; however,  all official transactions and communication can take place in and will be translated into these languages. While this will not do away with the hierarchy altogether, we’ll at least be casting the net wider. Complete linguistic justice is perhaps a pipedream, but we must take steps towards making the situation more egalitarian.

More importantly, what such a solution will also accomplish is to give translation and the teaching of languages the much needed shot in the arm, as more and more translators and people who speak two or more Indian languages will be in demand. In other words, employment generation based on intrinsic, internal needs.

For those who scoff at the idea of a market for Indian languages, here’s an interesting question from Graddol’s study (cited above): Jurassic Park grossed 6m $ in India in 1994, but in which language?

1 Nagarajan, S. 1981. “The Decline of English in India: Some Historical Notes.” College English 43, no. 7: 663–670.

2 Tripathi, P.D. (1992) “The Chosen Tongue”.  English Today, vol 32, no. 8, 4 October, pp 3-11

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From amnesia to language death

Something traumatic happened to me last weekend. (Okay, now that I have your sympathy in advance …) An elderly couple, relatives on the spouse’s side, came visiting, unexpectedly. (No that isn’t the traumatic part, not even for them.)   Which is something I really dread (unexpected visits I mean) for there’s no saying what ghastly state of untradition I could be in on any given day. Anyway, to get to the trauma. In the course of our conversation, which was in Telugu, I used the word “recession” which my guests did not understand, and for the life of me I couldn’t recall what the word for it in Telugu is. Not that I don’t know; I come across it often enough on TV and the Telugu newspaper I read. It was just one of those frustrating tip-of-the tongue moments of amnesia; and right after they left I remembered.  A traumatic state of temporary amnesia that set me off brooding thus: will our mother tongues survive the onslaught of English?

Technically, a language dies  when its last speaker dies. Or, as David Crystal* puts it, when its second-last speaker dies because then the last speaker has no one to speak to.

It is this dramatic situation of the last speaker of a community that Crystal uses as the theme of a play that he wrote in 1998, Living On. Here’s an extract from that play illustrating the state of mind of the last speaker of a community, as he talks to a linguist recording his language:

When I wake up in the morning my head is no longer full of the sound of the rhythms of my language, as once it was. Your language is there now, making me think in strange ways, forcing my thoughts into strange rhythms. I have begun to forget how it was. Every day, I feel my language slipping away. The words which were my life are slowly leaving me. They are returning to their home, where they were born. I could no longer tell our stories well.

Sounds chillingly familiar, doesn’t it?

Maybe it’s just my frazzled, frenetic, feminine mind that’s jumping from amnesia to language death. But the fact is that language death is a very real possibility for languages dominated by another, especially if that dominance is in the economic and educational spheres. Lest you think I’m crying wolf –

According to this piece in Outlook, India tops UNESCO’s list of countries having the maximum number of endangered dialects. The US follows closely behind with 192, and then Venezuela with 147.

And here’s the source for those statistics – Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of Disappearing, first published in 1996.

Also, Ethnologue’s report on endangered/nearly extinct languages:

What the alarming statistics suggest is that of the nearly 6,900 languages in the world, half may be in danger of disappearing in the next several decades.

Most people are either unaware or frankly don’t care that so many of the world’s languages are dying. As Crystal points out, while most us are aware, to a greater or a lesser degree, of the crisis facing the world’s bio-ecology, only a tiny proportion have any awareness at all of the crisis facing the world’s linguistic ecology. Yes, languages have come and gone, but, again as those statistics show, it is the scale, the rate at which languages have been dying since the second half of the 20th century, that is unprecedented.

The rise of dominant world languages has had unmistakable consequences for minority languages; while English is clearly implicated here, it is not the only culprit. Spanish in South America, Arabic, Russian and Chinese in Asia have replaced many local languages in Asia and South America.

Ultimately,  why should we care? Why don’t we just let languages die and allow one language to remain, thus solving the world’s communication problems in one fell swoop?

Because if  language is perhaps the most important behaviour that makes us human, then every language is a repository of some form of human wisdom.  As Crystal puts it, quoting Ezra Pound: ” No single language is capable of expressing all forms and degrees of human comprehension.”

Your language is you.  So it’s self-preservation, really.

* Crystal, David:

The Language Revolution. Polity Press, 2004

Language Death. Cambridge University Press, 2000

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The (English) language weapon

Last semester I taught report-writing to a group of M.Tech. students in one of the Science Centres of the university where I teach. A task that proved to be challenging not merely because any additional teaching in Jan–April, the shorter semester of the year, is always difficult. When I volunteered, along with a couple of colleagues, as I always do for work of this kind, I should have asked why they approached the English department (which is primarily a Literature department, where Language teaching is infra dig) and not the cell that does this kind of remedial work across the university. I found out in the first class, when the Director of the Centre announced that he wanted the students to learn from me how to write like Jawaharlal Nehru.

