You are Indian, but you don’t speak Tamil

No offense meant, but like a typical North Indian, I had always perceived that a typical Indian to be a Hindi speaking guy. Some of my closest friends are Tamils but that did not change my view a lot. To me Tamil Nadu was a state like any one of the 20 odd states of India and Tamil was its language.

However in Singapore and Malaysia, Tamil is one of the 4 national languages. In France, thanks to the immigration from Pondicherry, most of the people of Indian Origin are Tamils. I was a little surprised when people asked me if I knew Tamil, but now it makes perfect sense. It’s strange I understand my country better once I move out of it.

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9 thoughts on “You are Indian, but you don’t speak Tamil

  1. It is ‘Tamil Nadu’ and BTW, Tamil is also the Mother Tongue of a large number of Indians in South Africa.

    Thanks for understanding. It always riles me when people from the Hindi belt demand that any ethnic Indian speak in Hindi. This I face in the US of A.

    I don’t speak Hindi, have nothing against it but only ask that India’s diversity be respected. It is my request to all that one should learn and speak their Mother Tongue whenever appropriate.

  2. Of all the languages spoken today in India, Tamil is the oldest, older than even Sanskrit. In fact it is correct to say that there are Tamil words in Sanskrit rather than Sanskrit words in Tamil. But today other agendas have converted languages into a political tool instead of a medium of communication. One way to unite languages is to allow all languages to use the Roman script. In the army Hindi is written in the Roman script in many manuals.

  3. not sure about how old the language is… but yes its very old…

    about using the roman script…. Malayee has sucessfully done that however converting would actually destroy the Indian languages completely.. I would not personally want that.

  4. Agree with Mahesh,
    Variety is there, respect it.
    Each is different and equal
    Dont force one bunch of people’s culture on another
    One reason why Bangladesh was formed was because West-Pakistan tried to force Urdu/Nastaliq-script on Benagalees.
    Hindi is common language of convenience, let it remain so.
    Uniting all language, with a single script is impractical.
    In fact no need to try all this symbolic unification programs.
    Separate,Equal and United

  5. language is an important part in expressing one’s culture hence unification like the USSR tried will only ruin our rich culture.

    BTW most europeans find it hard to believe that there are like 14 languages in india and even if u speak 1-2 of the most important language u cannot still communicate with the whole country

  6. Interesting discussion with sensible viewpoints. Just stumbled upon it. I’ve come across Chinese people who’ve lived in USA for 30+ years and don’t speak a work of English. Hindi speakers in Kerala who don’t speak the language, and the list goes on. Circumstances do prevent people from learning languages. It is the younger people who emigrate and make no effort to learn local languages that I don’t really understand.

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