I got this forward today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfzWhXYM8-k
We Malayalees will never grow up; never shake off that colonial hangover.
This video juxtaposes Sreemathi Teacher, the Honourable Minister for Health for Kerala addressing the press in English, with a clipping from the film Achuvinte Amma, in which Urvashi is shown trying to learn English by practicing speaking the alien tongue at home when she talks to her daughter. The ‘subject’ for the forward was “You’ll surely laugh”. Well, I did laugh – at the clipping from the film. But I did not find Sreemathi teacher’s English outrageously funny.
For goodness sake, where is written that one should speak convent English to become a minister? Good enough if a minister can communicate well in the regional language. Definitely, competence in English is a bonus point – but not an imperative. Lack of competence in English is not a reason to make an Indian feel inadequate or feel that he is a lesser being.
I thought the minister communicated pretty well. So what if there were hiccups, or slips in grammar, syntax etc? Have we Indians entered into some contract with the erstwhile colonizer to protect the sanctity and correctness of his language?
Nothing gives me more pleasure than mutilating and distorting the English language and getting away with it. That’s my way of getting back for four centuries of oppression.
Come on, let’s slaughter the English languag but make sure that we get away with it. One way to do this is to care two hoots for the language, and treat it merely like a utility object.
If India becomes a super economic power which calls the shots in world affairs, our English will gain the respectability that Australian and American variety have. It’s only money and power that make different voices heard in this unfair world.
In the meanwhile, I hope Hon Minister Sreemathi Teacher will continue to use English the way she knows, the way it suits her, showing scant respect to the rules made by some stuffy grammarians in England in the eighteenth century, and to the rules of pronunciation that cannot always be accommodated by the genius of the our mother tongue.
My post on Mallu English: http://pareltank.blogspot.com/2006/12/mallu-english.html