Okay. If you’re done guffawing, let me explain. As part of their course-work, these students are expected to explore a small geographical region in or around Hyderabad, describe its topography, and then tabulate the nature and quantities of naturally occurring mineral ores in the region. Now, while I wasn’t expected to bother with the technical descriptions of the mineral deposits, I was expected to help them with the first part of the report — an evocative depiction of the terrain, poetically describing its natural bounties, and thereby inspiring people who read the reports (presumably bored examiners, for whom marking such reports is a loathsome chore) to leap out of their chairs and take the first means of transport to said region and soak up Nature’s goodness. (Instead of going to the spa they’d probably booked for their end-of-year detox regime.)

Quite apart from the fact that I cannot teach something I’m incapable of (writing like Nehru) or even that Nehru’s writing (nay, the man himself) does not appeal to me as a model, I was surprised that a professor in the Sciences was eschewing the reigning style of scientific discourse — factual, concise, clear and focused — for a literary, ornate, intensely personal style. And then add to this the particular difficulty the students themselves presented — all of them, without exception, needed (and I’m being compassionate here, not condescending) to go back to school. To get them to write simple, grammatically correct sentences in three weeks (which was all the time I had) was going to be Sisyphus-ean enough. To get them to develop a ponderous, literary style — hell, we can’t make postgraduate students in English do that!

The Director’s opinion about what kind of English is desirable just confirms for me the disconnect between the views of the supply and demand sections for English in India. I’ll return to this point, but let me digress for a bit.

The scientific and the literary — these are often spoken of as essentially different, even antithetic, styles. Scientific writing, it is often held, requires a standardized language with every word having just one referent, i.e., unambiguous language, shorn of metaphors. Whatever one may think of such a style, what fascinates me is the manner in which English has been made capable of such a style, so that today it is the undisputed language of science.

In a study+ of scientific language from Newton’s Opticks to the present day, Michael Halliday, a British linguist, describes the evolution of scientific discourse as one in which events are described using nouns rather than verbs. Over the centuries, he says, descriptions of physical phenomena changed from the format

“a happens, so x happens”

to the form

“happening a is the cause of happening x”

Thus events and processes are represented in language as states or things (nouns).  Halliday calls this the “grammatical metaphor.”

This is not merely a stylistic change. Whether an idea or phenomenon is represented as a process (verb) or a thing (noun) reflects different ways of viewing the world. Writers are interested in stories and so they represent the world as consisting of activities, actions.  Scientists, on the other hand, think of the world as consisting of objects of study. Speaking of the world as ‘things’ allows them to objectify the natural world, to present it as consisting of objects ‘out there’, to be studied independent of scientists and their investigations. Hence the frowning upon the use of ‘I’ and the promotion of abstract, logical argument.

Both the Royal Society (established in 1660) and the first English scientific journal Philosophical Transactions (inaugurated in 1665) played key roles in promoting and consolidating this style of writing in English for science, so that English eventually upstaged first Latin and then German as the dominant language of scientific discourse.

Fascinating book. But to get back to what I started out with . . .

I have often felt that one of the best examples of logical thinking and clear writing by an Indian is B.R. Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste++.  In fact, I believe the text should be compulsory reading at school to teach our children how to write logically and clearly. But of course our children will only read extracts from Gandhi and Nehru, for ideological reasons, not because stylistic or linguistic skills are anywhere on the agenda for our curriculum designers. (Ambedkar’s writing is rarely, if ever, taught even in postgraduate courses on Indian Writing in English or in supposedly critical courses on Hindu thinkers. So this is a lost cause, I know.)

The disconnect: what we need and what we get. I was reminded of this yet again last week when I was co-opted (how I love the murky sound of this word!) into one of those tiresome industry-academia interface charades that achieve little other than squandering public money. So there I was on the dais,  furtively jotting down ideas that kept cropping up,  (I’d been given just a day’s notice for my presentation) when my ears pricked up at what was being said by the Centre Head of one of the world’s biggest MNCs in Hyderabad. I listened, astounded, as he told the large gathering of college principals and teachers that appending Bonjour/ Guten Morgen/ Danke/ Merci before and after your English sentences is enough to procure business deals. It was certainly news to me that the French and the Germans are such dolts! I’d have thought that a powerful, influential business head would know better than to make such irresponsible statements to a bunch of academics desperate to make their institutions more market-geared.

But this is it. This is the academia-industry divide at its best. Or worst. The academic world is oblivious to, even disdainful of, market needs, strangely unperturbed by the storming of its ivory towers by short-sighted, profit-oriented “training” institutes.

Industry, branding “unemployable” the huge majority of young men and women academia churns out, has its own notions of the “professional needs of business” mass-producing PowePoint-based training programmes, supremely unmindful that language learning is an organic process, and that cross-cultural communication does not mean knowing how to say “Good morning” in a dozen languages.  But since academia simply cannot get its act together, the market seduces.

Every week I make up my mind to quit. But I always wake up the next morning bravely determined to change everything.

+Halliday M.A.K. & Martin J.R. (eds) Writing Science: Literacy and Discursive Power.  University of Pittsburgh Press. Basingstone, Falmer: 1993.

++ The text of Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste is available online here and here. If you haven’t already, do read Gandhi’s criticism and Ambedkar’s response. The contrast in thinking is startling.

+++ Some  interesting posts on English in India at kufr: 1, 2, and 3

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