Thursday, 14 May 2009

Anti - Hindi goes for a toss

Well, political parties in Tamil Nadu may rake up the anti - Hindi agitations of the 1960s every now and then but clearly they are no longer 'anti - Hindi'.

First, Jayalalitha spoke in fairly fluent Hindi while campaigning for Mulayam in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections of 2007. She attacked Sonia Gandhi over Quatrochi. Her pet slogan was ' E hai Mulayam is vatan me, Ek hai chanda jaise gagan me,.' (There is one and only one Mulayam just like there is only one moon on the horizon.) A small clipping of her speech be found at here.

Then came Karunanidhi, who considers himself to be the protector of the Tamil race. He quoted a Hindi couplet on communal harmony after a backlash over his comments on Ram. Earlier arguing in favor of the Sethusamudram Canal Project, Karuna had called Lord Ram a drunkard and questioned his 'engineering expertise to build the Ram Setu'. A video showing Karuna reciting the couplet is here.

But, while the politicians themselves speak in Hindi when it suits them or when they have to please their northern allies, they lose no time in recalling the protests of 1960s whenever they feel they are losing ground to the other before elections. However, Jaya has always been a bit more soft towards Hindi. Even in a recent panel discussion on the news channel Times Now, her partyman Maitreyan began his answer to anchor Arnab Goswami's question in Hindi. This video can be found here.

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