Home > India, Indian education, Indian media, Politics, Social Trends > Why does Mint Have a Problem with Hindi?

Why does Mint Have a Problem with Hindi?


Children in India are learning that टट्टी tatti  stinks, but potty is OK.

Forget Hindi! It would be OK if Chidambaram spoke in Tamil. |  Kirteesh Bhatt cartoon dated September 15, 2010; source & courtesy - bamulahija.blogspot.in

Forget Hindi! It would be OK if Chidambaram spoke in Tamil. | Kirteesh Bhatt cartoon dated September 15, 2010; source & courtesy – bamulahija.blogspot.in

Crude & Vulgar

Mint has a serious problem!

This Mint writer thinks it is OK to use English words, or to use a Urdu couplet.

But not Hindi?

In an example of the degenerating quality of political dialogue in India, the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, alleged that the Congress party had skimmed the exchequer and made “mota maal”. The term is a crude expression that means big money and she insisted on repeating it and that the media reproduce it. The expression is the latest one in a forgettable lexicon that Indian politicians are writing in a climate of polarization. It is not that the Congress party has not had its share of equally vitriolic utterances. Terms such as this shrink the space for dialogue between the two national parties at a time when the country is just a whisker away from a full-blown economic crisis. Everyone is better off taking a cue from the Prime Minister, who in a poetic flourish said, “Hazaaron jawaabon se achchi hai khaamoshi.” Silence is a better option than a thousand answers.

via Quick Edit | Mota maal – Views – livemint.com.

The thought behind …

N.Ram of The Hindu sets editorial standards based on BBC, NYT, etc. Mint here thinks that using Hindi words is crude and vulgar. Mota maal has no expletives, no double-entendres, no allusions, no sexual innuendos, any reference to sex or lavatory, to link it to anything crude or vulgar.

I am blinded as the writer has not given any explanation or rationale for why this expression was considered crude by the writer.

With more than 80% of Indian higher education in English, Indian languages become hand-maidens to English | Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; Wednesday, September 14, 2011; source & courtesy - bamulahija.blogspot.in

With more than 80% of Indian higher education in English, Indian languages become hand-maidens to English | Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; Wednesday, September 14, 2011; source & courtesy – bamulahija.blogspot.in

Name is everything

As a teen-ager, I remember, it was considered cool to use English swear words – but not Hindi swear words.

Learning the first few swear-words in English was a huge shock. Using swear-words in Hindi, was never done with forethought – but the use of English swear words was explicit and conscious. That cured me of the desire to learn swear words, or to use them.

To be fair, this love of foreign language is now fairly widespread. Just like Mint thinks that Big Money is cultured language, but mota maal is not, so also children in India are learning that टट्टी tatti  stinks, but potty is OK.

Born more than 15 years after Goa Liberation, one Konkan mother,  from the Western coast uses the Spanish word caca used by Spanish adults with children, for denoting lavatory activities. In Portuguese it is cocô. In the rest of the country, Indian children are getting ‘potty’ training.

Not the first time

Mint’s editorial writers, have a big esteem deficit. A few months back, Mint challenged Indian advertising industry to copy the Chrysler Super Bowl ad. – (errata – had earlier mentioned this as Chevrolet ad, instead of Chrysler). As pointed out then, the very same newspaper would probably then turn around and cavil that Indians cannot be original – but are good enough to make bad copies.

Can media shrug off its responsibility?


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  1. September 6, 2012 at 8:18 am

  2. September 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

  3. September 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Actually, I believe this is problem with the anglicized, anglophone, India-blind elite ruling India , who , for all practical purposes are nothing more than coconuts, brown from the outside, white from the inside! They are the latest iteration of Macaulay’s children. However, for the vast majority of Indian population , this really is not true! While people may find English expletives “cool” owing to it’s origin from the enigmatic west, fact is Punjabi and Hindi or Bangla have for more compelling and riveting expressions, which have no equivalents in any western language! This is case of incurable anglophilia , spawning from slavish self-loathing!

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