Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hundreds of Indian languages struggle to survive ...!!!

Hundreds of Indian languages struggle to survive

Classrooms at the Adivasi Academy in western India echo to the speech patterns of languages that may soon become no more than a meaningless jumble of noises.

Kukna, Panchmahali and Rathvi are just three of dozens of tribal Indian tongues taught at the academy, which was set up in 1996 in an attempt to preserve the country's indigenous cultures.

India's 1.16-billion people speak more than 6,500 languages and dialects, according to the 2001 census.

But almost 200 of them are seriously endangered, says the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO, as Hindi and English strengthen their grip in an increasingly mobile and interconnected world.

"If younger generations don't learn these languages, they will be forgotten," said academy teacher Jeetendra Vasava, 29. "Without education in the next 30 years the current speakers will get old and these languages will die."

Vasava, who believes India's rich diversity will be wrecked if local languages disappear, is a fine example of the nation's polyglot nature.

He speaks more than ten languages including his mother tongue Vasavi, which is spoken by less than 80,000 people in Gujarat and the western state of Maharashtra.

India's most endangered languages survive only in remote locations the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Himalayas, and northeastern regions bordering Bhutan and China where indigenous and nomadic groups remain strong.

But there are signs of a fightback against the effects of population decline and the rise of more prominent languages.

The Adivasi Academy trains 40 students a year to become cultural activists in native tongues such as Rathvi, which has around 118,000 speakers from the Rathva Bhils tribe in Gujarat and the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

Like many Indian languages, Rathvi did not have a written form until the academy created a script and illustrated glossary so that it could be taught in schools.

"When teachers would come to villages from outside they did not speak Rathvi, so the children could not understand them," said Sanjay Rathava, who spent two years studying at the academy in the town of Tejgadh.

He graduated in 2005 with a diploma in tribal studies and now oversees production of a Rathvi-language children's magazine called "Bol," which academy founder Ganesh Devy describes as "a humble version of Reader's Digest."


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late..!!! The fanatics/small % who threaten our lives..!!!

Bas Baskaran to chelvdurai

The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist.

A German's View on Islam;
A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories..'
We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.
The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.
And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:
Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.
Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts -- the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too late.

Emanuel Tanay, M.D.. 2980 Provincial St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104