Me and my mother tongue

Knowing other languages is good, but why should it come at the cost of the language that is mixed with my genes, with my blood. That defines me.

Kashmiri language is a nation in itself by all means, through all angles. It has its own civilization, its own culture. But I don’t think Kashmiris are as conscious of Kashmiri language as they used to be.

~Rahman Rahi, once in an interview.

Our celebrations censure us when our real love for celebrated is gauged. It’s only our celebrations that prove us frail and flawed, on end. They are as much hollow as the bin just emptied of all, all waste.

Back some moons we celebrated mother language day with bliss, sent floral tributes to it, without claiming ourselves to be sons of that rich mother, upon the other end.

We celebrate things we don’t own, take to. Speaking language is celebrating language. Right? Without speaking it one can’t celebrate it. If one does, that is like loving your parents without being obedient to them. We have made language not a medium, not a prism seen through, but something just celebrated a day like fiesta then forgotten, all year long. That’s a tragedy.

Our celebration is nothing more than playing a joke upon our language. When we celebrate it, even our own tongue laughs at us, know that we don’t whisper, let alone speak and sing, it. On the day of international mother language day, we cuddle language in a lap, feed it milk, write it, or on it, great deal. Once the day is over, we leave it apart to end like an orphan not cared. It’s loathsome explaining our rigid agreement with hypocrisy, the treason.

We seem to have locked our language in a limbo, through. From men to women to gays everyone seems to sense disgrace in taking to mother tongue, these days. It’s like some beast is born in us that eats us, once we speak our own language.

Parents sing lines in strange language to their baby in pram, & think if sung in mother tongue it might snatch life out of it. It’s what is our own. Losing language is degeneracy, choosing decency.

We all should know it. Your sons don’t turn legends by evading mother tongue, they only turn slaves, of worst kind. And as Rahi once put in an interview “If you ignore your mother tongue, you ignore two essential aspects of your personality, the emotional aspect, & the cultural. And you can’t develop your personality as an individual also without your mother tongue”.

In these black hours of cultural onslaught, we have to resist, not lose what makes us. Culture is a defence, not offence.

P. Mitra in a column published in THE HINDU, ” why not the mother tongue ” narrates our tragedy by putting, ” Why are we, instead of being proficient in our language, speaking it in its purest form, and developing it by incorporating new concepts and words, shying away, trying to be half good in something else, ending up being no good at anything?

It’s good to be into English & other band of languages. It’s good to be diversely up. No stopping you. But visiting some royal houses never means that you have to forget your own house, no matter how little is that.


Bringing ” Manasa Rao Saarloos ” in, ” It’s okay to be proud of your good English. But don’t be proud of being poor at your Mother tongue. Only the scum of the earth do that.