Saturday, January 25, 2014

Exposing the Medieval Mindset


Today I visited the local fish market and was surprised to hear fisherwoman bargaining in English using words like “fresh”, “expensive” and “twelve hundred.” Yet, nearly a month ago, I saw several participants getting punished for using English phrases during day-to-day conversations in India’s premier reality show, Big Boss. Why is this anti-English idea being mooted on popular television shows when most of the world has adopted the language as their own and the world has gone truly global? Are TV show producers steadily succumbing to the paranoia of the medieval mindsets.
 
And, by the way, what is a medieval mindset? In the period following the collapse of the Roman Empire from the 5th century right up to the sixteenth century religion ruled the roost. All the major religions of the world came into prominence during this period but culture declined. The followers of these modern religions were just as brutal and barbaric as their pagan counterparts. The Christian armies burnt and even ate the corpses of their foes during the crusades at the start of the previous millennium.  

The Renaissance in the 15th and 16th century came as a breath of fresh air to the sea of unenlightened humanity who just could not look out of the box they had so ‘religiously’ prepared and entrapped themselves in. But the medieval mindset continued on and has survived even up to this day of tablets, Smartphones, iPods and YouTube videos. 

Unfortunately, fascists as in Egypt and possibly in India as well, the chief proponents of this medieval mindset, are being elected to power all over the world. We can ignore this threat to our own peril. People accept them as a means of change from all that is not right with their present systems, but they could be in for a rude shock when the change does happen!

8 comments :

Soumyaroop Mukherjee said...

Vivek - English language and Indian's command of it clearly have given it an edge in the services sector over and above emerging countries like China etc and gainfully employed a fairly notable size of the population. However i also think that we get over zealous about English. Even in a country like UK the schools teach French, Spanish, German, Latin etc. That is because these are some of the other major languages spoken outside of English. Albeit a language like Chinese is catching up.
My view is without forgetting our own language we should master other languages in the world so that when one travels (and that is almost inevitable in a Global Marketplace) you are not restricted to Bonjour and Merci like yours faithfully :-)

Vivek Pereira said...

Nice point, Soumyaroop.

Vivek Pereira said...

However I just want to clarify that I'm not against learning and promotion of other languages. It would have been great if Big Boss rewarded participants for speaking in Urdu, Sanskrit, Mandarin or Russian, but they shouldn't have punished participants for speaking in English as it sends out a negative signal to the next generation that English is not good for us. Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu and English have helped unite the country in more ways than one and each of them should be given due respect.

Soumyaroop Mukherjee said...

Agree. I realized what a fool I was that I did not learn more languages when I was in school

Soumyaroop Mukherjee said...

Agree. I realized what a fool I was that I did not learn more languages when I was in school

Vivek Pereira said...

I'm sorry I did not mention Bengali as the early freedom fighters like Rabindranath Tagore did a lot to unite India through that tongue. I still remember learning "mishti dohi" at your home.

Vivek Pereira said...

Bengali rocks!

parkerd said...

Yes, even I adore Tagore and all the Bengali poets. Nice chaps.